Discussion created on 01/07/2015

Which Type of Feed is more Productive and Economical – Mash or Crumble/Pellet?

I was surprised when I saw the actual field reports under parallel trial taken on Mash Feed vs. Crumble Feed. It has been observed that everybody in the feed industry gives preference to Crumble/Pellet feed rather than Mash feed. The main reason is its better digestibility, palatability and finally better performance in terms of FCR over mash feed.

But nowadays, due to the use of high quality mixers in mash feed plants, the CV of the end product is excellent which leads to better performances on field levels. There are many pros and cons of both feed processes i.e. mash as well as Crumble/pellet. Regarding crumble/pellet feed, many people talk about the benefits of incremental energy generated during the pelletization process compared to mash feed but actual below field trial reports do not support this. According to experts, there are chances of harm to nutritional value of feed ingredients, feed additives and feed supplements in the process of pelletization if not properly handled.

Study shows that on the economical ground it’s not advisable to put the crumble/pellet mill and instead of that give preference to mash plant. For 12 Mts per hour production capacity pellet mill & mash plant, the project cost difference will be approximately around 3 Crores ( Land & machinery) and to recover this extra paid cost on pellet mill, that much benefits we are not getting from it.

To arrive at a solid conclusion, whether to put pellet mill or not, we have conducted the field trials to know the exact benefits gained.

Materials & Methods

We have selected same feed formulations with same ingredients and nutrient values for both mash and crumble feed.

To avoid the discrepancies, we have manufactured mash feed in our own feed mill and then send that feed for pelletization in 2 different renown pellet mills.

Sampling Method

Different R & D farms selected & parallel trial taken on both mash & crumble/pellet feeds.




No significant performance difference observed under trial Mash Vs Crumble/Pellet Feed. 


As per outcome of study it’s not advisable to put a pellet mill by doing so much investment over mash plant.


Request to readers to take such trials at your end & guide us to take a decision.

Dr Jaydip Mulik
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
remove_red_eye 19347 forum 36 bar_chart Statistics share print
Share :
Maheswar Rath Maheswar Rath
BVSc &AH,MVSc &AH,poultry science, Ph.D. Poultry science
January 8, 2015

I have seen your point infavour of mash feed over the pellet mills for crumble or pellet poultry feed. crumble or pellet feeds are better than mash feed for better handling and technically superior if concept of pelletization is followed . In my opinion if both the feed formulations are same then crumble will give better results. However we can have mash feed plant and we can run our poultry activities there is no difficulty. Large investments are having large advantages in terms of performance and feed quality subject to condition all other points remain constant. Let the promoter take up his own plan as per area needs.

One more point may please be clarified - how you get benifit by showing the data namely corrected fcr? If you are using any factor for getting in to a derived trait then how you are going to use it in commercial broiler production and what is the advantage you really get through corrected fcr from achieved fcr . How you say corrected fcr is more important than realized fcr sir. Let me know some more on this issue which you have shown in your data.

thank you for field trail data you have furnished. dr mrath
Bhaskar Roy Bhaskar Roy
Poultry farmer
January 9, 2015
Thank you, Dr Jaydip Mulik
For you topic Mash and Pallet Feed.As I saw the topic I felt happy that mash feed is not bad to feed the birds.
Since now days in market only pellet feeds are sold as their is demand and it cost is to high then mash feed. Anyway I want to ask you that the experiment done was --1) the farm shed is normal( i.e. floor is soil or cage or cement plastered) . 2) the chicks placed in the farm were non-cobb or cobb or any other.3)The drinker,feeder were used are automatic or manual.
Please reply my question.

Sushil Chandra Sushil Chandra
Master in Poultry Nutrition 1975
January 9, 2015
Dr Mullik
good to read your article on Mash Vs Pellet(crumb)
There is proven recard and observation that pellets are better in all the aspects as compared to mash
1.prehension of pellet by the bird is quicker--less time consumed-less enegry form body is waisted
2.pellets are geletenized and cooked food
3.waistage thru dusting is much less in pellets
3 b- one pick of pellet is complete feed.whereas n mash feed all vitamins ,tmm and added aa are last to be picked by the bird
4.Non-platable RM in the mix thru pellets can be binded and used.
5.Feed consumption from pellets is lesser both in Broiler breeder(1 to 1.5 kg per bird in life span)in commercial layer( atleast 10gms per bird per day)Incommercial broiler- you can save on reducing energy and prot to some extent
Over all we have observed as above.it is high time that layer industry start using pelleted feed and can save on quality and qty.

dr s chandra
Dr. Rakesh  Nimbalkar Dr. Rakesh Nimbalkar
Animal Nutritionist
January 10, 2015
Dear Dr Jaydip Mulik ,
Pelleting technology is for converting low grade feed nutrients to high grade feed nutrients ( Conversion of complex carbohydrate to simple carbohydrates) for better digestion and assimilation without any variation in growth of birds as pellets are more ldeal to mash in nutritional balance . In context of CV of mixers , it is only related with dispersion of micro nutrients in a whole batch at ppm level during mixing but not related with birds performance . CV is a measure of mixing efficiency rather than performance .Though you have better CV of mash feed but if there is peck factor or selective feeding you get hampered performance owing to imbalances of micro nutrient which remains in feeder after feed is taken up by birds .When you consider isocaloric and isonitrogenous diet with ideal nutrients in pelleted and mash form , the conversion of pellet feed to meat is higher without any variation in growth . Mash diet is more dusty paving the way for respiratory diseases . Economics of mash vs pellet has to calculated with different recipes , conversion ration , farm depletion , diseases ,and % dressed yield considering weight of digestive organs .
Dr Rakesh Nimbalkar
Consultant - Poultry Nutritionist
Polchem Hygiene Laboratories Private Limited ,
Pune - India
Anaz Abuthahir Anaz Abuthahir
January 10, 2015
Very interesting and useful experiment.Thanks for sharing.I have a few queries though.
1)Did you use the same feed formulation for both pellet ,and mash?...
2)What was the calorie/ protein ratio?
Thank You
A Ashraf A Ashraf
January 10, 2015
Dear Dr Jaydip Mulik,

In the last fifteen years,Many broiler integrators and compound feed manufacturers shifted from Mash feed to Crumble& Pellellets.

The shifting has so far been in fast forward in spite of the investment on Crumble and Pellet mill is far higher than the mash plant.

Do you think that all shifters are shifting blindly from mash to pellets?

No.Their commercial acumen is very good.They decided to shift based on better Return on Investment
with pellet mills.

Tawfik Tawfik
January 10, 2015
Animal Nutritionist
January 11, 2015
Dear Dr.Jaydip Mulik,
Good work!
Shall we know Coarseness of grinding, Conditioning Temp, Time and Mositure addition during conditioning? These parameters will decide quality of Pellet/ Crumble feed.
Lot of trial reports showed that pelleting/crumbling favours incremental energy of 140-180KCal, by gelatinisation and low energy spent for feed consumption.

Dave Albin Dave Albin
VP, Nutrition & Extrusion Technologies
INSTA-PRO International INSTA-PRO International
Grimes, Iowa, United States
January 11, 2015
Thank you for this information.

Pelleting of any kind is beneficial from the standpoint of having less waste and dust (as was already mentioned). There may not be much, or any, increase in weight gain, but efficiency will usually be improved.

Forming pellets with other types of processing, namely extrusion, will enhance starch gelatinization, reduce antinutritional factors, toxins, and provide for microbial sterilization. Especially in young birds, the opportunity for both increased growth, and reduced feed intake, are very real.
January 12, 2015
Dear Dr Jaydeep Mulik, great efforts are to be taken and concluded.
Agricultural Engineer
January 13, 2015
Material handling is a major issue in livestock feeding and pelleting as congruent of balanced ration is great help to ensure effective and efficient feeding.
Prof Irvin Mpofu Prof Irvin Mpofu
Animal Nutritionist
January 13, 2015
Mash is more economic money wise while pellets are more biologically productive.
Sushil Chandra Sushil Chandra
Master in Poultry Nutrition 1975
January 13, 2015
Prof Mpofu
Its looks like that mash feed is economic.one has to look into various factors like
1.Feed consumption
2.feed wastage
3.Prot and energy efficiency
4.B.V of pellet vs mash
5.performance in terms of body wt and Egg (HHA)
6.saving of body energy while picking the feed by the bird
7.pellets are cooked food vs mash is uncooked

Dr Chandra

Anil Phadke Anil Phadke
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
January 15, 2015
Dear Dr Mulik
Very good observation.My personal experiance is that mash feed give equaly good result.Considering invesment and power situation it is wise to stick to mash.In India most of poultry farm are located at remote places.They hardly get 8-10 hrs of three phase power.
 Dr. Gregus Zoltan Dr. Gregus Zoltan
Animal Nutritionist
January 15, 2015

Great discussion
Congratulation Dr Jaydip Mulik for the trial.

I would also like to thank for the comments of others participants who like pelleting. Dave Albin gives us a short / great overview with are the advantages of pelleting. There is also to mention the extrusion which makes feed still more effective.

But there is an economical factor which is in some parts of the world (sorry everywhere)is important and often some added values, as pelleting, are not to cope.

Let me tell you one experience I have from other continent.

One friend of mine (South America, Peru) likes pelleted feed, because of the reasons Dave is mentioning, but in his region pelleted feed for his laying hens is too expensive. He was looking how to improve the profitability of his farm and one solution for him was to check more exactly the fiber level in his feed. Or to be more exactly the kind of fiber source his feed have (As you for sure know crude fiber is one way to expres the fiber level in the feed. But since there is from day to day more knowladge that there is a huge difference between insoluble and soluble fiber, we (nutritionists, farmers etc.) have to go more forward and know not just the crub fiber, but also de insoluble and soluble fiber level in the feed).

In some way he got the information that the insoluble fiber keeps the feed longer in gizzard, which helps the chicks to digest better the feed (some tells that the same effect has the pelleted feed).

He feed his hens with the same feed he used before but he started to add insoluble fiber concentrate ARBOCEL (week 8 till week 18 of age).

Let me try to put in short list the changes:

- feed consumption was more or less the same
- more weight uniformity
- the average LW of the chicks a bit higher (we have published results on this issue)
- 12 days earlier they started to lay (normaly in week 18)
- in week 18, 80 % of the hens where laying
- feaces was much dry (les amonia, less energy for ventilation, easier cleaning, etc.)
- les larvicid (to combat the fly larves in the feasea) is used since the feaces is dryer because is more concentrated
- about the egg size, we do not have any information but he wasn´t complaining (in Ecuador one other costumer do a similar trial and the eggs are 1 g bigger / heavier)
- no uterine prolapse (he thought it would be a case since they started to lay earlier)

We have much more trials and publications on functionality of our insoluble fiber concentrates. 

Let me take the possibility to inform you that I will be at the IPPE en of this january at the booth A2529. You are welcome to visit as and we will give you more information about our product.

Dr. Rakesh  Nimbalkar Dr. Rakesh Nimbalkar
Animal Nutritionist
January 15, 2015
Dear Dr Jaydip mulik ,
Undercooked soymeal can not be used with mash feed which affects solubility of protein prior to digestion .Pelleting does improve degree of cooking owing to steam treatment in the conditioner thereby improving solubility of protein prior to digestion . Pelleted feed is a partial digested feed whereby birds have to spend less energy on digestion which can be spared for other essential function within body giving better feed to meat conversion . Most important point which is to be considered is rearing period to get marketable size and weight ( Higher days required with mash feed than pelleted feed to get same body weight and size )
Dr Rakesh Nimbalkar
Consultant - Poultry Nutritionist
Polchem Hygiene Laboratories Private limited
Pune - India
Dr Jaydip Mulik Dr Jaydip Mulik
Master Of Veterinary Science & Master of Business Administration
January 16, 2015

Dear All,

Thanks to all for active participation in the forum. I absolutely agree with the remarks & benefits of pelletization mentioned by everybody but practically on field those benefits are not supporting to theory.

We have conducted same trials 3 times before & again one trial going on. On that report I will update you soon.

We have done the pelletization of feed in different Pellet mills i.e. Indian made as well as in Imported pellet plants but results are same.

What I feel that nobody in India have done such experiments on field before putting the pellet plant.

Whenever the excess revenue generated through the farming & business everybody have invested in Pellet technology.

Still I am firm that if anybody willing to produce feed for own consumption then pellet mill is not economical & if interested to sell the commercial feed then he can think to put a pellet mill because its market trend & demand.

Dear Mr. Anaz,

1)Did you use the same feed formulation for both pellet ,and mash?...YES - We have first manufactured the mash & same was sent for pelletization to pellet mill. Done the same trial twice on different nutrient profile medium as well as dense nutrient profile
2)What was the calorie/ protein ratio? Find below

Ingredients Feed (In kg)
Maize 666.560 696.855 719.150 731.995 745.320
Jowar - - - - -
B.Rice - - - - -
Wheat - - - - -
Bajra - - - - -
Ragi - - - - -
R.Polish - - - - -
DORB - - - - -
Sun flower meal - - - - -
Ground Nut DOC - - - - -
Soya DOC 212.000 169.000 144.000 112.000 91.000
Rapeseed Meal - - - - -
LSP 4.600 4.800 3.550 2.250 2.350
Grit - - - - -
DCP - - - - -
Fish meal - - - - -
Fish meal Salted - - - - -
MBM 69.000 70.000 70.000 70.000 70.000
Soya Crude Oil 1.500 11.000 15.000 15.500 16.000
Maize glutein - - - - 10.000
NSP Enzyme - - - - -
Full fat soybean - - - - -
Wheat bran - - - - -
Til cake - - - - -
Copra meal - - - - -
Molasses - - - - -
Cassava - - - - -
Rice Gluten - - - - -
whole fish - - - - -
Jawla Fish - - - - -
Blood Meal 28.000 30.000 30.000 40.000 36.000
Tallow - - - 10.000 11.000
Water - - - - -
VRK Enzyme - - - - -
VRK Phytase - - - - -
VRK DCP - - - - -
Sub Total 981.660 981.655 981.700 981.745 981.670
Sakar Premix
Ingredients Pre Starter Starter Grower Finisher 1 Finisher 2
Maize 55.60 55.30 63.35 65.20 59.25
A1154 - - - - -
A1167 - - - - -
Rovimix Ovn Ayn - - - - -
Brovit Plus - - - - -
Broiler Vitamin Premix 5.000 5.000 5.000 4.000 4.000
Kemtrace - - - - -
Avila ZMC - - - - -
Broiler Tm 400 Cir - - - - -
Tracemineral- Iffco 10.000 10.000 10.000 10.000 10.000
Roviclin - - - - -
Cygro - - - - -
Cycostat 4.000 4.000 4.000 4.000 4.000
CMP 200 - - - - -
Coxistac - - - - -
Monacox - - - - -
- - - - - -
Tylan (100) - - - - -
Colifeed Mix - - - - -
CTC 15% - - - - -
Arofac - - - - -
Biocholine 10.000 10.000 10.000 10.000 10.000
Nutrikem B - - - - -
Lipidin - - - - -
Natuzyme 2.000 2.000 2.000 3.000 4.000
Axtra Xap - - - - -
Bergapur - - - - -
Lysofort Dry - - - - -
Avitrim - - - - -
Staquinol Plus 1.500 1.500 1.500 1.500 1.500
Lactomax Gold Fs - - - - -
Endox C - - - - -
Proviguard - - - - -
Liv - 52 Protec Powder - - - - -
Zigbir - - - - -
- - - - - -
Mycocurb Aw Ds - - - - -
Acify Dry - - - - -
Formycine Gold Px - - - - -
Zanitizer - - - - -
DLM 33.600 31.700 27.250 27.350 25.750
L-Lysine 18.300 20.000 16.900 14.950 21.500
Phyzyme Xp 5000 G - - - - -
L-Threonine - 0.500 - - -
L- Trytophan - - - - -
UTPP Biotech - - - - -
Toxfin - - - - -
Toxy-nil Dry - - - - -
Fixar 10.000 10.000 10.000 10.000 10.000
Sub Total 150.000 150.000 150.000 150.000 150.000
Anichol 60 - - - - -
Choline Chloride 60% 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000
- - - - - -
Sodium Bicarbonate - - - - -
Salt 2.340 2.345 2.300 2.255 2.330
Sub Total 3.340 3.345 3.300 3.255 3.330
Grand Total 1,000.000 1,000.000 1,000.000 1,000.000 1,000.000

Dr.P.George Kunju John Dr.P.George Kunju John
Feed Consultant
January 17, 2015

Dear All,

I do agree with the benefits of pelletization such as 1) keeping quality 2) feed intake 3) mask unpatability 4) densification etc. However, the nutritional benefits are not many. The feed passes through the pellet mill around less that 10 minutes depending on the coditional augur. The temperature goes to around 70 deg C, the pressure of steam in pellet mill is 1 bar, the quantity of steam ised is 10% of mash pelletized. In such conditions, the mask nutrients will remain unchanged. The difference between indian and impoered pellet mill is the capacity produced. Bühler introduced a kettle process before pelletization for 30 minutes later discontinued. Considering the benefits pelletization is better.

June 14, 2019
Dr.P.George Kunju John Would like to discuss consultancy for a feedmill project, pls mail me at rizwan.t@chevon.in


Rizwan Thakur
January 19, 2015
I am very interested, that No significant difference observed performance under trial Mash Vs Crumble / Pellet Feed.
But what floating pellets VS sinking pellets which one is better? whether the existing research?

Thank You

Grace Li Grace Li
Mechanical Engineer
December 1, 2016

Dry type fish feed extruder contributes to making pellets of different diameters (0.9-15mm) and shapes. Easier to use and operate.

Engormix reserves the right to delete and/or modify comments. See more details
Post a comment
Create new discussion :
If this discussion does not cover topics of interest or raises new questions, you can create another discussion.
Consult a professional in private:
If you have a specific problem you can perform a consultation privately to a professional in our community.
Dave Albin
Dave Albin
VP, Nutrition & Extrusion Technologies
  Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Professional Services
Kurt A. Rosentrater Kurt A. Rosentrater
Ames, Iowa, United States
Giuseppe R. Bigliani Giuseppe R. Bigliani
Cumming, Georgia, United States
Dave Albin Dave Albin
Des Moines, Iowa, United States
noname noname
Secaucus, New Jersey, United States
Copyright © 1999-2023 Engormix - All Rights Reserved