Forty-eight pigs were used to compare the feeding value of barley which had been stored dry, and then hammer-milled, with that of barley stored moist, either anaerobically or treated with 1·3% propionic acid, and then rolled. The pigs were fed from 30 kg live weight for a period of 11 weeks and during this period all consumed the same allowance of dry matter. The growth rate and feed conversion ratio of the pigs given the rolled moist barley were significantly poorer than those of others given dry milled or acid treated rolled barley. There were no treatment differences in carcass attributes.
Microbiological counts made throughout the experiment showed that there was no significant fungal or bacterial development on the acid treated barley. Similar numbers of bacteria were present on the dry barley as on the moist, but the fungal count for the moist grain was always at least 500 times higher than that of the corresponding dry sample. The dominant organisms were identified.
In a further experiment the apparent digestibility of dry matter and nitrogen of diets containing dry, moist or propionic acid treated barley, processed either by milling or rolling, were determined. The highest values were obtained for dry barley. Acid treated moist barley had lower values than moist barley. The method of processing did not affect the apparent digestibility of the dry matter, but that of the N was significantly lower for the rolled barleys.