Mixer Truck

Mixer Truck

Proper mixing of feedstuffs is critical if predictable animal performance is to be achieved in the feedlot.  Feeds are formulated to meet nutritional needs of the target animal’s production requirements and adequate mixing provides an even distribution of nutrients to the animals that consume the feed.Coefficient of variation (CV) is the standard deviation as a percentage of the mean and is often used as a measurement of variation in feedstuff analysis (Headley, V.E., 1967. Salt tracers and assay methods in feed mixing. Feedstuffs, 39(33):60-61.).Most grains and other feedstuffs used in feedyard diets are typically low in sodium.Since salt (sodium chloride) is routinely added to supplements that comprise from 4 to 8% of the total ration, sodium is often used as a nutrient or marker to measure mixing efficiency and accuracy.

Procedure
A load of finishing ration was prepared in the normal manner using a skid loader and bucket to fill the truck to predetermined weight stops for each ingredient.Following loading, the truck was allowed to mix for approximately three minutes prior to feed delivery at the bunk.As feed was discharged to feed bunks in the yard, 12 samples were collected in sequential order immediately following feeding from the bunk.Moisture and sodium were determined at an independent testing facility (High Plains Laboratory, Hereford, Texas).The mean, standard deviation and coefficient of variation of the sample population was computed and used to determine adequacy of the mixing sequence tested.

Results
Results of the moisture and sodium assays (Table 1) indicated very low variance in the samples tested.The calculated sodium concentration of the sample tested was 0.18% which matched the observed sodium content of the feed at 0.18%.Coefficient of variation of sodium was 3.62% which is considered low for feedyard diets and indicates an adequate mix is occurring with these ingredients and conditions.Generally, a CV of 5 to 10% for animal feeds indicates an adequate mix time (Jones, F.T. Mixing Feeds and Mixer Test Procedures for Batch Mixers. Feed Additive Compendium, 1993.).

Conclusions
Mixer tests using sodium as a measured nutrient indicated mixing procedures at Agri Research Center are adequate if not excellent using the commodities and mixing equipment now in use.There exists the possibility to reduce mix times to streamline production, but amounts are unknown.

Table 1

 

 

 

Mixer Report—Agri Research Center, Inc.

 

 

 

 

Sample

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ration 7

Number

H20

Sodium

 

1

21.99

0.18

 

2

21.72

0.19

 

3

22.07

0.17

 

4

22.04

0.17

 

5

21.93

0.18

 

6

21.92

0.18

 

7

22.14

0.18

 

8

22.18

0.17

 

9

22.13

0.18

 

10

22.07

0.18

 

11

22.1

0.19

 

12

21.91

0.17

 

 

 

 

Average

 

22.05

0.18

Std. Dev.

 

0.09

0.01

C.O.V.

 

0.42

3.62

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