Nowadays feed pellets are more and more popular in livestock farming. It is not only because of that the feed pellets are easy to be stored and transported, but also because of that they can improve animal performance mainly due to physical benefits and nutritional benefits of feed pellets.
The physical benefits include improved ease of handling, decreased feed wastage, reduced selective feeding, decreased ingredient segregation, easy to be digested and environment-friendly. More specifically speaking, compared with powder diet, feed pellets produced by feed pellet mill are uniformed in size and shape, so they are easy to be taken by animals; due to their high density, and it decreases the feed waste; pelleting prevents the segregation of ingredients in a mixing, handling or feeding process, so animals can take in all the nutritions contained in the feed; during the pelleting process, the heat generated in conditioning and pelleting make the feedstuffs more digestible by breaking down the starches. Feed pellets do not contain dust, so they have less pollution to the air and keep the farm environment clean and fresh. All these are good for the growth of livestock.
Here let’s take feed conversion as an example. All animals, on the average, consumed the same amount of feed, yet the pellet fed pigs gained a quarter of a pound per day more weight than did the mash fed animals. Since the pellet fed hogs gained more while eating the same amount, it is evident that pelleting causes the feed to be utilized more efficiently by these animals.
The nutritional benefits relate to the pelleting process. When the feed pellets are squeezed out from the ring die in pelleting chamber of the feed pellet mill, there is liquid spraying system used to spraying nutritional ingredients such as fat, amino acid, vitamins, molasses, trace minerals, medicated feed additives and other liquids on the feed pellets, and this pelleting keep feed pellets nutritious.
The safety benefits. The pelleting process adopts high temperature steam to temper feedstuffs, and it can kill salmonella in feedstuffs. Thus it contributes to the destruction of pathogenic organisms.
Generally speaking, feeding pelleted feed improves animal performance and feed conversion compared with feeding a traditional meal form of a diet. The improvements in performance have been attributed to the following aspects: (a)decreased feed wastage (b) reduced selective feeding (c) decreased ingredient segregation (d) less time and energy expended for prehension (e) destruction of pathogenic organisms, (f) thermal modification of starch and protein, (g) improved palatability.