Moisture content control of sheep feed pellet production

Pelleted feeds is a kind of compound feed ,which is agglomerated feeds formed by extruding individual ingredients or mixtures by compacting and forcing through die openings by feed pellet mill. These larger pellet feed are easier to handle, more palatable and usually result in improved feeding results when compared to the powdery feed,which is widely used in the sector of animal husbandry for feeding chicken, duck, cattle, sheep, pig and other kinds of animals.
Moisture is a key ingredient in the feed and generally,it is also a very important quality index, it affects the quality of feed pellet directly.

sheep feed pellet
Feed products are sold by weight. Producing feed products with high moisture content may negatively affect quality and nutrition which leads to mold growth and other moisture related problems. At the same time,too low moisture content of pellets will reduce the gelatinization and digestibility of starch. The hardness of pellets will affect the palatability of sheep and reduce feed intake.For the feed manufacturer,selling feed products at moisture content lower than what is necessary will cause they lose income as a result of unnecessary weight loss.

What effect moisture content in sheep feed pellet ?

Many factors affect the quality of feed produced in sheep feed pellet. Such factors include the raw materials and pellet processing.The various stages of the pelleting process affected by the water content include: grinding, mixing, conditioning, pellets making and pellets cooling.

Raw materials moisture content
Moisture content is essential in the process of sheep feed pellet as it is required for intermolecular forces development. Due to the low temperature in winter and spring, feed manufacturers often use new harvest corn, which has a relatively high moisture content. After pelleting, the moisture content is about 13%, which can basically meet the quality control requirements. However, in summer and autumn, the moisture content of feed ingredients is between 11% and 13%. In addition to the high temperature, part of the moisture content of feed ingredients is lost in the process of crushing, pelletizing, and pre-treatment, resulting in the moisture content of finished feed products being 9% to 11%.

Feed Grinding Process
This process is vital for the sheep feed pellet production.it is found that the moisture loss of raw materials after pulverization increases significantly with the reduction of the raw material pulverized particle size. As the moisture content of the raw material increases, the crushing efficiency is also significantly reduced, and the energy consumption will also increase. The water loss during the crushing of raw materials is generally about 0.5%.The highest moisture loss for various fodder materials is 1%.

sheep feed grinding machine

Feed mixing process
The moisture loss during the feed mixing process is very small and can be ignored.

Feed pellet processing
The circular mould of pellet mill has different aperture sizes, so the feed pellet products have different moisture content. Using the small aperture size circular mould, then the feed pellet has small diameter, and the pellet will has less moisture. But use the large size circular mould then the feed pellet has large diameter, and the produce has more moisture content.

In the cooling process
Cooling is the last link of process. In the cooling process, the first thing is that ensure the moisture content can’t above the quality control standard. Then, control a suitable temperature. Ensure the products will not has bad influence because of the high temperature.

fed pellet cooling machine

Packaging and store
It is also very important to manage finished products. Usually, the temperature of feed pellet can’t above the room temperature. It had better avoid direct exposure to the sun after packaging. If not, the moisture of pellet will migrate to the place where has lower temperature, and then the feed pellet will get mildewed easily.

How to control moisture of sheep feed pellet production ?

1.If the raw material has lower moisture in sheep feed pellet production, adding atomized water when mix the material can improve the quality of feed pellet, reduce power consumption, and improve the economic benefits. The moisture content of feed pellet is affected by the raw material, store, and each production processing link in the process of producing, so the moisture control must be strengthened.

sheep feed mixer machine

2.In the actual sheep feed production, if the powder material has lower moisture content, we need reduce the steam pressure and close all traps to improve the moisture content of feed pellet. If the powder material has higher moisture content, we need use the high pressure over-saturation steam to control the moisture.

3.The purpose of the cooling process is not only to reduce the temperature of the pellet feed so that it does not exceed the room temperature of 3℃; it can also take away the moisture in the feed, so that the moisture of the feed product meets the specified requirements, and set the cooling parameters of the finished product according to the moisture before the finished product is cooled .

To avoid excessive water loss.If the feed pellets are too dry and small, we should reduce the quantity of wind, and cooling time should shorter than normal. If not, increase the quantity of wind, and take more time to cooling. Ensure the pellets get the same cooling time, and operate strictly according to the operation requirement of the cooler. If the raw material has lower moisture, adding atomized water when mix the material can improve the quality of feed pellet, reduce power consumption, and improve the economic benefits. The moisture content of feed pellet is affected by the raw material, store, and each production processing link in the process of producing, so the moisture control must be strengthened.

Conclusion

When produce sheep feed pellet, suitable moisture content will be good for producing, reduce moisture energy consumption and improve productivity. Moisture content control is in the whole process of production, according to the different situations comprehensive control various factors.

animal feed pellet

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