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Development of Feed Blocks for Livestock

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1800071.(doi:10.13031/aim.201800071)
Authors:   Majid Soleimani, Lope Tabil, Barry Trebilcock
Keywords:   Compression, feed block, densification, quality attributes.

Abstract. Livestock feed handling characteristics and ease of use or feeding can be improved by densifying feedstuff. A densified product referred to as feed block will have improved volumetric calorific and nutritional values. To develop feed block product from forage, alfalfa and timothy hay with or without oat hulls (as source of supplemental fiber) were densified in a compression press with different added binders (lignosulfonate, limestone, and bentonite). The product was evaluated by quality factors such as density, rapture force, dimensional instability and visual integrity. The results indicated that among all binders, lignosulfonate would work better than others such that blocks with densities of over 550 kg/m3 were achievable. Compression load of the press and moisture content of the forage positively affected the quality attributes to some extent, however, they had adverse impact at higher levels.

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