Grains

Grains and other seeds can be dehulled, ground, cracked, rolled, steamed, steam-flaked, micronized, popped, extruded, roasted, and pelleted before feeding. In some cases, grains (corn) and other seeds (cotton and soybeans) are fed unprocessed (whole) to livestock. The need for processing depends on the grain, animal to be fed, feed mixture, potential improvement in utilization, and processing cost.

Swine, sheep, and goats chew their feed more thoroughly than do cattle; therefore, improvements in feed utilization through processing are comparatively small. Sorghum grain (milo), because of the small seed, must be processed for all livestock. Corn grain, on the other hand, can be fed whole to most classes of livestock except poultry, although improvements in utilization may be obtained with steam-flaking, owing to partial gelatinization of the starch granule. Concentrate ingredients may require processing to achieve a somewhat uniform particle size in complete mixed diets to prevent sorting and separation by animals. This is especially true for poultry and swine diets, and dairy and other concentrate mixes.

Grains can also be stored and fed as high-moisture or reconstituted grain. High moisture refers to grain that is harvested while the moisture content is still 20 to 30% and stored in oxygen-limiting structures. Reconstitution refers to grain that is relatively dry to which water is added to bring the moisture content to about 27% and then stored in oxygen-limiting structures. The stored grains are generally rolled when removed from the storage structures before feeding.

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