Roasting is the process of running grain through an open flame at a specific temperature for a certain amount of time. Roasting increases the digestibility of grains as well as increasing the energy level. It effectively destroys mold spores and can reduce toxin levels that are harmful to livestock, swine, poultry, and wildlife. Roasting breaks down the cell structure in grain, making the nutrients readily available to animals.


Anyone who is in the production of livestock or poultry for profit should be feeding rations of roasted grains. It is profitable for everyone from the smallest family farm to the largest commercial enterprise to feed roasted grain, whether homegrown or purchased.

The dry heat from the roaster at a high temperature destroys the toxic enzymes in the raw soybeans which interfere with digestion and growth in all animals. Also, the soluble protein is decreased and the by-pass protein content is increased. The protein degradability is slowed down so that much of it passes through the rumen and is utilized in the small intestine known as by-pass protein. High levels of by-pass protein from roasted beans is a very important ingredient to supplement soluble protein being fed from early-cut legume haylage. Roasted beans are high in lysine, an important amino acid, and are very palatable to livestock.

Another important material remaining in the bean is soy lecithin. Lecithin increases the speed and degree of emulsification, stabilizes vitamins, is a natural source of choline inositol, is a good source of available phosphorus and has antioxidant properties to deter rancidity and keeps feed fresh and palatable.

The roasting process of barley breaks down the cell structure within the grain, making the nutrients readily available to the animal. It protects the enzymes contained inside the barley. Roasting slows down the degradability of the proteins and starch making it safe to feed higher levels of barley to dairy cows. The ease of digestion produces more digestible starch to raise the available energy level about 8%. Roasted barley is more palatable, giving it a sweet molasses aroma, causing the animal to be drawn to it.

The process of roasting with an open flame gives sterilization to the grain, reducing toxicity. Most dairymen report a general improvement in herd health which results in lower vet bills, breeding costs, less abortions, and produces healthier calves. The decrease in vet bills alone have covered the roasting costs in many cases. The roasting of corn destroys mold and reduces micro-toxins to tolerable levels. Herbicide carryover, microscopic mold, and fungus are greatly reduced. This process enables you to feed out-of-condition grain. By sterilizing the grain, there is no harmful stress coming from the feed so that the total feed is assimilated for peak production. When corn is roasted at high temperatures, there is a 10% increase in available energy. Roasting ruptures the wall of the starch cells making the starch water soluble. This is called gelatinization. The gelatinization of starch makes it more digestible, thereby increasing the feed efficiency.