Feeding Sprouted Durum and Barley in
Growing Rations

 

J.J. Reed, M.L. Bauer, G.P. Lardy, and E.R. Loe

Department of Animal and Range Sciences

North Dakota State University

 

Introduction

Durum and barley are two of North Dakota's leading crops produced.  Durum and barley are not traditionally used as feed grain because of their value in the production of human food and beverage.  At times, however, durum and barley can be competitively priced with other feed grains due to damage from disease, drought, or sprouting.  Wet conditions during fall harvesting can cause wide spread sprout damage to the grain crop.  There is limited research dealing with feeding sprout-damaged grain to cattle and defining the feeding value of sprouted grain.  A growing trial was conducted at the NDSU Research Feedlot to compare feeding sprouted durum and barley with dry-rolled corn.

 

Materials and Methods

The study used 142 crossbred steers (721.8 _ 3.7 lb initial BW) and lasted 62 days. Steers were blocked by weight and allotted randomly to five treatments in 25 pens.  The treatments were dry-rolled corn, coarse-rolled sprouted barley, fine-rolled sprouted barley, whole sprouted durum, and coarse-rolled sprouted durum.  Particle size was 2722 and 1998 Ám for coarse-rolled and fine-rolled barley and 2628 and 2126 Ám for whole durum and rolled durum.  The diet was composed of 39.5% grain,  35% corn silage, 20% alfalfa, and 5.5% supplement (Table 1). 

 

 

Table 1. Composition of diets fed to growing steers.

 

Item

 

Corn

 

Coarse-rolled Barley

 

Fine-rolled Barley

 

Whole Durum

 

Coarse-rolled Durum

 

Corn

 

39.5

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

Coarse-rolled barley

 

0.0

 

39.5

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

Fine-rolled barley

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

39.5

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

Whole durum

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

39.5

 

0.0

 

Coarse-rolled durum

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

0.0

 

39.5

 

Corn silage

 

35.0

 

35.0

 

35.0

 

35.0

 

35.0

 

Alfalfa

 

20.0

 

20.0

 

20.0

 

20.0

 

20.0

 

Supplement

 

5.5

 

5.5

 

5.5

 

5.5

 

5.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Results

There were no differences in corn versus barley or corn versus durum.  Calculated dietary net energy was lower for the corn diet than for the barley or durum diets.  In a study comparing supplementation of

ground corn (1.0% BW), ground barley (1.07% BW), and ground wheat (1.02% BW) in growing steers grazing bermudagrass pasture, Galloway et al. (1993) reported that steers receiving ground corn gained faster than steers receiving ground barley or ground wheat.  Grains were fed to provide similar levels of supplemental digestible energy.

 

ine rolling barley increased final weight, ADG, and G:F compared to coarse rolling barley (Table 2).  Increased performance with fine-rolled barley indicates that increased processing improved utilization by the animal.  Rolling grain increases surface area leading to improved utilization of grains through increased exposure of endosperm material to digestive enzymes (Koch, 1996).  There were no differences in DMI between the two barley treatments.  Fine-rolled barley is often associated with increased digestive disorders and decreased feed intake.  Our intake data indicates no digestive problems with the fine-rolled barley treatment.   Mathison et al. (1991) reported that growing-finishing (33% concentrate diets for 56 d; 90% concentrate diets for 83 d) steers fed whole barley ate more and had a decreased G:F than steers fed rolled barley.  Mathison et al. (1997) fed lightly rolled (2.70 mm), medium rolled (2.56), or crushed barley (2.31) to bulls consuming a 90% concentrate diet.  There were no significant differences in ADG between the treatments.  Dry matter intake decreased with increasing level of processing.  Similar to our study, G:F increased with increased level of processing.  Barley possesses a thick, multilayered pericarp surrounded by a fibrous husk (McAllister et al., 2001).  These outer structures are extremely resistant to microbial digestion; therefore, mechanical processing is needed for effective utilization of barley by beef cattle. 

 

Rolling durum increased final weight, ADG, and feed efficiency (Table 2).  There was no difference in DMI between the treatments.  Like barley, durum has a hard seed coat associated with the kernel (Lardy and Dhuyvetter, 2000).  Increased processing of durum increased utilization and animal performance.  ěrskov et al. (1980) reported that whole wheat has a digestibility of 79% compared to 87% for rolled wheat.  Wheat should be coarsely rolled; processing wheat too fine may rapidly increase digestion and cause problems such as bloat, founder, and acidosis (Lardy and Dhuyvetter, 2000).

 

 

Table 2.  Effect of processing sprouted barley or durum on performance of growing beef steers.

 

Item

 

Corn

 

Coarse-rolled Barley

 

Fine-rolled Barley

 

Whole Durum

 

Coarse-rolled Durum

 

SEM

 

 

Final wt, lb

 

909.1

 

916.7

 

930.4

 

913.9

 

931.7

 

5.4

 

 

ADG, lb

 

2.95

 

3.08

 

3.32

 

3.08

 

3.32

 

0.09

 

 

DMI, lb/d

 

20.9

 

20.75

 

20.90

 

21.42

 

20.84

 

0.26

 

 

Gain:Feed

 

0.141

 

0.149

 

0.159

 

0.144

 

0.160

 

0.004

 

 

Feed:Gain

 

7.09

 

6.71

 

6.29

 

6.94

 

6.25

 

ľ

 

 

NEg

 

1.05

 

1.05

 

1.16

 

1.09

 

1.15

 

0.025

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprouted durum and barley are a palatable, digestible source of nutrients that can be used in beef cattle diets. Sprouted grains are similar in feeding value to undamaged grain when fed to cattle.  Nutrient levels in sprouted grains tend to be slightly higher than non-sprouted grain due to the concentration effect that occurs as certain nutrients are utilized during germination (Lardy and Dhuyvetter, 2000).

 

Barley has an energy value similar to corn in feedlot rations.  In high-grain rations, careful attention to processing is necessary to minimize problems associated with acidosis and bloat (Lardy and Bauer, 1999).  Because of its propensity to produce high lactic acid levels and low pH in the rumen, levels of wheat in the ration should be limited.  In moderate to high grain rations (50% or more concentrate), wheat should be fed in combination with more fibrous or slowly fermented feed grains and limited to 40% of the diet (Lardy and Dhuyvetter, 2000).

 

Conclusion

Fine rolling sprouted barley and rolling sprouted durum increased performance of steers fed silage-based grower rations.  Sprouted durum and sprouted barley seem to be suitable replacements for corn in growing rations.

 

Literature Cited

Galloway, D.L., Sr., A.L. Goetsch, L.A. Forster, Jr., A.C. Brake, and Z.B. Johnson.  1993.  Digestion, feed intake, and live weight gain by cattle consuming bermudagrass and supplemented with different grains.  J. Anim. Sci.  71: 1288-1297.

Koch, K.  1996.  Hammermills and roller mills.  KSU Agriculture Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service.  MF-2048.

Lardy, G.P. and M.L. Bauer.  1999.  Feeding barley to beef cattle.  NDSU Extension Service.  http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/ansci/beef/eb70w.htm

Lardy, G.P. and J. Dhuyvetter.  2000.  Feeding wheat to beef cattle.  NDSU Extension Service.  http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/ansci/beef/as1184.htm

Mathison, G.W., D.F. Engstrom, R. Soofi-Siawash, and D.Gibb.  1997.  Effects of tempering and degree of processing of barley grain on the performance of bulls in the feedlot.  Can. J. Anim. Sci.  77:421-429.

Mathison, G.W., D.F. Engstrom, and D.D. Macleod.  1991.  Effect of feeding whole and          rolled barley to steers in the morning or afternoon in diets containing differing proportions of hay and grain.  Anim. Prod.  53:321-330.

McAllister, T.A., A. Hristov, and Y. Wang.  2001.  Recent advances/current understanding of factors impacting barley utilization by ruminants.  Proc. 36th Annual Pacific NW Anim. Nutr. Conf.  pp. 93-114.

ěrskov, E.R., Barnes, B.J., and Lukins, B.A.  1980.  A note on the effect of different amounts of NaOH application on digestibility by cattle of barley, oats, wheat, and maize.  J. Agric.  Sci.  94:271-273.

Prior, W.J. and L. Laws.  1972.  Feeding wheat to cattle. 1. The effect of grain to roughage ratio, grain processing, and sodium bicarbonate supplementation on productivity and health in steers. Aust. Vet. J.  48:500-503. 

 

 


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