Wheat Animal Feed
Wheat feed is higher in protein than other common feed grains such as corn, barley or oats.
Wheat feed is often surplus to human requirements or low-quality wheat unsuitable for human consumption (low test weight or damaged wheat), but wheat is also grown specifically for feed purposes.
The inclusion of wheat grain in feeds depends on the relative market prices of the major feed grains. When corn, barley and sorghum are expensive, or when wheat prices are depressed, wheat becomes a valuable option.
Variety of wheat available for animal feeding depends on the region.
Wheat animal feed can be fed whole or processed in many different ways. It can be fed in association with other ingredients, or mixed and processed into pellets in concentrate feeds.
Because of its feeding characteristics, levels of wheat in the ration should be limited. In moderate to high-grain rations (50 percent or more concentrate), wheat should be fed in combination with more slowly fermented feed grains and limited to 40 percent of the total diet to prevent or reduce the risk of digestive upsets.
What is important is to adapt cattle to wheat gradually so that you avoid over consumption. Adapt cattle by introducing wheat into the ration at low levels (10 to 15 percent of the diet) and increasing the level in steps or increments (10, 20, 30, up to 40 percent) after a period of several days of constant intake and appetite.
Low Test Weight Wheat
Wheat that is economical to feed often has been discounted for a variety of reasons. Generally, cattle fed wheat with test weights greater than 56 pounds per bushel will have similar conversion rates. Very low test weight wheat (less than 56 pounds) will be useful as feed, but energy values will be lower and feed conversion rates poorer.
Low test weight wheat may be more difficult to process properly, compared with higher test weight wheat. Kernel size is more variable with low test weight grains, making processing more difficult. When the roller is set properly for larger kernels, many small kernels will pass through the rollers unprocessed. When set properly for smaller kernels, many larger kernels will be processed too finely. In the case of wheat, err on the side of underprocessing rather than overprocessing.
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