Agro industrial-complete feed blocks, Biology

Complete feed blocks


For manufacturing the pellets, processes such as grinding, mixing, steaming and pressing and some times extruding, are applied using special and expensive machines which requires large infrastructure. In addition, it needs large amount of electrical energy. Pelleted complete feed generally do not yield desirable animal performance due to the short retention time of feed in the digestive tract of animal. However, complete feed block manufacturing avoids the grinding process (saves electricity) and maintains the integrity of feed ingredients and do not require steaming (again saves electricity). It needs a simple hydraulic press to densify the material in block form of convenient shape and sizes The roughage component, usually the crop residues, used in the manufacturing of complete feed, may be used as such or after treating it with chemicals for its nutritional upgradation as various chemical treatments are reported to be useful for the enhancement of nutritional value of the crop residues.


Conventional and non-conventional feed ingredients may be used as concentrate ingredients along with binders (molasses, bentonite etc), mineral mixture and common salt. Dried roughages are bulky and difficult to transport from surplus to scarcity regions of the country. Therefore, densification is required for reducing the cost of transportation and storage.


Roughages such as sugarcane bagasse, cottonseed hulls, dried tree leaves etc. can be compacted/ densified as such or after their treatment with chemicals (ammonia, urea, sodium hydroxide etc). Usually, roughage to concentrate ratio in feed blocks is maintained at 60: 40. The CP and TDN content of complete feed blocks for maintaining the animals is generally kept as 10 and 55% but for growing and lactating animals the levels are usually raised to 12, 55 and 14, 60 %, respectively. Complete feed blocks provide the best avenue to incorporate urea in the ration of livestock.



The economic formula of complete feed is usually based on the quality of roughage and optimum concentrate to forage ratio is not likely to exceed 60:40. For high yielding cows 50:50 ratio is usually adequate. Varieties of grains, oil cakes, brans and mineral mixture are usually added in the complete feed blocks to supply desired nutrients in balanced amount.The densification of feeds also depends on pressure applied, moisture content and plant characteristics. The densified feed blocks, consisting of crop residues as a source of roughage, possesses 3 times higher bulk density than the respective loose mixture. Such blocks have also shown post-compression expansion (after making the block) as the pressed straws try to regain their original shape after the removal of pressure. To minimize such expansion, a binder is added in the mixture. Molasses is the most widely used binding agent as it provides the readily available energy to the animal and flavor in addition to the binding property. The durability of such blocks found to be satisfactory.Complete feeds having inferior quality of roughages (bagasse, cottonseed hulls etc) were found to have considerable superior nutritive value and cheaper cost compared to respective conventional feeds. Complete feed also provides the avenue to incorporate desirable feed additives and area specific deficient mineral mixture, urea, protected protein etc, which a common farmer can not practice.

 

Parameter

 

Type of animal

 

 

Growing

Adult

Lactating

Block weight

5

10

14

Shape

Loose bulk density (kg/ m3) Compact bulk density (kg/m3)

Rectangular

70- 80

200 - 225

Rectangular

70 - 80

200 - 225

Rectangular

70 - 80

225 - 250

Post compression expansion (%)

6 -12

6 -12

6 -12

Durability (%)

<17

<17

<17

CP (% minimum)

10

12

14

TDN (% minimum)

50

55

60

 

 

Feed processing sector in India is fast expanding and advancing as evident from the development of state of art machinery to manufacture balanced, wholesome complete feed (bheli/ block) commercially for medium and high yielding dairy animals. The new concept has not only provided opportunity for effective utilization of crop residues of the country but has revolutionized the feeding system of dairy animals. Even illiterate dairy farmers can provide balanced nutrition to their animals. In complete feeds, ingredient composition as well as its nutritive value in terms of protein and energy, calcium and phosphorus etc, can be controlled conveniently. Besides this, selective feeding and wastage can be controlled in addition to the reduction on dependency on labour, storage space and cost of transportation, which are the main problems in dairies located in peri-urban areas. Complete feed blocks are important in  handling the exigencies of livestock feeding during natural calamities, which are the annual feature in India and cause loss of production potential of livestock besides causing mortality.

 

 

Posted Date: 9/14/2012 6:46:41 AM | Location : United States







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