Livestock Roller Mills - A Practical Guide to Feed Roller Mills by Automatic Agriculture
If you have livestock, you have the challenge of figuring out how to feed them. A roller mill can make that challenge much easier. Roller mills are easily adjustable and can handle a wide variety of grains to give your livestock the size and type of feed they need.
Here's how to use your roller mill to feed your livestock in a healthy, efficient way.
Store Grains Whole
Whole grains are an efficient way to buy feed. They are inexpensive and can be bought in large quantities.
Most importantly, whole grains are stable and don't spoil, even when stored for up to a year. In contrast, ground grains can spoil in a few months. The same is true for livestock feed pellets. Commercially available feed pellets are best used within a few months, and if you make your own feed pellets, they may go bad within a month.
So you should store large quantities of whole grain and process only what you can use in a short period of time.
Usually Grind Feed
Although whole grain is great for storage, it is not great as a feed in itself. When you feed livestock whole grains, most of the grain passes through the animal undigested. The animal only gets a small fraction of the value from that feed. There are some exceptions, like oats or barley that are sometimes fed to livestock whole.
A roller mill gives you an efficient tool for rapidly turning your stored grain into animal feed. With high-capacity mills, you can grind out months worth of feed quickly, even if you have a large number of animals. Then you can store and use it over the short term. Rolled grain is typically suitable for feeding directly to your livestock: there's no need to add molasses or oil to try to control dust. You can choose to add it only when your animals need the additional nutrition.
Choose the Right Grains for the Animal and the Age
It's important to make sure you're choosing the best grains for the animal and their age. Not all animals have the same nutritional needs--and their nutritional needs change as they get older.
For example, you might start cows on oats because oats are easy to digest. However, oats contain fewer calories and less protein than other grains. As your cows get closer to processing, you want to shift their diet away from oats to a high-calorie grain to ensure they make weight.
It's also important to remember that most livestock will benefit from a mixture of grains. Some grains provide raw calories, while others provide protein, fats, and other nutrients. And, of course, most livestock benefit from adding forage to their diet as well.
Choose the Right Grind for the Animal and the Age
Different livestock need different sizes of grain particles. Smaller animals generally prefer smaller particles. In general, it's better to opt for slightly smaller particles if you're in doubt. However, particles that are too small can contribute to ulcers. To avoid this, you can vary the diet with protective foods, but also make sure not only that your grinding mill is set properly, but also that it produces homogeneous particles.
Just as livestock change their nutritional needs as they age, they also change the size of grain that they need. Feed animals smaller feed when they're younger, and increase the size as they get older. For example, chickens might initially benefit from ⅛ inch particles, but as adults they might want particles as large as ¾ inch.
Roller mills help with getting the right grind for your livestock. They produce a more uniform feed, so there won't be as many very small or very large particles. There also won't be as much dust. This means you get more feed from your seed, and you don't have to spend as much on additives.
Need Help Using a Roller Mill to Feed Your Livestock?
If you are looking to add a feed mill to your operation, whether it's a hobby farm or a major business, we can help you choose the best feed mill for you.
To learn more, please contact Automatic Equipment Manufacturing today.