Animal feed manufacturing plays a vital role in the overall food production industry. It's a very active business and its players are always in dynamic interaction.

If you want to start an animal feed production, then our guide can help you understand the basic facts about how this business operates.

Capital Investment Needs
Animal feed manufacturing is a billion-dollar industry, according to the American Feed Industry Association. Feeds are so important in raising poultry, hogs, and livestock that some breeders even have their own feed manufacturing operation on-site. If you are planning to start a feed manufacturing business, you must understand that this is a capital-intensive venture.

You would need a lot of money to buy manufacturing machinery (bagging equipment, boilers, computer process control, conveyors, mixers, dryers, scales, extruder, and grinder), computer technology, and vehicles for transporting raw materials and finished products. Another consideration in this business is the huge inventory investment. Feed manufacturers usually take advantage of fluctuations in feed ingredient prices by buying in bulk when prices are low; or by contracting for supplies months ahead.

Animal Feed Formulation
There are two types of feed products you can manufacture: finished compound feed that can be directly fed to animals and concentrates that animal growers can blend into commercial rations to complete the nutritional requirement for their livestock. The ingredients you would need are feed grains (corn, soybean meal, and oats), oilseed mill products, meat products and special ingredients like dried citrus fruit pulp, orange rinds, dried coffee residues, beet pulps, as well as nutritionally-enhanced meals.

Animal feed should meet nutritional requirements in terms of energy, protein, fiber and vitamins. And so, to meet requirements while ensuring that the business is profitable, animal feed producers spend substantial amount of resources toward finding out a feed formulation that meets nutritional requirements at the least possible cost. This process needs computers with software for running linear program to calculate the desired diet formulation. It also needs the expertise of animal nutritionists.

Animal Feed Distribution
Feed manufacturers supply their products to dairies, poultry, and swine producers, or to retailers like farm supply stores that sell to people running backyard poultry projects, or simply keeping pets. Feed supplied to retailers cost more because of the extra packaging. Feed packaging is important in that failure to meet regulatory requirements could result to the product being declared misbranded, if, among others it failed to include some required information. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act governs the use of food products, including that used for animals. The Center for Veterinary Medicine regulates animal feed products. A feed license is required by states for persons manufacturing or distributing commercial feed.


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