See how small particles stay where they land and fill the voids between larger particles while pellets flow easily to the outsides of the silo.  When the contents of the bin discharge the column directly above the outlet flows downward and thereafter material from the top of the silo moves downward into this discharging column.  These two principals combine to cause segregation of fines during bulk transport creating concentrated pockets that are mostly fines.

There is a third important principal:  Fines have proportionally greater surface area than pellets and will absorb liquids that are added post-pelleting such as fat or enzymes.  Thus, segregation in bulk silos has the potential to unbalance diets that have been precisely formulated to optimize production.

Learning points:

  • Segregation will occur unless care is taken to distribute fines and pellets evenly in the bulk silo
  • Improving pellet quality will help by reducing the total amount of fines available to accumulate
  • Silos empty from the top and therefore should be completely empty before a new feed is added
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