The size of animal feed pellet is often overlooked in poultry production. During the production process, laying hens feed processing plants often cannot guarantee that the feed pellets are of uniform size, and the ratio of each feed is completely mixed. The pellet size of the feed is not uniform, some are very fine, and some are very rough. Different grinding and crushing methods will also cause different feed particle distribution. Even when the overall feed is similar in nutrition, different particle size will affect the digestion and absorption of the feed. Production performance of poultry. Therefore, feed manufacturers should always evaluate the size and distribution of feed pellets to minimize influencing factors.
1. The impact of feed particle size on the digestive system
The development of the digestive system is affected by the size of the feed pellets. Poultry eating feed with larger pellets can promote the development of the muscle stomach and increase the length of the intestine. Larger pellets of feed stay in the musculature for a longer time, and the feed is ground into small pellets before being released into the small intestine. The longer the intestinal villi, the larger the surface area for digestion and absorption, which increases the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Researchers believe that feeding large pellets of feed can promote the secretion of digestive enzymes in the small intestine and facilitate the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
When feeding fine granular feed (powder), the feed does not need to be grinded and quickly enters the glandular stomach through the musculature, resulting in the muscular stomach becoming smaller, the glandular stomach enlarged and the intestinal length reduced. Therefore, it is not recommended to use too fine feed.
2. Ideal chicken layers feed pellet size
The size of feed pellets will seriously affect the feed intake of poultry. The ideal chicken layers feed pellets should increase with the development of the chicken's beak, musculature, and digestive organs. Laying hens tend to eat large pellets, and this preference becomes more obvious as the age increases.
In the first 6 weeks, 1-3mm powder is generally used as the starter. For chicks, the nutrients in the powder are more uniform, but as the age increases, continuous feeding of the powder will cause the chicken's musculature and small intestine to change. small.
After opening the food, change it to a uniform powder to ensure the development of digestive organs. 55-85% of the feed particles in the powder are 1-3mm in size and the geometric mean diameter is 1200 microns. The prenatal feed should contain 2-4mm diameter stone powder pellet feed, which will help ensure the quality of the eggshell.
3. Pellet size of layer feed
(1) Feed with too many fine particles
•Reduce feed intake and nutrient absorption
•Increase the dust in the chicken house
•Too many coarse feeds
•Chickens will choose large pellets
•Increase the risk of feed separation
(2) The best laying chicken feed pellets
• The interval of 3–4 hours at noon allows the chickens to consume fine pellets. Daily fine feed pellets are important to balance nutritional intake.
• Add at least 0.5% oil or liquid fat to the feed to help mix and adhere small pellets.
• Use large pellets or crushed feed to increase feed intake when the climate is hot.
4. Selective feeding of laying hens
Laying hen feed is generally a mixture of large pellets and small pellets, and chickens tend to eat large pellets. These large particles are mainly broken corn, which mainly provides energy. The small particles mainly contain some amino acids, phosphorus, vitamins and minerals. Vitamin and mineral premixes are usually small particles. The large feed pellets that are ingested too much for laying hens tend to consume too much energy, and some nutrients are not enough, such as vitamin A, D, riboflavin, sodium, lysine and methionine. Most egg production declines and eggshell quality problems are caused by uneven nutritional intake.
Too many feeding times or too large amount of feed is not conducive to chickens eating small pellets. If not managed properly, small particles can be deposited in the trough. Empty feed for 2-4 hours at noon is conducive to the ingestion of small pellets of feed, allowing chickens to clean the feed in the trough during this time. Breeders should observe the feeding situation in real time, and determine the appropriate number of feedings and the amount of feeding so that the chickens consume large and small pellets daily.
The uniform intake of large and small pellets of feed for chickens every day is beneficial to their nutritional balance.
5. Method for determining feed pellet size
The standard feed pellet size determination method refers to the standard of the United States Department of Agriculture. This standard requires that feed or raw materials must pass through 14 smaller sieves for 10 minutes to calculate the geometric mean of the feed pellets and the uniformity of the chicken feed pellet size (standard deviation or coefficient of variation) ). The coefficient of variation of a reasonable compound feed should be less than 10%. This method is only used in large feed processing plants.
6. The impact of crushing process on feed particle size
The laying hen chicken pellet size of feed ingredients undergoes multiple changes during the crushing process. The main factor affecting the particle size is the crushing method of the feed. Raw materials such as soybean meal, fish meal, and premix often cannot be crushed to reduce particle size. Cereals (corn, wheat and other cereals) need to be milled, and the grains of wheat and corn are different in size under the same grinder for chicken feed.
The grain corn hammer mill uses a series of rotating hammers to beat the grains, during which the hammers move the crushed raw materials at a high speed until the crushed raw materials can pass through the periphery. The particle size and uniformity of the feed produced by this method depends on the size, shape, speed of the hammer, and the shape and pore size of the peripheral mesh. The hammer crushing method can be used to produce chicken layers feed pellets of various sizes, and can also be used to produce wheat by-products.
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