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We answer the following questions:

Why is compound feed uniformity important?

How long does it take to mix?

How to finely crush?

How much to load the mixer?

Do premixes need to be pre-diluted?

Results: how to get a homogeneous feed


Modern farmers are well aware that only complete homogeneous feed can help them quickly raise livestock and get the maximum profit from it. At each stage of life, an animal requires a different set of nutrients and BMVD in the correct consistency. By meeting these needs, for example, dairy farms are getting 4.4-13.6% more milk while reducing feed costs.

Back in the last century, large enterprises found out that the most profitable thing is to acquire their own feed preparation line, to make the most of grain and herbs from their own areas or from trusted sources. Only premixes remain a purchased item. Nowadays, medium-sized farms are also taking this path.

The Artmash catalog contains both factories with a capacity of up to 2 tons of pellets per hour, and feed pelletizing complexes of 200-350 kg / h. These lines always include a mixer or a mixing auger to help ensure good uniformity of the feed. As shown by measurements on the territory of one of the clients, a mixer with a volume of 0.6 m3, with a load of 100%, in 7 minutes of operation, kneads the feed to a homogeneity of over 90%. A feed mixture with a predominance of wheat and the addition of 1% premix was analyzed. The fraction of crushed components is standard, after our 18.5 kW grain crusher. Depending on the method of assessing the homogeneity and the properties of the component chosen for monitoring, the indicator ranges from 90 to 98%.

This confirms that our equipment is suitable for preparing feeds that meet international standards. As you know, according to the standards of the USSR, compound feed was considered good with a uniformity of 75%.

Mixer Artmash with a cyclone and a hose

Why is compound feed uniformity important?

The homogeneity of the feed ensures that the animal receives all the nutrients it needs in the correct proportions. And the subsequent granulation of the mixture by 100% prevents the possibility of its stratification during transportation and storage.

It is known that a violation of the correct ratio of minerals and vitamins in pig feed reduces the rate of weight gain by 30-35%. As a result, to get 1 kg of pork, you have to spend 50% more feed.

Piglet weight gain

Uniformity has a particularly strong effect on piglets and chicks that consume starter feed. Having a balanced diet, they grow 35% faster, reducing the risk of illness and death. For the manufacture of starter granules, it is recommended to use a finer grinding compound feed in order to increase the uniformity and further facilitate the work of the intestinal tract.

Studies have shown that adult animals are less sensitive to uniformity of food. This is due to the fact that food lingers in their intestines longer and even difficult-to-digest components have time to be absorbed. But when comparing feeds of the same nutritional value, it turned out that mixtures with the correct ratio of microcomponents increase the productivity of meat production by 15-20%.

How long does it take to mix?

Our equipment belongs to batch mixers, as batch mixing allows you to achieve greater homogeneity than continuous mixing.

The user can choose the mixing time based on the volume of raw materials used, the required degree of homogeneity and other preferences. Many experts point out that with an excessive increase in the mixing time, the uniformity of the compound feed decreases.

Research on this topic has shown that for every blend, there is a time when it reaches maximum homogeneity. With further mixing, segregation processes begin to prevail, that is, particles with the same composition stick together and stratification of the compound feed begins. If we stop at this point, the homogeneity will indeed be 2-3% lower. But with prolonged mixing, the segregation process comes into equilibrium with the mixing process and the compound feed retains its homogeneity unchanged.

Mixture homogeneity versus mixing time

This means that it is best to spend no more than 3-7 minutes on mixing (depending on the volume of the compound feed and the mixer design). Longer mixing will not bring any noticeable improvement.


How to finely crush?

To achieve greater uniformity, it is recommended to chop the feed into small pieces. Their shape, as a rule, is not taken into account in the methods for determining the quality of the mixture, since the method of analysis itself can give a significant error. In some cases, spherical fragments are the best, in others, elongated ones.

Laboratory studies show that when mixing particles up to 899 microns for 100-150 seconds, the mixing quality will be maximum and not dependent on the specific size of the fragments. But with an increase in the fraction above 900 microns, the degree of homogeneity decreases and even longer mixing does not help to achieve the same quality.

Homogeneity vs. particle size and mixing time

When adding bioactive substances to the mixture, it is recommended to use particles no larger than 450 microns in order to ensure their uniform distribution throughout the mixture. These recommendations are in good agreement with laboratory data.

How much to load the mixer?

The optimal degree of mixing the compound feed is achieved when the mixer is loaded by 75-100%. Despite this, users of such equipment often overload it in order to increase the productivity of the line. The production of mixed feed with insufficient uniformity in such cases is attributed to the quality of the mixer.

But research has shown that overloading by 20% reduces the homogeneity of the mixture by almost half (for the same mixing time). Longer mixing times will not achieve optimum performance.

Mixer fullness, %

Mixing time, seconds

Lysine homogeneity, %

Uniformity for methionine, %

























The studies were carried out on compound feed supplemented with 1% lysine and 1% methionine. After mixing, several samples of the finished product weighing at least 50 g were analyzed in order to determine the content of each substance separately. As a result, the obtained uniformity coefficients differ, since the mixing quality strongly depends on the physicochemical characteristics of the analyzed substances.

Need to pre-dilute premixes?

Since trace elements and many other components of multi-enzyme compositions are required by animals in extremely small doses, the bulk of the premixes is filler. This approach has been approved by livestock breeders and technologists, as it improves the efficiency of distribution of the required substances in the feed mixture.

Often, in order to facilitate the operation of the mixer, the premixes are additionally diluted with a small dose of the base compound feed. It is believed that thanks to this preparation, the homogeneity of the final mixture increases, and the necessary trace elements are better distributed throughout the mass.

This statement has undergone careful experimental verification.

Dependence of the uniformity of the compound feed on the degree of dilution of the premix

The above studies show that the maximum efficiency is obtained by diluting the premix by two times. But it must be borne in mind that the dose of the mixture selected for analysis has a significant effect on the final assessment of the uniformity of the distribution of the active substance. The smaller the mass of the analyzed portion, the less homogeneity.

Therefore, in order to guarantee to increase the uniformity of distribution of premixes in compound feed, it is necessary to add more active ingredients of the multi-enzyme composition to the mixture. The uniformity of distribution is influenced not by the mass of microcomponents, but by the size of their particles. Let's say the size of the vitamin B12 molecule is noticeably larger than the same parameter of the sodium selenite molecule. This means that in 1 g of the substance there will be more sodium salt particles and they are more likely to be able to be distributed throughout the mass of the compound feed. At the same time, large molecules of the vitamin may simply not be enough for the required amount to be in each gram of the finished feed. In reality, we are not dealing with individual molecules, but with their associations, but this dependence in particle sizes remains.

Despite this, further dosing is carried out on the basis that if 1 ton of feed contains the required amount of vitamin, then 1 g of the same feed contains 1,000,000 times less of this substance. But it often happens that this is less than 1 particle of the vitamin.

Therefore, it is necessary either to add multi-enzyme compositions with a reserve, to grind them additionally, or to buy premixes, which indicate on the packaging that they provide the required content of trace elements in the finished feed. Indeed, as studies have shown, the correct ratio of components in the premix is ​​not a guarantee of their correct ratio in the finished feed.

Results: how to get a homogeneous feed

Let's draw conclusions from the above:

  1. Preparing feed yourself is more efficient and cheaper.
  2. Uniform feed increases the profitability of animal husbandry.
  3. Using the Artmash mixer, you can expect a homogeneity of over 90% when adding a 1% premix by weight.
  4. Follow the optimum mixing time for your mixer volume and feed characteristics. If segregation begins, stir for a few more minutes.
  5. The finer the particles, the more homogeneous the feed. The optimal size of the fraction of the premix is ​​450 microns, the nutrient filler is up to 900 microns.
  6. Do not overload the mixer, otherwise homogeneity will deteriorate significantly.
  7. Do not dilute premixes more than 1:1.
  8. Choose premixes carefully, or add 20% more than calculated.


The article uses data from the works of Professor V. S. Kryukov, as well as the results of research from publications such as “How is Your Mixer Performing. Feed Management" Wicker D.L. and Poole D.R. 1991; “The effect of dilution levels in premixes on micro ingredient dispersion in animal feeds. An. Feed. Sci. Technol "McEllhiney R.R., Tangprasertchai P .; "Direktzugabe von Zusatzstoffen - Teil 2. Feed Magazine / Kraftfutter" Feil A. und Strauch W. 2006. Additional information is taken from the results of practical tests on the territory of the Artmash plant, as well as from the practice of our clients.

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