Features and benefits :
- Six-row barleys, which have higher protein content, are a valuable feed ingredient. Two-row barleys contain more starch and less protein and are thus preferred for brewing (barley with more than 11.5 % protein causes beer cloudiness).
- Due to its high gross energy and high energy digestibility (80%), barley grain has a high metabolisable energy value for ruminants (about 12.4 MJ/kg DM).
- Barley is readily available.
Feeding Recommendations :
As all feeding systems and requirements are different, it is recommended you seek the advice of a nutritionist to best develop a suitable feeding program for your requirements and feeding rations. Due to its high content of rapidly degradable starch (nearly 50 % of the DM), barley grain should be included in the diet at levels compatible with dietary recommendations on degradable starch (less than 40% of the DM). Other factors that influence pH buffering (for example particle length, forage NDF, electrolyte balance) should also be taken into consideration. Because the pericarp surrounding the endosperm of the barley kernel is extremely resistant to microbial degradation in the rumen, even in high-forage diets favoring mastication, dry barley grain needs to be processed to improve its utilisation by beef and dairy cattle. Individual animal variation is high when animals are fed whole barley. When barley is processed, for a given level of barley grain in the diet, animal performance depends not only on grain quality, but on the processing method, the extent of processing and their interactions. Incidence of bloating have been shown to be higher in steers fed whole rather than rolled barley, which is surprising since processing should increase degradability and the risk of bloating, but the mechanisms involved in these results are still unclear.
Barley grain should be stored in a cool, dry and aerated place to prevent heating and/or gas accumulation (due to germination) and condensation that may lead to mold development. Barley grain should be dried below 14% moisture and should be kept in a clean place for storage.
* Nutritional values are a guide and average values only. Values will vary dependent on genetics, environment, management systems, storage and climatic conditions.