Grains are the major energy source in most animal diets. The energy levels are related to the amount of starch in the grain. The ranking from highest to lowest in energy is maize, sorghum, wheat, barley then oats. For more information on trading in Grains see the Commodities page.
Maize (also known as corn) is mainly grown in Queensland and New South Wales for use in human foods and as stock feed.
The protein, amino acid and energy content can vary depending on the location and the conditions under which it is grown. Its protein content ranges from 7 to 12 percent on an ‘as fed’ basis (9 to 13 percent on a dry matter basis) in practice.
In Australia a white carcass colour of meat chicken is preferred and hence maize can be a problem if fed at high levels to meat chickens, since the pigment is passed into the carcass. In the USA and Asia, where a yellow carcass is generally required, maize has an added advantage.
The colour pigment in yellow maize, cryptozanthin, is of value in layer diets where it gives the desirable colour to egg yolks.
DIRECTIONS FOR USE
- Maize can be used in the diets for pigs, poultry, cattle, horses and sheep.
- Maize should be coarsely ground before feeding. This should be done just before mixing to prevent the ground maize meal becoming rancid in storage.
- The feeding of maize to pigs to bacon weight (in finisher diets) should be limited to 30 percent of the grain component. This is because the fat in maize is highly unsaturated and may produce a soft fat in the pig carcass. The colour pigment in maize can also affect the colour of the fat in the carcass.
- A buffer should be added to sheep and cattle diets to help reduce acidosis.
SUGGESTED MAXIMUM INCLUSION RATES IN TOTAL DIET
|SPECIES||MAX. INCLUSION RATES|
|PIGS - Creep, Weaner||Nil|
|PIGS - Grower||30%|
|PIGS - Finisher||15%|
|PIGS - Breeder||50%|
|POULTRY - Broiler - Grower, Finisher||30%|
|POULTRY - Layer||50%|
|CATTLE - Dairy||40%|
|CATTLE - Beef||40%|