Soybean hulls and soybean oil meal are by-products of the soybean processing industry, where soybeans are processed for oil extraction. The hulls are made up of the seedcoats of the soybeans that are removed during the process. These hulls are usually toasted to destroy urease activity and ground to the desirable particle size. They can be purchased in a pelletted form as well as a loose form. Soybean hulls or "soyhulls", as they are often referred to, consist mainly of highly digestible fibre and are low in starch content. Both of these attributes make them a good potential alternative feed ingredient for ruminants. They are particularly valuable as a supplement for beef cattle on a high forage diet, as they are a good source of energy and are also beneficial to overall fibre digestion. Several research projects have illustrated their value in beef rations. The energy value of soyhull is often reported to be lower than grain corn, more similar to oats or ear corn meal. However, it has been shown that when soyhulls are substituted for grain corn on a one to one basis as a portion of high forage based rations, they are capable of supporting similar animal performance. This suggests that in this situation, the energy level of soyhulls is very similar to grain corn.
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