Design and Evaluation of Portable Compound Cattle Feed Pelleting Machine for Farm-level Feed Production
Imbalanced nutrition, besides shortage of feed is one of the major factors responsible for low livestock productivity in conventional feeding. But, as time elapsed, there has been gradual shift from traditional pattern to compounded cattle feed (CCF), either in mash or pellet forms. The pellet form is the most preferred form of CCF among other due to its various advantages. In India, compound feeds are produced at industrial level and there is about 57% of gap between demand and supply. If any disruption in trade may cause cattle pellets expensive and unaffordable for the average dairy farmer. Feed pellet production at farm level by using locally available feed resources (which are within easy reach of the farmers and at low cost) is an alternative to the high cost feed pellet available in the market. The feed pelleting machines available in the market are expensive and individuals are unable to own them. Considering this, an attempt was made to design and develop the portable feed pelleting machine for farm level compound cattle feed pellet production. The physical properties of the feed mixture (viz. particle size, moisture content, bulk density, coefficient of friction and angle of repose) were determined and used/considered for design of feed pelleting machine wherever found necessary. The developed feed pelleting machine consists of the die plate, die shaft, pelleting chamber, press rolls, clearance adjustment mechanism, hopper, V-belt and pulley drive mechanism, electric motor and main frame. The outcome from evaluation of the pelleting machine has demonstrated a pelleting efficiency of 91.40 %. The prototype feed pelleting machine produced a throughput capacity of up to 55 kg/h and pelleting capacity of 54 kg/h.
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