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Right particle size reduces pig feed costs

Most pork producers know that particle size has an impact on feed efficiency. As particle size is reduced, the digestibility of the diet improves, a Kansas State University animal scientist explained.

K-State recommends that particle size be maintained at approximately 700 microns with an optimal range of 650 to 750 microns, said K-State Research and Extension swine specialist Bob Goodband.


Larger particle sizes result in poor feed efficiency. Smaller particle sizes increase the energy cost of grinding, susceptibility to ulcers, and problems with feeders' and bins' bridging.


"The particle size of the diet can have a huge economic impact in your costs of production," he said.


"For every 100 microns that particle size is above the recommend range, the resulting cost for lost feed efficiency will be about 65 US$ cents per pig.


"For example, suppose you haven't checked your particle size recently, and it has crept up to 1,000 microns. If you reduce that particle size to 700 microns, that will save you almost $2 for every finishing pig marketed."


Goodband said producers can ensure proper particle size by performing routine maintenance, such as changing hammer mill screens or turning hammers. Producers should also adjust the gap between rolls and re-groove rolls in roller mills regularly.
 

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