Newsletter March 2018

Does pellet durability really matters? – and what about pellet length?

The short answer is yes and it matters a lot. The impact of pellet durability (PDI – Pellet Durability Index % or hardness) have a huge impact on feed efficiency (fcr) and growth response. The reason is simply that chickens consume more feed faster and spent less time at the feeders thus saving energy allowing for longer
resting periods and growth spurts. McKinney and Teeter reported that 100% PDI contribute more than 5% to the real energy level of the feed. Good quality pellets thus increase the productive energy levels of the feed that otherwise is wasted on longer feed periods. Longer pellets have a better PDI % due to less cutting or break points and thus less fines that forms. An Aviatech study showed that 50% fines in a pellet batch will decrease weight by 7% and feed conversion by 4%. Research have shown that pellet length during the first 7 – 21 days of feeding is even more important than durability. In a study comparing pellets of 3mm, 5mm and 7mm in length (3mm die used) it was found that the 3mm pellet length fed for the period had the best fcr and growth response compared to the 5 and 7mm pellet length. Pellet length after 21 days can be increased to achieve better PDI %. Making good quality pellets with a maize/soya based diet as is the case in South Africa is not easy and factors such as gelatinization, conditioning temperature, fat % etc will play a big role. Many products are used as pellet binders but the most efficient method is to add a surfactant or emulsifier that breaks the water surface potential to ensure better processing during mash conditioning pre- pelleting. Optimal conditioning temperature for raw materials used will also improve bio- availability of nutrients and energy.

Eliminator ® powder has been proven to have a 99.9% kill effect of Avian Influenza virus

Eliminator ® is used as manure improver and site and house powder disinfectant for any intensive animal housing system. We have recently tested Eliminator ® at Onderstepoort in a virus kill study and it was shown that Eliminator ® with a 5 min contact time will kill 99.9% of all Avian Influenza virus present. Eliminator ® has also showed a 99.9% kill rate of all other known pathogens such as e. coli, salmonella and even aspergillus. Eliminator ® further has the advantage that is can be used in powder form on sites and in houses and around ablution and on walkways and does not need to be spayed as a slurry like calcium hydroxide (Lime) to be
effective. This allow for a longer activity period and more frequent spread around risk areas.