Horse Feed ManufacturersManufacturers of horse feeds
Horse-Feed-Manufacturer 101: Comprehension of horse feed manufacturers and their methods. Ever wonder why the same kind of feed can look different in different parts of the land, or why you can find some maize or oat in your feed if they are not listed on the products replant? The more different feed rates are used, the more complicated the production processes become.
This is the first in a three-part production run dealing with the production of feed, feed grade and the feed delivery processes. The production of animal feed has developed considerably over the last 35 years. So when I began in this shop, the feed mill owner made feed from a recipe like you could make a pie from the ground up, but with small beakers.
Then he followed the prescription by pressing a knob that turned a bolt and put the contents into a weigh. Exact dosing of loose materials was restricted and not documented. In those days, the feed grinders produced large amounts of feed, and a large number of warehouses had smaller feed grinders that made more of a locally mixed feed.
Today, there are few small feed grinders left and large grinders produce more kinds of feed with computer-controlled accuracy. Recently, the FDA adopted new, more stringent feed legislation that requires separate supervision of feed production and production process management. Large feed manufacturers introduced these inspections long before the adoption of these new FDA rules, and for the first the FDA will have the opportunity to examine and adjust the smaller plants.
It has changed the animal feed sector. Bigger grinders are now computer-controlled everywhere, from the way they absorb, blend and transfer raw materials to the way they combine fluids with texturised feed. Today, these large grinders are able to produce up to 60 different recipes and up to 250 tonnes (10,000 bags) of feed per diem.
Explained the production process: Beginning with the goods receipt, each arriving component of loose material is directed and adjusted to special containers for this component. Also feed components that are susceptible to mycotoxins, such as maize, are subjected to testing. In the production of animal feed, the grinders use certain recipes and a computer to make sure that the constituents are correctly sequence to prevent impurities from other feed.
Computer-controlled devices also weigh solids to make sure that exact quantities are contained in the mixture (tolerances within a few quid for a 4,000 pound batch). Once the weighed, the components are blended for the right period of mixing and then fed into a container for further use. After mixing, a computer guides the feed from the blender to the next stage of mixing to prevent soiling.
Pelletizing, sagging or shipping directly into a large container for further treatment. Pelletizing involves heating the feed to about 130 °C by means of vapor and then pressing it through a "die" containing several hundred small cavities. Some of the grinders also add soya oils for high-fat, pelletized feed.
The addition of fluid to the feed is also regulated by computer-controlled measuring devices and can take place in different stages of the production chain - in the blender, in the pelleting press or just before bagging. It can alter the appearance of a feed - deep vs. bright, damp vs. arid - and explain why feed produced in two different grinders can look different but contain the same constituents.
Whilst not weighing fluids like dried products, they are dispensed by a computer at a computer at a calibration ratio depending on bulk densities and mixing speeds, so that each lot contains assured quantities of fluids that comply with nutritional-specification. Sinking is the last stage in the production chain. In pelletized feed, most grinders have a sieve or suction system to eliminate surplus fines.
First two pouches are put aside as they may contain a single item from the preceding one or may not contain all the necessary quantities of Liquid. Operators check whether the products look as they should and continue work. Pouches then go either directly to a lorry for dispatch to a retailer or to the warehouse to be dispatched later.
The mill has severe restrictions on how old a feed can be before it is supplied to the retailer, and then the date of manufacture is also noted on the dispatch note. A number of horse feed clients receive their feed in loose fill in a container on the yard.
To make this possible, the holding would require a considerable number of ponies and pass through three to four tonnes per months. It is also limited to a pelletized food to prevent deterioration and to ensure that it runs out of the container.