6 Reasons Soybeans Can Be Used For Animal Nutrition

Since its domestication around the 11th century BC in China, Soybeans have proved a great addition to food production. Soy has graced our recipes from all sides. Asians, for instance, have used it for ages in traditional foods like tofu. With great mechanization, we can now enjoy soy in cholesterol-free soymilk. This is at least in human nutrition.


Soybean has proved useful to humans and has been a great addition to animal nutrition. The reasons soy is used in animal nutrition are close to human nutrition, though it is clear the form may not be consistent in both because of different digestive capacities.


Here are the six reasons why you can use soybean for animal nutrition:

1.  Healthy Protein Source


Soybean is a rich source of protein vital for milk and meat production in the animal production industry and has been thus ranked highly as a significant supplemental protein source. The processed form in which it is usually prescribed for animals, known as soybean meal (SBM), gives almost 480 g/kg dry matter protein with excellent quality. Soybean stands out as the best legume for animal feeding since it is a bypass protein source for dairy animals as it has the highest crude protein content (44.1%), which greatly elevates milk production.


Soybean can be used in different forms for protein production. The primary consideration is the animal you need to feed. Dairy cows can eat raw soybeans, which must be added to their meal in reasonable quantities. For non-ruminants like swine, raw soybean may prove challenging due to digestive issues, and thus they may need it in other forms.

2.  Outstanding Amino Acid Profile


The amino acid in soybean is of top-notch quality. The digestibility and composition of amino acids determine protein quality. The digestibility can be changed with different structural and non-structural components like carbohydrates and processing conditions. Due to its unique amino acid profile and elevated level of digestibility, soybean meal is a significant animal protein source.

3.  Great Energy Value


The energy value is very important in animal nutrition. The calculation of Soybean Meal energy value is essential for the correct estimation of its nutritional value. However, no available methodology is defined for estimating its value in soybean products, which doesn’t make it abstract. In practice, the metabolizable energy is determined using prediction equations based on the possible energy contribution of its immediate principles.


According to research done by Willis in 2003, Along with the highest lysine digestibility (91%), soybean meal is a concentrated source of energy and protein with lower crude fiber than most of the other oilseed meals.

4.  Its Neutral Detergent Fiber and Other Values


Fiber is important in animal nutrition as it aids and prevents constipation and bloating. Soybean Meal contains approximately 7-13% Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF), 12% moisture, and 1.7% ethereal extract, while ash represents about 6%. These values are not fixed and depend fundamentally on the chemical composition of the original bean and its genetics which vary and are influenced by various factors.


At a higher proportion, the composition difference depends on the geographical region where the soybean was produced. The latitude, related to daylight hours (exposure to sunlight) during seed growth and maturation, is a key factor in understanding bean composition. SBM from equatorial regions like Brazil and Paraguay contain more oil and protein but fewer sugars (sucrose and oligosaccharides) compared to SBM from areas away from the Equator like Argentina and USA. SBM from Brazil and India contain higher NDF.

5.  Soybean Molasses is an Excellent Feed Ingredient


Soybean molasses is one of the by-products of the soybean processing industry accumulated in large quantities. While some people may dispose of it as refuse, soybean molasses tend to have a promising potential to be included in animal diets because of its high functional properties and nutritional value. It is also rich in sugars and a cheap energy source for animals than other energy-rich feed ingredients.

Soybean molasses can make silage good for ruminants’ diet by packing, preserving, and compacting it in a bunker or silo. Soybean Molasses feed ingredient has a promising potential to be included in the pig diet as an energy source since pigs can digest the oligosaccharides in soybean molasses. Also, soybean molasses can be included in poultry feeds and aquaculture nutrition for fish.

6.  Soy Products for Pets


Soy products for pets come as a bonus. It doesn’t need much more process than other animals feed. In most cases, whatever is good for human nutrition is good enough for pets. Cats, for instance, love milk, so when we cross over to soy milk, they are still at home. The same could apply to dogs, especially puppies. According to a study done by Raghuvanshi and Bisht in 2010 concerning Soy as pet food, soybean proteins in full-fat soybean meal were found to improve the quality of fur in pets.


To enhance milk production, soybean is an excellent source of vital nutrition for animals, especially lactating ones. We have discussed six reasons why soybean can be used for animal nutrition. Find out what works for you and reach out to experts to help you know more about how to mix them for significant impact.

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