Assessing Particle Size and the Cost of Grinding
Particle size reduction improves feed efficiency in all stages of the production cycle in pigs. Based on studies by researchers at Kansas State University (KSU), an average particle size of 700 to 800 microns (um) is recommended. However, this recommendation is based on studies conducted using corn-soybean meal based diets. To our knowledge, there is no information on the effect of particle size in wheat and barley-based diets from on-farm mills in Western Canada. This presents an opportunity to improve animal performance and income for producers by improving our understanding of particle size under regional conditions. Feed and ground grain samples from 1 toll mill facility and 4 on-farm mills (2 Alberta and 2 Saskatchewan) were collected and analyzed for average particle size to establish the variability among mills. Hammer mill was the most common type of mill, with all but one of the participants using this grinding system.