Requirements & Procedure to Start Animal Feed Mill in Pakistan

Business plans for Pakistan

Livestock production is an integral part of Pakistan’s agriculture sector and plays a vital role in national economy. At present, livestock is contributing about 52% to the agricultural sector and 10.9% to the GDP. The role of livestock in rural economy may be assessed by the fact that 30 to 35 million of the total rural population is engaged in livestock farming, having 2 to 3 cattle/buffalo and 5 to 6 sheep/goats per family deriving 30 to 40 per cent of income from it. Pakistan’s livestock population is supported by feed resources derived from the crops sector, range lands, grazing areas and aggro industrial by-products. The type, availability and utilization of these feed resources vary greatly in the country’s different aggro ecological zones.

The proposed project will have a total production capacity of 12,000 tons of compound animals feed and 60,000 no. of Urea Molasses Block (UMB). This feed and UMB will be supplemented to livestock in addition to green fodder and libitum (Freely available to animals) for high production. Different formula may be used to prepare compound feed such as calf fattening formula and dairy animal formula etc. to facilitate the customers nationwide. The proposed business will be manufacturing compound animal feed and Urea Molasses Block (UMB) for meeting the demand of dairy and livestock farmers.

This pre-feasibility of animal feed mill suggests production of 12,000 tons of animal feed and 60,000 UMB annually. However the proposed project will be started with an initial year capacity of 60% i.e. 7,200 tons of animal feed and 36,000 UMB. This production capacity justifies the running cost of the project.

At present, Pakistan has 215 feed mills, but only few are preparing compound feed for livestock. Generally, mixed compound feeds are prepared at home by farmers. Feed accounts for almost 70% of total cost of production of milk or meat. Hence a balanced feed will positively affect milk and meat production of livestock. The cake is a by-product from oil mills and is a valuable raw material for animal feed. Since animal keeping is worldwide, hence animal feeding is an important component.

Feed mill can be ideally setup in the major surroundings of cities like Multan , Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Khanewal, Karachi, Peshawar, etc.

The compound animal feed preparation process requires:

  •  High accuracy and precision of weighing
  •  Feed ingredient handling and processing
  • Crushing / grinding
  • Mixing
  • Packing
  • Labeling

A liquid storage and a direct-weight system for adding fat, molasses, and water is required. Grain processing is done through hammer mill grinding. Mixed feed is delivered in bags or bulk load out to livestock farms.

Raw Material Requirement for Animal Feed Mill in Pakistan

Cattle are ruminant animals with four compartment stomach, capable of utilizing fibrous feed stuffs (forages, roughage, and by product feeds) and Non-Protein Nitrogen (NPN) source like urea that humans cannot utilize. By producing a high quality protein from these resources otherwise unusable by humans, cattle make a positive contribution to human nutrition in terms of meat and milk.

Classification of Animal Feed Ingredients

Feeds or feed stuffs are composed of several distinctly different groups of substances, known as nutrients e.g. proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins and water. These have definite functions in body. For intelligent ration formulation, nutrients, nutrient composition and palatability of feed stuffs are important. These feed stuffs are grouped as follow,

Protein Feed Stuffs

Common protein feed stuffs from plant origin are residues of oil seed after expeller or solvent extraction or products of wet milling of maize in starch making process. Nutritive value of protein feed stuffs depend upon their available amino acid composition, toxic materials and the changes brought during processing if any.

  •  Rape seed cake/meal
  • Canola meal
  • Cotton seed cake/meal
  • Sunflower cake/meal
  • Corn gluten meal (30 or 60%)
  • Sesame cake/meal
  • Urea
  • Milk by products
  • Maize oil cake

Carbohydrate/Energy Feed Stuffs

These are the products with less than 20%crude protein and 18% crude fiber.

  • Molasses
  • Rice polish
  • Corn by products such as, Corn gluten; Corn steep liquor and enzose.

Mineral Supplements for Animal Feed Mill

  • Salt (white/black)
  • Bone meal
  • Di-calcium phosphate (DCP)

Fats and Oils

This source of energy can be obtained from meat processing industry, refining of vegetable oils or vegetable oils itself.

Animal Feed Formula for Cattle/Buffaloes in Pakistan

These feed ingredients when mixed according to feed formula will provide adequate energy according to type, breed and physiological status of animal.

There are seasonal fluctuations in the prices; hence the formula has to be changed accordingly keeping the feed cost competitive to compete the market. The information useful here is the composition of the feed ingredients. The feed mill owner can hire a technical person to formulate a least cost ration, as formulation of ration is a technical job. The basic feed ingredients can be procured from local mandies.

Product Raw Material Requirement (UMB)

As the name suggests, Urea Molasses Blocks (UMB) are lick blocks containing urea, molasses, vitamins and minerals. The feeding of the blocks is a convenient and inexpensive method of providing a range of nutrients required by both the rumen microbes and the animal, which may be deficient in the diet. The main justification for using the blocks depends on their convenience for packaging, storage, transport and ease of feeding.

A standard UMB consists of:

  • Molasses 30-50 %
  •  Urea 5-10 %
  •  Rice/wheat/maize bran 15-25 %
  •  Salt 3-5 %
  •  Lime or cement 5-7 %
  •  DCP 2-4 %
  •  Minerals 1-2 %

The manufacture of UMB is done in advance of their proposed use. If they are to be used as a supplement during the dry season, when the quality of forage is very low, their production should start before this period in order to have sufficient numbers of blocks available when required. But in view of the hygroscopic nature of the components, as well as of the blocks, it is better not to start production before the onset of the dry season and use it maximum after 3 months of their manufacturing.

Protein Sources

For urea molasses blocks (UMB), these are;

  • Cotton seed cake/meal
  • Corn gluten meal (30 or 60%)
  • Urea

Carbohydrate Sources:

These are the products with less than 20% crude protein and 18% crude fiber.

  • Molasses
  • Corn by products such as corn cobs or other corn by products

 Mineral Supplements:

  • Salt (white/black)
  • Bone meal
  • Dicalcium phosphate (DCP)
  • Calcium oxide (CaO)

These feed ingredients when mixed according to UMB formula will provide adequate energy to livestock. The formula for a UMB is not a fixed one. It has to  be changed from time to time keeping in view the cost of ingredients used in the formula. And the cost of feed ingredient is never static.

Production Process of Urea Molasses Block (UMB) in Pakistan

The requirements are:

  •  Accuracy and precision of weighing (the standard scale should be OK)
  •  Ingredient handling and processing
  •  Premixing of salts
  •  Mixing

Urea-molasses blocks (UMB) may be manufactured either on a small or on a larger scale depending on the number of uses and the expected length of the feeding period. Whatever scale of production is applicable the method of manufacture will be the same; the difference being the quantities of feed ingredients and the implements used in the manufacturing process. Industry experience shows that blocks weighing 5 kg are most appropriate for feeding dairy cattle under smallholder situations. Assuming a daily intake of around 700 g/cow, each block will last for 7 days. Therefore, blocks can be replaced once a week on a specific day, making it a regular activity for the farmer.

Preparation of Animal Feed Ingredients

All components should be weighed out before mixing. A standard volume or weight can be adopted for each component which would correspond with the weight of the block desired.


For the molasses no preparation is necessary apart from measuring the quantity. Even if handling the molasses is a little difficult it should not be diluted with water. When ordering molasses from the sugar factory specify ‘undiluted’ molasses and check the BRIX value when the molasses is received. Molasses can be stored in the same tank as that used for transporting it. If the quantity of blocks manufactured is large enough, it might be preferable to have two tanks in order to avoid running out of stock. Molasses is a thick, viscous material, which is a byproduct of the sugar industry. Being a concentrated by-product, it provides a range of trace minerals and a complete mixture of vitamins. It is high in soluble carbohydrates. Although a cheaper source of energy, it is not commonly used by farmers due to difficulty in handling. Molasses can be included in ration by mixing it with other concentrates in the form of licks. Molasses increases the palatability and consumption of poor quality roughage and is a good carrier for urea as Non-protein Nitrogen (NPN) source for livestock (ruminants).


The introduction of urea in the form of lumps in the mixture must be avoided in order to eliminate chances of urea toxicity in livestock. It may be necessary to crush the lumps, either by hand or by passing the urea through a hand mill and sieve. Urea contains 46% nitrogen, which is equivalent to 87% crude protein and is rapidly digested by ruminants. Urea provides the small amount of extra nitrogen required, for utilization of the dry matter, in addition to that present in the forage. The UMB, therefore, provides the nutrient requirements of both the microbes and the host animal. The ingredients are designed to provide a wide rage of nutrients to cover all potential deficiencies. But the UMB should be fed only in limited quantities. The UMB is designed in such a way that animals can only lick it but not chew it. Because by chewing the animals will eat more urea per unit of time than they can handle and can result in urea toxicity in the animals.


As with the urea it is better to avoid lumps. The salt could be mixed with cement and then water added to improve the setting of the blocks.

Cement or Quicklime

Cement should be mixed with water and salt. The quantities are:

  • 3-4 liters of water
  • 2.5 kg of salt per 10 kg of cement.

If quicklime is used it should be finely ground and it’s reaction to the addition of water tested.


Bran does not need any preparation. However, bran is replaced by another fiber source such as peanut hulls or straw, these materials should be ground before mixing. Experience show that sometimes coarse grinding of fibrous material gives a better consistency to the block than fine grinding, especially if polishing are being included. Cereal bran are high in phosphorus, trace minerals and also a range of vitamins. In addition they provide a slow release amino acid source from the relatively insoluble proteins to the microbes.

Equipment for Mixing

According to the rate of production foreseen and the level of investment, different types of mixers can be used. If adequate labor is available and only few blocks (say 150-200 UMB) are needed then manual mixing is possible. With 2 laborers, approximately 200 blocks of 5 kg each could be made over a period of 8 hours shift. However, for producing larger numbers of blocks, a concrete mixer is recommended. The cylinder of this concrete mixer should turn horizontally and as slowly as possible, to avoid the molasses, which is highly viscous, sticking to the side of the mixer. Spillage of the mixture should also be avoided. For bigger units it is recommended that a horizontal paddle mixer is installed (the ribbon mixer used in feed manufacture is not suitable) with one or two axles and a discharge valve.

Introduction of the Product components

It has been found that the order of introduction of the components plays an important role in the mixing process. The recommended order is as follows:

  • Molasses
  • Urea
  • Salt, minerals etc.
  • Cement or quicklime
  • Bran

Following this order a homogeneous mixture of the urea, salt and gelling agent in the molasses is assured. Any other components (e.g., minerals, and drugs) to be included are introduced together with the salt. When using a concrete mixer the bran must be introduced in small quantities at a time, in order to ensure a homogeneous mix. After a few minutes, when the mixture appears homogeneous like peanut butter, the mixer is emptied (e.g. into wheelbarrows if large-scale production is being undertaken) and transported to the molding area.


Molds are necessary to set the blocks in an acceptable shape. Once set, the  frame can be removed for reuse and to allow the drying process to continue. Moulds can be of different types. The size of the mould(s) will depend on the preferred size of the block(s). The one recommended by the FAO is made out of 4 wooden planks with slots swan in order to be able to assemble the frame easily. The dimensions of the frame can vary depending on the expected rate of production and size of blocks. The most appropriate for small scale manufacture of blocks are frames made out of a number of wooden planks with slots cut out to enable easy assembly and removal. Each compartment measures 12 x 10 x 8 inches.

It can hold a urea-molasses block weighing 4.5-5.0 kg. This type of mold is most suitable when drying and storage area is limiting. Since the frames are removable they can be re-used as soon as the urea-molasses mixture has started setting-in. Small plastic containers have been used successfully in Indonesia for preparing urea-molasses blocks. They produce blocks with acceptable solidity and are suitable for use in small units. An advantage of this type of mold is that the block can be offered to the animal while it is in the plastic container and once the block has been consumed the container can be re-used.

Cutting the Blocks

Turning out and cutting is necessary when using large molds. The board can be taken away the day after molding in order to facilitate drying. The cutting will take place later with a flat spade. The spade should be whetted in a bucket between each cut to avoid the mixture from sticking to it. With small plastic molds, the blocks can be offered to animals while in the mold or the blocks may be removed simply by turning the containers upside down and tapping on the bottom of the container.


After removal of the molds and cutting up, blocks are arranged on a drying area. Blocks must not be exposed to direct sunlight, but placed under a shade with good ventilation. After 24 to 72 hours the blocks are dry enough to be transported.

Product Utilization guidelines (UMB & FEED)

Some important guidelines towards the optimum utilization of UMB as supplements for forage based diet are described below. Urea molasses blocks should not be fed alone but only as a supplement. It requires a minimum amount of roughage to ensure that the animals are not over fed and thereby avoid urea toxicity.

Species of Livestock

Since the blocks contain urea, therefore, these must only be fed to ruminants (buffalo, cattle, goats and sheep) and never to mono gastric (Single Compartment Stomach) species like chicken, donkeys, horses, pigs, and rabbits or to young, especially pre-ruminant calves, kid and lambs.

Feeding Period

The aim of the UMB is to improve the utilization of low quality roughage, especially during and at the end of the dry season, when livestock are often dependent on crop residues or low quality dry season grazing, which are low in crude protein and high in fiber. Therefore, the production and distribution of UMB should be limited to these critical periods. There is no advantage in offering blocks when green forage is available, as during the wet and early dry seasons. To avoid wasting resources these should not be made available at these times.

Minimum Roughage Requirements

Since Urea Molasses Blocks are supplements, therefore, these should not be fed alone. A minimum quantity of roughage is needed to ensure that the animals do not consume too much urea, possibly leading to urea toxicity. One should remember that the purpose of the block is to improve the utilization of roughage and not to substitute it.

Adaptation of Animals

The full daily ration of the block (e.g. ±700 g/day per adult cow) should not be offered as soon as the feeding period starts but should be built up to over a period of at least 7-10 days. This is particularly important when animals have suffered a degree of underfeeding, as intake can be more rapid than usual. Animals not used to urea and also eating rapidly are the most likely to suffer from urea toxicity. After the adaptation period, animals will adjust their intakes to around those recommended, i.e., cattle: 700 g/day & small ruminants: 100 g/day. An easy way to restrict intake during the adaptation period is to limit the amount of time the blocks are accessible to an animal. A thumb rule is to offer UMB for one hour per day (about 200g for cattle and 30g for sheep/goat) during the first 3-4 days, then 3 hours per day (about 400 g for cattle and 60 g for sheep/goat) during the next 4-6 days. Thereafter, UMB along with ample supply of drinking water can be offered to them 24 hrs a day.

Feeding System

The distribution of the UMB should be done according to the livestock management system. Blocks can be offered to the animals in the evening when they are in their sheds.

Establishing Priorities

If a farmer has a limited number of blocks available, he must also establish an order of priority for feeding his animals. Priority should be given to pregnant, lactating cows and drought animal.

Estimated Time for Completion of Animal Feed Mill in Pakistan

  • Three months for completion of initial formalities i.e. formation, registration of the company etc.
  • One year for purchase of land and construction of building.
  • Six months for sanction of loan (In case, if financing has to be arranged through bank)
  • 5-6 months for purchase of machinery, its installation and testing.
  • Thirty days for premises furnishing and Labor / Staff appointments.

Legal & Licensing Requirements for Animal Feed Mill in Pakistan

Compound feed is packed in bags of approximately 50 Kgs per bag capacity. The label includes following information:

  1. Brand name
  2. Date of manufacture
  3. Particulars of feed additives
  4. Nutritive composition of compound feed

On the other hand, one UMB may be of 5 kgs weight with above information provided on it. It is to be noted that mis-branding and adulteration is prohibited according to ‘The Punjab Animal Compound Feed and Feed Stuff Ordinance, 2002’.

Factors for Success of Animal Feed Mill in Pakistan

The feed industry should aim at fully utilizing all low cost feed ingredients available in country such as molasses, urea, by products of edible oil and grain milling industries, minerals and vitamins. Following are some of the major critical factors, which contribute towards the success of the Animal Feed Mill. There is a need to launch programs in following areas to achieve the desired targets.

  • Investment in dairy and livestock sector is increasing day by day and quality feed is a prerequisite in profitable dairy and livestock farming.
  • Feed and Urea Molasses Blocks (UMB) formulation according to modern techniques with proper utilization of locally available cheaper feed stuffs leads to success in dairy and livestock farming hence for feed business
  • Establishment of Animal feed mill with UMB preparation in feed ingredients surplus areas such as sugar mills & oil mills to fully utilize the molasses, oil cakes and other by-products of milling industries to prepare cheaper feed.
  • Introduce the use of urea molasses block feeding for meeting the protein, energy and mineral requirement of the animal. (This is marketing aspect of the UMB)
  • Formulate the nutritionally balanced but cheaper formula for feeding animals. This is called Least Cost Ration Formulation.
  • The farmers having large number of animals (more than 100 animals) can prepare compound feed and UMB on their own farms (Optional) but Animal feed and UMB Mill is an independent enterprise and should not be linked with livestock farming.
  • The aggro industrial by products can be better utilized in formulated compound feed.
  • In order to meet the rapidly increasing demand for the various kinds of livestock products (Milk & meats), the better rations with improved feed formula are needed to get more meat and milk, for the same feed supplies. By increasing livestock numbers, rather than their average weight, the feed requirements are much larger.

Animal Feed Mill Customers in Pakistan

Compound animal feed and UMB is used in all class of livestock throughout the year that the demand never gets affected with seasons. So the proposed business can be started at any time of the year. At the commencement of the proposed business, it is important that the entrepreneur must have good knowledge of the production and have contacts with the farmers.

There are few numbers of animal feed mills, which are in operation both in organized sector and informal sector in Pakistan. Livestock sector is utilizing many different feed resources of varying quality and availability. Most small-scale farmers base their livestock enterprises on the use of crop residues, resulting in a low output of milk and meat per animal. The need to make better use of crop residues has prompted considerable research and many promising technologies are now available. New avenues for research and policy development may lie in the adjustment of livestock types and numbers, increased production of fodder, the tapping of new or non-conventional feed resources, and the strategic movement of fodder.

This pre-feasibility study suggests that compound feed bags and UMB will be sold to livestock farmers. Following are some of the target clients for a manufacturer of compound feed.

The price of compound feed per kg and that of one UMB should be lower than that of simple cakes so that farmer could feel it economical. The cheaper the product more will be its use in livestock feeding. To avoid risk of price fluctuations, the feed ingredients should be stored in season of availability.

Investment Required for Animal Feed Mill in Pakistan

The total project cost is estimated at Rs. 90.42 million including a capital cost & working capital of Rs. 46.02 million and Rs. 44.40 million respectively. The details of these financials can be studied in the business plan of setting up animal feed mill in Pakistan  by SMEDA.


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