When it comes to producing animal feed for your livestock, you need to thoroughly mix your raw ingredients together to produce a uniform product that will benefit the health of your animals. The mixer is often known as the heart of the feed mill. All raw materials must pass through the mixer as they make their way through the mill. The mixer turns different ingredients into a homogenous mass in which every pellet or feed ration contains the same amount of each ingredient. If your animal feed has not been properly mixed together, it could damage the digestive lining of your animals.
Learn more about the grain handling and the feed mixing process and why it’s so important to the health of your animals.
THE GOAL OF MIXING
All feed mills must create a recipe for their animal feed. This may include a range of ingredients, such as corn, flour, and other grains. Each ingredient has its own characteristics and dimensions. You will need to break up these ingredients and mix them together as thoroughly as possible to produce feed that’s uniform in size and shape.
Typically, you will start with a set of completely segregated materials once they have been weighed. All your flour will be in one container and your corn in another. Once you load your ingredients into the machine, mixing is about going from complete segregation to what’s known as a homogenous random mixture. This is considered the holy grail of mixing. An ideal mixture cannot be achieved in practice, but this is as close as your facility will get to perfection.
The resulting mix should be as homogeneous and uniform as possible with a random mixture of ingredients. For example, if you collect a cup of your feed, it should contain the same amount of your raw ingredients as any other cup.
THE DANGERS OF A POORLY MIXED FEED
Several factors can affect the quality of your mix, including the type of mixer you use, the production process, and the feed ingredients and particle sizes used in the recipe. You may need to experiment with different recipes and production methods to perfect your animal feed.
It’s important to make sure your feed is as homogeneous as possible before feeding it to your animals. If your feed is not mixed, some of your animals may receive more of one ingredient and less of another, which means your animals will start to develop at different rates. Some may be heavier than others, while others may die off due to numerous vitamin deficiencies.
Proper feed mixing can be particularly challenging when it comes to feeding small birds. These creatures tend to eat small, finite amounts of feed. Every cup or ounce of feed they consume must be similar in terms of nutritional value.
Your facility should also be able to produce feed that’s consistent in quality. Your feed should have the same consistency day in day out. If the mixer produces homogenous feed one day, and lumpy dissimilar feed the next, your animals will suffer over the long term. Perfecting the mixing process will help you run your feed mill with more peace of mind. You won’t have to worry about feeding your animals properly mixed feed one day and a poorly mixed batch the next.
Proper feed mixing is all about regulating the diet of your livestock and making sure every animal gets their fair share of nutrition. If you are interested in renovating your existing facility or improving the animal feed production process, contact the design and engineering professionals at Halverson Company to learn more about our feed mill construction services. Located in Salt Lake City, Halverson is a full-service engineering and construction company that specializes in agricultural construction, such as processing, storage and handling facilities.