The Advantages of Flaking Grain for Cattle Feeding
Flaking grain is one of the ways feeders can increase the nutritional value of the grain fed to cattle. Flaking grains has proven benefits for both beef and dairy producers by increasing the digestibility of grain in the rumen. The digestibility of the flake is directly correlated to the flake weight, so the lighter the weight, the more digestible the flake becomes and more starch nutrients are absorbed in the rumen.
Steaming the grain before flaking enhances the nutritional value even more. This is where grain is poured into a large chamber and then hot moisture or steam is introduced. The grain is held for a period to absorb some of this hot moisture before flaking. According to Steve Armbruster, higher moisture content in the grain creates a flatter rolled flake and the starch is gelatinized as well, which makes it more available to the animal.
In addition to improving starch utilization, flaking grain reduces the variation in starch digestibility throughout the GI tract. So, animal growth response is more consistent with flaking than dry rolling. Armbruster’s chart below shows a comparison of dry rolling to steam flaking.
The high quality of R&R Machine Works’ flaker mills and steam chests ensures a highly digestible flake is produced consistently and economically. Automation can be added to any of our mills, giving the producer even more control over the flake weight and consistency. R&R Automation is the ONLY one in the industry that can automatically control flake weight by set points, increasing efficiency and profitability.
Steve Armbruster, STEAM FLAKING GRAINS FOR FEEDLOT CATTLE: A CONSULTANT’S PERSPECTIVE
Huntington, G. B. 1997. Starch utilization by ruminants: From basics to the bunk. J. Anim. Sci. 75:852-867.