Performing a mixer efficiency test should always be on the radar screen; however, it can be easily overlooked. Properly mixing the ingredients is a must do to provide the proper nutrition in every mouth full of feed.
Kansas State University performed a nursery trial evaluating different mixing time. As you can see below, diets that are not mixed for an adequate amount of time will affect growth performance. This is why we must make sure our ingredients are being properly mixed.
The mixer efficiency test accounts for the amount of variation from sample to sample. Below are examples of different mixes from Dr. Charles Stark from the Feed Science department at Kansas State University.
In order to perform a mixer efficiency test, take 10 different feed samples from one batch of feed.
Each sample should be 1 lb and should be taken at 10 different locations in the mixer after mixing.
Using a grain probe is the best tool to take the sample with.
If you can’t get a sample from the mixer, wait until you fill your feed truck and grab samples at that time. Please remember to take samples from one batch of feed.
Many labs can test your samples. We tend to use Midwest Labs in Omaha, Nebraska. The lab will test for the amount of sodium and zinc variation from sample to sample and will report the coefficient of variation (CV). The target CV is less than 10%.