Features and benefits :
- Wheat is primarily a source of energy due to its high starch content (about 62% DM).
- It is richer in protein than maize and barley (11-13% DM for soft wheats vs 8-10 for maize and 11-12% for barley) and can thus be used as a replacement for maize as a high-energy ingredient and it requires less protein supplementation than maize.
- A benefit of wheat as a feed ingredient is that the presence of viscous gluten improves pellet quality, reducing the need for a pellet binder. Such effect becomes noticeable when wheat is included at 10% at least.
- Wheat 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. Wheat grain can be fed whole or processed. Many processes can be used, including dry rolling, steam rolling, flaking or grinding followed by pelleting. The effects of processing (or absence thereof) are highly dependent on the animal species and animal production: for instance, whole wheat grain is more suitable for lambs whereas pellets are more suitable for cows. Too fine grinding may cause flowing issues in feeding equipment as well as digestive upsets in animals. Wheat can be included up to 40-50% in the diet of milking cows, though other levels are recommended depending on the processing and on the other ingredients of the diet. Cows should be introduced progressively to a wheat-based concentrate over 2–3 weeks, with an initial level not exceeding 10% in the concentrate.
Wheat 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. Wheat 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.