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Nutritional value of alfalfa pellets from alfalfa pellet machine and its application in animal husbandry

  • Date: 2021-07-26 11:32:49
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Nowadays, although the feed industry is constantly developing, it will not be conducive to the sustained and rapid development of animal husbandry in various countries if it only relies on existing feed resources. Planting fine pastures such as alfalfa and timothy can not only solve the shortage of feed resources in many countries, but also improve the comprehensive utilization efficiency of land, protect land resources, and improve the ecological environment.

Alfalfa pellets, also called lucerne pellets, are feed obtained with high protein by drying alfalfa grass through a pelleting process by alfalfa pellet machine or complete alfalfa pellet plant. It is conducive to storage and transportation. It mainly raises ruminants such as cattle and sheep and livestock and poultry animals. 

This form is conducive to storage and transportation. It is usually fed to ruminants such as cattle and sheep, and the most important thing is the consumption of dairy cows. Alfalfa pellets have higher protein, which can reduce the amount of concentrated feed to a certain extent.

alfalfa  shavings pellet mill alfalfa  sawdust pellet mill machine

The nutritional value of alfalfa

Alfalfa is native to Asia Minor, Iran, Transcaucasus and Turkmenistan. China has a history of more than 2,000 years of cultivation. It is widely distributed in Northwest, North and Northeast China and is the largest cultivated area of ​​pasture in China. Alfalfa is known as the "king of pasture", not only has high yield, but also has good grass quality and high nutritional value.

In the dry matter of alfalfa, the crude protein content is 18%-24.8%, lysine is 1.06%-1.38%, crude fat is 2.4%, crude fiber is 35.7%, nitrogen-free extract is 34.4%, and crude ash is 8.9 %, of which calcium is 1.09% and phosphorus is 0.3%. The net energy of milk production of alfalfa hay in the first and full bloom stages is 1.23 and 1.68 Mcal/kg, which is close to medium energy feed.

Alfalfa protein contains more than 20 kinds of amino acids, including all essential amino acids for humans and animals. Among them, methionine 0.32%, lysine 1.06%, valine 0.94%, threonine 0.86%, phenylalanine 1.27%, bright 1.34% of amino acids, and some rare amino acids (citrulline, canavalia amino acids, etc.), mainly exist in the leaves of alfalfa, among which 30%-50% of the protein exists in the chloroplast.

alfalfa lucerne hops grass rice husk pellet machine

One acre of alfalfa can produce 5000kg of fresh grass per year. Calculated according to the fresh dry value of 4:1, it can produce 1250kg of high protein and vitamin grass powder. The protein yield is 4-6 times that of corn, which is equivalent to 750kg of soybeans. Content: The biological content is equivalent to 3 to 4 times that of corn; the output of vitamins and mineral elements is equivalent to more than 10 times that of corn, and its comprehensive nutritional value is higher than that of corn, wheat and other food crops.

Alfalfa pellets processing method by alfalfa pellet production line

  1. Grass alfalfa particles are hard crushed pastures, usually cylinders with diameters and lengths of 5-19mm and 13-25mm, respectively. The density of grass particles per unit is approximately 1120 kg/m3. In order to produce high-quality alfalfa pellets, alfalfa is dried. Before putting it in the dryer, the grass section maintains a cushion. An end-to-end unloader is used to put the grass section into the biomass dryer.
  2. The typical alfalfa pellet production process is to place the grass products in a rotary drum dryer at 200℃-900℃ for about 3 minutes to obtain dehydrated alfalfa pellets. The temperature of the dryer is determined by the degree of wilting of the grass in advance. The moisture content of the grass section conveyed to the dryer can vary from 45% to 75% or even higher. Rain can increase the moisture content of the feed. The final water content of the grass section varies within the range of 7%-9%.
  3. Naturally dried alfalfa pellets are produced, and the harvested alfalfa is similar to the method of preparing hay. Before bundling, the mowing rake once or twice to make the drying even. In Western Canada, the columns were picked up and formed into large round bundles. The bales are transported to the alfalfa pellet processing plant until there is no more fresh alfalfa in the season for use.
    The bales are crushed into grass segments with a length of 25-50 mm. The pot grinder is the most commonly used device to reduce the size of forage. The grass section with a moisture content of 15% to 20% is dried in a rotary drum dryer. The rest of the operation is similar to the production of dehydrated alfalfa pellets.alfalfa grass pellet feed production line
  4. In a typical grass alfalfa pellet making process by alfalfa pellet forming machine, the dewatered grass section is beaten with a hammer and then passed through a 2.8 mm sieve. The size of the aperture of the crushing sieve is about 350 microns, and the usual range is from microns to 1 mm. The crushed sample is then treated with steam above 100°C. Stir with a rotating stirrer at a speed of approximately 300 rpm.
    The mixing time with steam varies from 15 to 30 seconds. The water content of the mixture is increased to 12%. The chemical protector is added to the mixture at a ratio of 0.2% by dry weight to reduce oxidation and vitamin loss during subsequent storage of the pellets.ring die alfalfa  pellet mill pellet machine in alfalfa  pellet mill ring die alfalfa  pellet mill manufacturers
  5. The hot and humid material is then squeezed out through a series of ring-shaped steel dies. The diameter of the steel mold varies from 4.7 mm to 15.6 mm. The ratio of length to diameter of these steel molds varies between 8-12, usually 10. The typical pressure of these steel molds is 35Mpa. The temperature of the grass pellets just produced is 90°C. The grass pellets just coming out of the alfalfa pellet machine are hot and soft.
  6. The grass alfalfa pellets are cooled on a pellet cooling machine. The retention time is 15-30 minutes. When the ambient temperature of the alfalfa pellets is cooled to within 5°C, the water content drops by 1.5-2%. A wind-driven mechanical system is used to transport the cooled alfalfa grass pellets from the cooler to the storage location. Some alfalfa grass pellet plants sift the alfalfa lucerne pellets before storage.

Application of alfalfa pellets processed by alfalfa pellet machine in animal husbandry

Alfalfa pellets for cows processed by the alfalfa pelletizing machine

Take China as an example. In recent years, China's dairy farming industry has maintained a sustained and stable development momentum. However, Chinese dairy cows produce high-quality grasses and beans. The use of forage grass is very low, and the conventional feed for dairy cows is still a simple mixture of inferior straw roughage (corn stalk, wheat straw and rice straw) and three major feedstocks (corn, bran, cake), which has more than energy and protein feed. Single, improper combination of amino acids, serious lack of minerals, trace elements and vitamins, low feed conversion rate, low milk production and low milk fat rate.

peanut shell straw hay alfalfa lucerne grass pellet machine

Table 1 lists the nutrients of the four roughages:

  Alfalfa Hay Corn silage Leymus hay Corn stalks
NEL/(MJ/kgDM) 5.6 3.8 3.4 2.1
CP/%DM 17.9 10.4 6.7 6.4
NDF/%DM 45.5 66.0 69.6 84.3

From Table 1, it can be seen that the nutritional value of the four roughages is lucerne pellets for cattle as the best, followed by corn silage, again with Leymus chinensis hay, and the worst is corn stalk. Substituting alfalfa for part of the concentrate can reduce the cost of rations and increase milk production. Substituting high-protein alfalfa hay for low-protein corn stover, Leymus chinensis and corn silage can increase milk production, improve milk composition and increase economic benefits.

Alfalfa pellets for goats processed with alfalfa pelletizer

Alfalfa has a high annual yield and contains various essential amino acids. The biological value of protein is also relatively high. It is rich in calcium, phosphorus, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, VC, and VE. Therefore, alfalfa pellets for sheep can improve the fattening effect and economic value of mutton sheep.

Alfalfa pellets for sheep

The fattening effect test of feeding mutton sheep with alfalfa hay made by lucerne pellet machine showed that the slaughter rate, net meat rate, eye muscle area and water loss rate of sheep in the experimental group were significantly higher than those in the control sheep, but the amount of alfalfa added should not exceed 30% of the diet.

The fattening effect test of small-tailed sheep fed with alfalfa hay and protein powder feed showed that the effects of alfalfa hay and protein powder on the daily gain, slaughter rate and net meat rate of small-tailed sheep were basically the same.

Alfalfa pellets for pigs processed by the alfalfa pellet making machine

With a certain amount of alfalfa meal in the diet, it can provide part of the maintenance energy and tissue synthesis needs of growing pigs. However, the higher the fiber content of alfalfa, the greater the amount of alfalfa, the stronger its anti-nutrition. The addition amount should not be too large. Experiments show that adding 5% alfalfa meal to pig diets has an average daily gain of 17.78g higher than adding 9% alfalfa meal.

alfalfa hay forage grinding and pellet making machine

However, experiments in many states in the United States have shown that 5% to 15% of high-quality alfalfa in the diet of growing and finishing pigs can make growing pigs obtain good production performance. In order to improve the utilization rate of alfalfa pellets for pigs, cellulase can be added to the diet with high alfalfa level for pigs.

Adding 0.1% compound cellulase to a pig diet containing 10% alfalfa increased the utilization rate of crude protein by 19.2%, crude fiber by 41.1%, daily gain by 17.9%, and slaughter rate by 5.69%. In addition, adding alfalfa to the diet has a very important effect on the health of breeding sows and the development of fetuses.

Alfalfa pellets for chicken processed by the alfalfa pellet mill

Alfalfa pellet made by lucerne pellets machine is rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as some other unknown growth factors, which can improve the performance of poultry. Alfalfa total glycosides are physiologically active substances extracted from natural alfalfa and have functions similar to daidzein. Alfalfa meal is also an important source of lutein in poultry feed.

It not only makes the color of egg yolk brighter, improves egg production performance, but also reduces production costs. Feeding the goose with alfalfa can increase the individual egg production of the goose by 19%, and the yolk of the commercial salted goose egg becomes darker, reddish and golden yellow. Adding 5% of alfalfa meal to the feed for laying hens can significantly promote the coloring of the egg yolk.

chicken alfalfa hay animal feed making machine

Alfalfa pellets for rabbits processed by the alfalfa pellet maker

Crude fiber is part of the source of energy for rabbits and plays an important role in maintaining the normal digestive function of rabbits and preventing digestive tract diseases. Alfalfa is rich in crude fiber, and also contains four vitamins VA, VE, VK, and VB12 that cannot be synthesized by the growth and development of rabbits. Adding 50% alfalfa meal to the rabbit's diet, the daily gain was 10.7g, the hair yield was 110.3g, and the slaughter rate was 52.3%, which was better than feeding ordinary roughage.

alfalfa hay pellet mill

Alfalfa pellets for deer processed with alfalfa hay pellet machine

Using alfalfa instead of leaves to feed sika deer, the experimental results showed that the test group increased the dry weight of velvet antler by 25.1% and the yield of velvet velvet increased by 10.66% compared with the control group. It is recommended to add about 36% of fresh alfalfa to the deer's diet.

Alfalfa Pellets vs Alfalfa Cubes, Which Is Better For Animals?

There is no nutritional difference between alfalfa pellets and cubes, so the choice between the two is based on which type your animals prefer and which you prefer to feed and store. Alfalfa pellets, cubes, and hay provide the same essential nutrients per pound. Of course, almost all livestock and poultry animals are more suitable for lucerne pellets made by alfalfa pellet machine or alfalfa pellet processing line. But some farmers do use alfalfa cubes to feed horses.

Grass Pellet Machine Production Line

To make alfalfa pellets, alfalfa hay is cut into small sections, pulverized, and loaded into a die where steam is added to moisturize the alfalfa and to make it pliable to concentrate. This concentrated alfalfa mixture is turned in the die vask and pushed through a set of holes. The pellets exit the die warm and quickly cool and harden. Pellets are typically 3/16ths to 1/2 inches in diameter. The final product is pure alfalfa grass pellets with little moisture and minimal dust. The protein and mineral levels are consistent in the entire batch.

Alfalfa pellets made by alfalfa pellet machine are more convenient to feed than cubes. Alfalfa pellets kept in a drum are quickly scooped out and fed to your animals in a bucket. They need no premixing and are suitable to be supplied to most animals straight from the bag.

The above is the article for you: Nutritional value of alfalfa pellets from alfalfa pellet machine and its application in animal husbandry.

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