Use Of Soybean By-products In Animal Feed

Andre Oentoro
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Do you know that incorporating soybeans and their byproducts in the rations for dairy cattle has become a common practice these days? They are an excellent source of amino acids and can easily fit into any forage-based quota. Depending on how they have been processed, they can provide cattle with high-quality protein, degradable, undegradable, and soluble protein, energy, fat, and even fiber.

It is interesting to know that the majority, i.e., 7 percent of international soy, is fed to livestock for dairy and meat production. Seven percent is fed to animals as soybeans, but the remainder is processed into soybean cake before feeding.

Do you know that soybean meal is the number-one protein source mainly used in the poultry and livestock industries throughout the world? Of all the soy meals sold in the United States, more than 50 percent is used in diets fed to poultry alone. Other animals use the rest.

Soybean Benefits

Soybeans provide both energy and protein. If you properly heat-treat them, they can give additional rumen undegradable protein (RUP) and fat. If you do not heat the soybeans, they provide a rich source of degradable and soluble protein.
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In addition, soybean oil meal is used primarily as a protein source for dairy cattle. Some heat-treated soybean meal products often provide additional RUP to the diet.

Soybean hulls do not go waste and provide an excellent digestible fiber source. You can easily incorporate it into dairy cattle diets to help stretch the forage supplies.

There is no question that soybeans and all their byproducts can provide various nutrients to the rations of dairy cattle. However, there are some limitations that you need to address so that you can achieve the full benefits.

Raw Soybeans
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Raw soybeans that have not been heat-treated can be successfully incorporated into dairy cattle rations. The reason being they provide a source of soluble and degradable protein. In addition, they also provide energy in the form of fat. They are very healthy for the livestock and animals.

Raw soybeans contain enzymes that result in some deterioration in the fat portion of the beans. These enzymes include lip-oxidase and lipase.

Raw soybeans also contain the enzyme urease. This compound can hydrolyze ammonia from Urea. For this reason, it is not recommended to include Urea in a complete feed that contains raw beans. When in contact with natural ground soybeans, Urea can release ammonia faster. Cows are relatively sensitive to ammonia gas, so you should properly balance the ratio.

Heat-Treated Soybeans

Heat-treated soybeans could range between 33 to 44 percent crude protein and 15 to 22 percent fat. It has a moisture content of 12 percent. The two most common heat treatment methods for soybeans are extrusion and roasting. They both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Roasted Soybeans

Among the two options, roasted soybeans are a stylish way of feeding animals as it supplies both RUP and fat. They work well in most forage-type rations. The most significant benefits are seen in heavy hay crop silage diets. You can include them in allocating up to 18 percent of the dry matter.

Soybean Meal

Soybean meal is palatable, nutrient-dense, high in digestibility, and a consistent source of protein for animals. It is more popular because of its excellent amino acid profile. In addition, it is a concentrated source of protein and energy. Lastly, it is lower in fiber than most other oilseed meals.

Soybean meal is the number-one protein source used extensively in the poultry and livestock industries throughout the world. Most soybean meals sold in the United States are used by livestock.

The main reason for its popularity is the unique composition of amino acids that complements the AA compositions of many cereal grains. The excellent AA quality in soybean meal is also why it is now increasingly used in the pet-food industry. Today it has become the most popular soybean product in all livestock diets. Other products included in their diets include full-fat soybeans, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, soybean oil, and soybean hull.

Soybean Molasses in Animal Nutrition
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Do you know that soybean meal is the number-one protein source mainly used in the poultry and livestock industries throughout the world? Of all the soymeal meals sold in the United States, more than 50 percent is used in diets fed to poultry alone. Other animals use the rest.

Soybean molasses has several applications in animal nutrition. This form of soybeans can help reduce environmental problems on the one hand. But at the same time, it can contribute to the reduction of feed costs and animal product production on the other hand.

It is crucial to note that the potential of soybean molasses as a feed ingredient needs to be thoroughly explored and studied. However, incorporating soybean molasses in animal diets and other nutritional requirements can easily enrich and enhance conventional animal diets.


Soybean hulls are also a byproduct of soybean processing. They are relatively high in energy and an excellent source of rumen digestible fiber. Soyhulls are also low in nonstructural carbohydrates. Under most feeding situations - you can include soyhulls in dairy cattle diets up to 10 percent of the total ration. You can incorporate them into both lactating and dry cow diets.

Some researchers also suggested that soyhulls could replace forage fiber in diets for early and mid-lactation cows. The study's objective was to determine the benefits of soyhulls in cows. They found that cows fed the high soyhull diet with hay usually yielded more milk and contained more fat in the milk they produced.


Thus we see that incorporating soybeans and their byproducts into the rations of dairy cattle becomes a regular practice. Soybeans are an excellent source of nutrients and hence complement most forages, but at the same time, they do have some limitations. So depending on how they are processed, soybeans can provide high-quality protein, energy, fat, and fiber to the livestock.

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Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).


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