A peak inside our kitchen
Our factory is actually a huge kitchen. The ingredients, usually raw materials, go into the factory on one side and come out as feed pellets on the other.
1. The ingredients
Most raw materials arrive at the factory by boat and are then lifted from the boat into the factory by a crane.
2. Quality raw materials
Before we store the raw materials, we first check the quality. If the quality’s good, the raw materials enter the raw material silos (tall storage tanks) via a conveyor belt. There’s a silo for each type of raw material.
3. Check the recipe
Our chefs then look up the recipes. Each farm has its own feed recipes, with just the right ingredients, in just the right quantities. But because there’s so much feed to make, the chefs use a computer to make sure they get it all right.
4. Mix it all up!
The raw materials are first crushed and then mixed together. A premix of vitamins and minerals is often added. Once everything is mixed properly, this forms a mixture.
5. Press it into pellets
This mixture then goes to the press line. It is called a press line because the mixture is pressed through a plate with small holes. This produces feed pellets that are still very hot.
6. Back to the silo
When the pellets have cooled down, they are transported back to a silo in the factory via a conveyor belt. They wait there until one of our Bulk trucks comes to collect them.
7. One last check
Before the feed is delivered to the farm, a sample is taken first. This means we take some of the pellets we have made and check whether the composition and quality are right. The feed is now ready to be delivered to the farm.
8. Load it up
The truck driver parks the Bulk truck under the loading rack. The computer knows exactly what kind of feed to put in the different compartments of the Bulk truck. The driver opens the Bulk truck hatch, and the feed is automatically poured into the correct compartment. Once full, the hatches are closed, and the Bulk truck takes the feed off to the animals.
9. Into the farm silo
Once the feed is loaded into the Bulk truck, the driver will set off for the farm. Did you know that we have hundreds of bulk trucks on the road every day to take all the animal feed we make to all our farmers? Once it gets to the farm, the feed is pumped through a large hose into the farmer’s silo, waiting to be gobbled up by the animals.
Behind the scenes
Want to find out what the chef’s secret is?
At De Heus, we have a lot of chefs who make the animal feed. There are chefs who make feed just for chickens or for cows and even for fish.