Cereals and By-Products

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Barley, Wheat & Oats

Barley Oats Wheat Wheat Feed


Barley, wheat and oats are all starch rich cereal grains. They can be fed whole or processed. During processing, these grains can be rolled, bruised, milled, crimped, micronised, or treated with alkali or acid (e.g.prop-corn). In general, cattle need the grains to be processed more than sheep and goats.

DM (%) ME (MJ/kg DM) CP (g/kg DM)
Barley 86 12.8 110
Wheat 86 13.5 120
Oats 86 12 110

Associated Problems

Bloat. Acidosis. Soft fat. Liver abscesses. Cereals typically very poor source of calcium and deficient in Vitamins A and D.

Distillery and Brewing By-Products

(Brewer’s grains, Distiller’s grains (draff), Distiller’s dark grains, Malt culms)

wheat distiller's grains distiller's dark grains Malt Culms


These by-products can be variable and are more suited to ruminants. They are a good source of fibre and have high unsaturated fatty acid content. The low DM by-products can be fed fresh or they can be ensiled. They are high in phosphorus but low in calcium and other minerals.

DM (%) ME (MJ/kg DM) CP (g/kg DM)
Brewers grains 26 11.2 250
Distillers grains 25 14.7 270
Distillers dark grains 89 12.2 – 14.8 275 - 350
Malt culms 90 11.2 270

Associated Problems

Can be associated with deficiency in calcium, magnesium and other minerals. Poor fermentation and its associated problems can be encountered when ensiled.

Maize and Maize Gluten Feed

Maize Corn Flaked Maize


These feeds are typically processed and may be flaked, rolled or micronised. They are suitable for ruminants and non-ruminants. Maize and maize gluten feed have high digestible energy, but poor source of calcium.

DM (%) ME (MJ/kg DM) CP (g/kg DM)
Maize 86 14.2 98
Flaked Maize 90 15 110
Maize gluten feed 90 12.7 250

Associated Problems

Maize and maize gluten feed can cause bloat and acidosis. The carcase fat colour can have a yellow pigmentation (due to presence of cryptoxanthin).

Cereals and By-Products Learning Resources
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Large Animal Nutrition Flashcards