If you struggle with milk production, healthy livestock, and other complications with your animals’ digestion, grain roasting your feed may offer more benefits than you think.
Roasting is available for many feeds including soybeans, corn, barley, wheat, and more. These feeds are generally used for livestock including:
So why roast your grain? We’re breaking down the benefits of each type of roasting and how they can improve your livestock’s health and happiness.
Benefits of Roasting Soybeans
Soybeans are naturally rich in high-energy oils, naturally well balanced with body-building protein, and naturally high in essential vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Soybeans are an important source of protein in many animal feeds. Roasting soybeans before feeding them to your stock kills mold and other contaminants and makes the beans easier to digest.
Roasting ties up the protein in the fiber of the soybeans and allows the protein to be absorbed by the animal, therefore increasing the value of the feed itself. Soybeans contain two toxic enzymes, urease and lipoxidase, that are neutralized by roasting.
Dairy farmers feeding roasted soybeans can see the benefits through higher butterfat in their cow’s milk, higher longer peaks in milk production, and better results in breeding and reproduction. Roasting soybeans started in the 1970s as a means to increase bypass protein in dairy rations.
Roasted Soybeans In Dairy Rations
Dairymen are reporting these results:
- Increase in butterfat
- Increased milk production on less feed
- General improvement in herd health, appearance, less vet expense, healthier calves.
- Cows fed whole heat-treated soybeans in early lactation produced about 800 pounds more milk per 305-day lactation than those fed soybean meals, according to a study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Benefits of Roasting Corn
Corn has become a big-ticket item for roasting lately. It provides the benefits of an earlier harvest and higher digestibility (research studies show that roasted corn is more digestible than raw, and energy levels increased by 13%). Flame roasting can effectively remove mold spores and reduce toxin levels that are harmful to livestock, swine, and poultry.
The roasting of corn gelatinizes it and gives it a “carmelized” flavor that the livestock really enjoy.
Roasting is extremely helpful for feed, and roasting is a convenient way of salvaging poor-quality corn that may have accumulated mold or toxins in the field or storage bin. Many different livestock producers are rapidly coming on board, too, perhaps because roasting the corn improves taste. This lets farmers eliminate the flavor enhancers often needed to encourage maximum daily feed intake.
Benefits of Roasting Barley
Roasted barley will grind easier because roasting ruptures the kernel. One commercial miller stated that grinding roasted barley is 25% faster than raw barley. This saves time and grinding costs.
Roasting increases digestibility by breaking down the cell structure within the grain so it will be readily available to the animal. Dairy and swine feeders comment that they are unable to find barley floating in the lagoon when roasted barley is fed. It is more palatable and the animals will be drawn by the sweet fragrance of roasted barley.
Benefits of Roasting Wheat
Roasted wheat is one of the best cereal grains to use for feed. Roasted wheat is a good source of starch for energy and a moderate source of protein. The protein of wheat is highly digestible and generally of high quality. Any variety of wheat can be fed to birds, although some are slightly more digestible than others.
A benefit of roasting your wheat is that it prevents Rumen Pasting of the flour. This allows you to double the volume of wheat in your ration.
The Bottom Line
Grain roasting offers many benefits to animals’ health including better digestion, a higher quality feed at a lesser amount (saving you money!), increased weight gain, and more.
Healthy moms can produce more milk, ultimately growing healthier, stronger offspring so your next generation of offspring can be even better than the last.
Interested in learning more about how to get grain roasting at your farm or mill? Connect with our team today and we would be happy to answer your questions!