Determination of engineering properties of selected animal feed and fodder materials
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Keywords:Animal feed and fodder, engineering properties, angle of repose, coefficient of friction
Owing to the questionable self-sustainability of the small and marginal dairy farms, small scale entrepreneurs are shifting towards commercial dairy farming. Commercial dairy farming involves handling a large amount of feed and fodder. The traditional ways of handling feed and fodder are labour intensive and tiresome and also leads to huge expenses for labour charges. Feed properties including angle of repose, moisture content, etc., affect the flow properties of feed material, to be distributed using mechanical systems. Thus an attempt was made to determine the engineering properties (moisture content, bulk density, angle of repose and coefficient of internal friction) of feed viz. oat green, wheat straw and concentrate mixture. The angle of repose varied from 24.78±0.34 to 37.79±0.76°, the coefficient of friction from 0.187±0.024 to 2.628±1.612 depending on the moisture content and the bulk density. The coefficient of external friction was determined for different fabrication materials including wooden/ply board, galvanized iron, aluminium, mild steel and stainless steel. These properties will be useful in development of mechanical feed handling systems.