The Performance of a Continuous Extrusion-Drying-Cooling Feed Plant for Production of Livestock Extrudates
The needs to feed the ever increasing world population sustainably and reduce the cost of livestock production are pushing the world to adopt circular agriculture (CA) that demands for the paradigm shift from conventional feed ingredients to co-products as feed ingredients for feed manufacture. However, owing to the high cost of feed pelleting machines the co-products are not being used optimally in the developing countries like Nigeria as they are being fed to animals as mash meal instead of feed extrudates as demanded by CA. It, therefore, follows that this sustainable move needs to be balanced against the ability of farmers to procure relevant equipment to manufacture quality feed extrudates from 100 % coproducts. A number of small size extruder models were developed but were found to have low capacities, low efficiencies and require high power input. The extruder models also did not address the drying unit operation, and this pushed for the development of a continuous extrusion- Drying-Cooling (CEDC) Feed plant. The CEDC feed plant, which was developed using locally available materials, consists of the following components: an electric motor, an extruder with changeable die, and drying-cooling unit, which are integrated. The performance of the CEDC feed plant was evaluated and found to produce performance data that compare favourably with existing commercial models. The plant has a performance capacity of 510 kg/hr and produced physical quality feed whose average quality characteristics are durability index (0.986), hardness (0.6915 MPa), diameter (8.96 mm) and length (58.805 mm).