Enter the words “flaked corn” into your internet search engine and the first few search results are related to the home brewing industry. The fermentation process which makes alcohol relies on maximum surface area to expose the starch inside the corn kernel to breakdown. This is the same process occurring in the rumen. To optimize performance in cattle, maximizing the surface area of grain to rumen microbes is a critical first step. Before grain is fed to cattle the grain is commonly steam flaked.
What is steam flaking and what happens when we steam flake grain? Steam flaking is the process of added increased moisture and heat over time to soften the grain before passing thru the rolls.1 Steam flaking increases the surface area of the grain, improves starch digestibility and ultimately enhances ruminant performance. This enhanced performance results in better lactation performance1 and improved growth performance in feedlot cattle.2