Have you ever wondered how a field full of hay gets turned into a bag of feed that mysteriously offers complete nutrition at every meal? A lot of work goes into turning that beautiful hay field into everything your horse needs to stay healthy, happy, and strong. Here is everything you need to know about what happens behind the scenes at our pellet mill.
The very first step of the pelleting process doesn’t happen anywhere near the pellet mill. Instead, it happens in the hay field itself. Choosing good quality hay is important for good quality pellets, so we work with high-quality hay farmers to make sure the best ingredients go into your horse’s feed. The hay is inspected and tested before it ever arrives at our pellet mill.
Obviously hay needs to go through a major transformation before it becomes what is poured into your horse’s feed bucket at dinnertime. Once the hay begins its journey through our pellet mill, the first step is to grind it down into particles small enough to make pellets with. We do that in our pellet mill using free swinging hammers.
Ground hay is still a far cry from the complete feed you give your horse. It needs supplements to satisfy the nutritional needs of your horse, plus it needs something to act as glue to hold it all together. At this stage, the pellet mill adds whatever supplements are needed to achieve the guaranteed nutritional content, plus molasses to help bind the pellets together.
As the ingredients are mixed, steam and pressure are used to force the mixture through the pellet die. At this point, it looks like really long green worms. Since the hay mixture comes out of the pellet die at nearly boiling temperatures, it’s allowed to cool. Finally, the cooled and hardened “worms” are cut into pellets.
After being cut, the pellets are put through a final fines removal process (so you don’t get a lot of dust in your bag of feed), poured into bags, weighed, and the bags are hand-sewn closed. After that, bags are loaded onto a pallet in our pellet mill, transported to our warehouse, and eventually, transported to YOU.
The last step, of course, is from our bags to your horse’s bucket or trough, where the feed can support their physical health, help them maintain their weight and energy levels, and continue to grow the relationship between the two of you.