he advantages of feed pellets in pigfarming are well documented so pigbreeders are inclined to adopt pelletsinto feed and are interested in improvingfeed pellet quality. Research shows thatthere is a proportional relationshipbetween factors which determine pig feedpellet quality. Feed formulation accountsfor 40 percent, raw material granularity20 percent, modulating 20 percent, ringdie specification 15 percent, cooling 5percent and other factors 5 percent.
So in the case of determined feed formu-lation, feed pelleting technology is crucial topig feed quality. Feed pellets are produced through a serious of processes such as crush-ing feed ingredients, mixing raw materials,pelleting, cooling, spraying and packing. Eachprocedure is obligatory.
Crushing and mixing
The sequence of crushing and mixingfeed ingredients affects pellet quality. Mixingfeed ingredients after crushing has beenuniversally adopted in America, China andother countries. Raw materials which havedifferent shapes and thicknesses should beground before mixing otherwise it will notbe possible achieve the optimal mixingeffect. Different sized ingredients are difficult to mix evenly and the nutritional contentof the feed will be inconsistent. The mixinguniformity is also affected by the grindingfineness of feed ingredients. The closer thephysical properties of each component of feed pellet (including particle size), the moreeven the mixing.
Pig feed pelleting
Pelleting is the most crucial procedure in the feed pellet process. Modulation is thecritical factor, which affects the end result.Modulation can gelatinize starch, sterilize andincrease pellet quality (particle hardness anddurability), which is related to feed intake.The moisture and temperature factorsmainly affect modulation. Supplying moistureby steam can lubricate materials and reduceenergy consumption. However, the amountof steam added should be restricted. Higher or lower modulating temperature makespellet structure loose, increases pellet break-age ratio and pulverulent ratio and losesnutritional content. So discharge tempera- ture of pig feed pellet should be controlledbetween 76 and 92 degrees Celsius.
Feed pellet cooling
The pelleting follow-up processes such ascooling and spraying should also be valued.Pelleted feed has a high moisture contentand temperature. In this case, feed pelletshave a soft texture and are prone to mildewduring storage so the cooling process is nec-essary. The cooling airflow and cooling timeshould be controlled strictly. During the pel-leting process some nutritional ingredientsare damaged or lost by the high temperatureand friction force, in order to ensure pig feedpellet quality, some liquid nutrition shouldbe reintroduced to increase the energy leveland help prevent diseases.
Feed formulation for pigs atdifferent stages
Pigs at different growth stages havedifferent physiological characteristics whichshould be considered when choosing feedingredients and designing feed formulas. If pigs are well fed they can generate immune tolerance to the anti-pathogenic substancesof feeds and protect the digestive tract.The feed pellet ingredients should fit their digestive ability and make preparation for weaned pigs feeding. The feed ingredientsshould have substances like milk residuepowder, added sugar, grease and also acertain of vegetable protein.Piglet feed pellets should mainly consider the energy and protein level. The level isbetween 20 - 25 percent and the coarsefibre content is under 4 percent. The feedpellets for piglets should contain balancednutrition, with a soft texture and goodpalatability.The amount of digestive enzymes and their activity are radically reduced so theweaned piglets cannot entirely digest thevegetable protein which causes diarrhea.The increased PH value, which inhibits lacto-bacillus growth and stimulates the colonbacillus production also causes diarrhea. Sofeed pellets for weaned pigs should reducediarrhea and increase survival rate and daily weight gain.Feeds should incorporate high-energy ingredients such as grains, fat and lactose.The grains must be ripened because they can improve digestion and absorption rateand reduce diarrhea. The easily digestibleproteins such as bean pulp, whey powder and soybean concentrate protein are idealprotein sauces. Some antigen substanceswithin soybean concentrate protein likeglycinin and polymerization globulin causebrief allergic reaction in the early growthstage of weaned piglets. Even so, the feedingredients must contain soybean protein tomake piglets produce antiallergic ability.
Pig fattening stage
Increasing feed intake is the main factor to improve growth rate during the fatteningstage.Feed pellet ingredients are mainly madeup of corn and bean cake. The feed ingre-dients for fattening pigs should be reason-ably collocated so as to ensure the weight
Pig feed pelletizing technology
by Joyce Li, service centre manager, Amisy Machinery, China
feed miinG echnooG16 | July - august 2013