Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Animal and Nutritional Sciences

Committee Chair

Joe S. Moritz.


Commercial broilers are typically fed pelleted diets because of the resulting improvements in bird performance and ease of transportation. Feed and feed manufacturing costs account for 60--70% of the total costs incurred in a broiler production system. Feed manufacturers are constantly searching for ways to decrease production costs while maintaining high pellet quality. Moisture addition at the mixer has been shown to increase pellet quality and decrease pellet mill energy consumption. However, past literature has incorporated high moisture addition levels that may be impractical in an industrial setting. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of moisture addition at the mixer plus a mold inhibitor on feed manufacture, pellet durability, and broiler performance variables using, perhaps, more practical inclusion levels of one, and two percent.;Three different inclusion levels of a moisture/mold inhibitor mixture (0, 1, and 2%) were added to corn soybean based diets at the mixer as top-dress additions and processed at a commercial and a pilot milling facility. Diets were then evaluated using feed manufacturing variables, pellet quality, broiler performance, and true metabolizable energy values corrected for nitrogen (TMEn). Moisture/mold inhibitor additions resulted in an increase in moisture percentages directly following manufacture. However, after a two day storage period, there were no differences in moisture percentage detected in diets manufactured at the pilot mill; however this was not true for diets manufactured commercially. Pellet durability was increased with moisture/mold inhibitor inclusion, for feed processed at the commercial mill; however, this trend was not observed for the feed processed at the pilot mill. This was likely due to differences in milling techniques such as: die length, conditioning temperature, corn particle size, and fat application. Relative electrical energy usage numerically decreased with increasing levels of moisture/mold inhibitor addition to feed processed at the pilot mill.;Performance data from feeding experiments indicate that the 1% and 2% diets manufactured commercially had positive impacts on broiler performance, as evident by improvements in body weight, live weight gain, and feed conversion ratio. However, diets manufactured at the research facility did not demonstrate these same improvements. Additionally, there were no differences in TMEn values between treatments regardless of manufacturing location. These findings indicate that moisture/mold inhibitor addition has the potential to improve broiler performance and decrease production costs, dependent upon milling technique.