The production of high-quality pellets has often been described as more art than science due to the multitude of variables that affect pellet quality. The objectives of the current study were to examine the feed manufacture and pellet quality effects of 4 different feed milling concern areas. Each area of concern was evaluated using either a circumstance of low concern or a corresponding circumstance of high concern. Treatments included high or low mixer-added fat inclusion (MAF; 2.5 vs. 0.5%), high or low distillers dried grains with solubles inclusion (DDGS; 8 vs. 2%), high or low dicalcium phosphate inclusion (DCP; 1.63 vs. 0.31%), and high or low steam conditioning temperature (79 vs. 71°C). All diets were formulated to similar nutrient specifications based on commercial broiler starter recommendations. Treatments were replicated 3 times utilizing an experimental unit of 136 kg feed allotments organized as a 4 × 2 factorial arrangement in a randomized complete block design. Contrasts were performed to better understand main effect interactions. High MAF and low DCP decreased pellet durability, percent pellets, and pellet particle size (P < 0.05). Conditions of high concern for DDGS and steam conditioning did not produce similar negative effects (P > 0.05). Extraneous variables such as corn moisture content and ambient temperature during feed manufacture likely confounded some treatment effects. A greater appreciation of variable interactive effects may benefit pellet mill operators, nutritionists, and pelleting aid vendors to better circumvent hurdles encountered during the pelleting process.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology