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Barley grain


Click on the "Nutritional aspects" tab for recommendations for ruminants, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses, fish and crustaceans
Common names 

Barley [English]; orge, escourgeon [French]; cebada [Spanish]; cevada [Portuguese]; Almindelig Byg [Danish]; Gerst [Dutch]; Òj [Haitian Creole]; jelai [Indonesian]; orzo [Italian]; shayiri [Swahili]; sebada [Tagalog]; arpa [Turkish]; Đại mạch [Vietnamese]; ገብስ [Amharic]; شعير [Arabic]; যব [Bengali]; မုယော [Burmese]; 大麦 [Chinese]; Κριθάρι [Greek]; שעורה תרבותית [Hebrew]; जौ [Hindi]; オオムギ [Japanese]; ಬಾರ್ಲಿ [Kannada]; 보리 [Korean]; യവം [Malayalam]; جو [Persian]; ਜੌਂ [Punjabi]; Ячме́нь [Russian]; வாற்கோதுமை [Tamil]; బార్లీ [Telugu]; บาร์เลย์ [Thai]


Hordeum distichon L., Hordeum hexastichon L.

Barley has a complex taxonomical history and a full list of synonyms is provided by GRIN.


Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is one of the main cereal crops. With 150 million tons produced in 2009, barley grain production ranked fourth behind maize, rice and wheat (FAO, 2011). Developing countries account for about 25% of the total barley harvested area (Akar et al., 2003).

Barley is an annual, erect and tufted grass, up to 50 to 120 cm high. It has a strong fibrous root system, with seminal roots that grow as deep as 1.8-2.1 m and anchor the plant, and adventitious roots that explore the upper soil for moisture and nutrients (Ecocrop, 2011; UC SAREP, 2006). The stems are made of 5 to 7 hollow, cylindrical internodes. The leaves are linear and lanceolate, up to 25 cm long, placed opposite their neighbours along the stem (Ecocrop, 2011; Duke, 1983). In barley, the sheaths, ligule and auricles of the leaves surround the stem (Ecocrop, 2011). Spikes are variable in size (short or long) and shape (lax or compact). They may also be awned or awnletted or awnless; they are borne at the end of the culms. Depending on barley type, 1 or 3 spikelets are alternately borne at each node along the rachis of the spike. In domesticated barley, all spikelets are fertile: depending on the number of spikelets, there are barleys with 2 or 6 rows of grains (Cecarelli et al., 2006). Barley grain is an ellipsoid, grooved, 0.7-0.9 cm long caryopse that may be white, blue or black in colour and hairy at the end (Ecocrop, 2011; Duke, 1983).

There are thousands of cultivated barley landraces and hundreds of cultivars. Cultivars can be classified according to several factors: the number of rows of grains (2-row and 6-row), compactness of spikes, hull adherence (hulled or naked barley), presence or size of awns (awned, awnletted or awnless varieties), growth habit (winter or spring barley) and colour (white, blue or black kernels) (Cecarelli et al., 2006; CFIA, 2005; OECD, 2004). End-use may also be a way to classify barley (OECD, 2004). The average yield for barley grain is 2.7 t/ha but there are large differences between countries, from yields as high as 8.39 t/ha in Belgium to yields as low as 0.6 t/ha in Morocco and 0.2 t/ha in Lesotho (FAO, 2011).

Barley grain has three major uses: livestock feed, raw material for alcohol and starch production, and food (OECD, 2004).

  • Barley is of utmost importance for livestock feeding, which accounts for about 85% of barley production. Six-row barleys, which have higher protein content, are a valuable feed ingredient (OECD, 2004). Two-row barleys contain more starch and less protein and are thus preferred for brewing (barley with more than 11.5% protein causes beer cloudiness) (Monfort et al., 2005).
  • Barley grain is used for the production of alcohol (beer, whisky and ethanol), non-alcoholic beverages (barley tea, breakfast beverages) (OECD, 2004).
  • Food products include starch flour, flakes and pearled barley and it is a staple food in several countries including Morocco, India, China and Ethiopia (OECD, 2004).
  • The by-products of barley grain processing are used as feed: brewer's grainsbrewer's yeast, malt culms (barley sprouts and rootlets), barley distillers and solubles, hulls, bran and barley feed (the by-product of pearl barley production) (OECD, 2004).
  • Barley forage can be fed to livestock as pasture, hay or silage.
  • Barley straw is also used as fodder for ruminants and as bedding material (OECD, 2004, Akar et al., 2003).

Barley is grown in more than 100 countries: the 10 main barley producers (Russian federation, France, Germany, Ukraine, Canada, Australia, Spain, Turkey, UK and USA) account for 75% of the total world production. Barley importers include countries that use it primarily for feed, as Saudi Arabia (29% of exported barley), Iran and Syria, and beer producers like Belgium and the Netherlands (FAO, 2011; OECD, 2004).

Though its origin is still debated, it is believed that wild barley is an indigenous plant in the Middle East and adjacent regions of North Africa. It was domesticated more than 7000 years ago (Cecarelli et al., 2006; OECD, 2004). Its cultivation spread from the Middle East to northern Africa, and moved South along the Nile, into Ethiopia, as early as 5000 BCE (Cecarelli et al., 2006). It spread to northern and western Europe and later to North America, Australia, and southern Africa (Ellis, 2002).

Modern barley is the most widely distributed cereal crop (Ecocrop, 2011; Duke, 1983). Barley is cultivated from 70°N (in Norway) to 17°N (around tropical Timbuktu, Mali). It can be found down to 53°S in southern Chile (Ecocrop, 2011). Barley is commonly found at higher latitudes, higher elevations and in drier places than cereals such as wheat and oats. Thanks to its short growing season (some cultivars mature in 60-70 days), it can be found at higher latitudes than wheat (Duke, 1983) and it does well in areas that are too hot or dry for wheat because it ripens before harsh conditions occur. In the tropics, barley is found at higher elevations than other cereals (above 1800 m and up to 4500 m in the Himalayas) (Ecoport, 2011).

Optimal growth conditions are an annual rainfall ranging from 190 mm to 1760 mm, average day temperatures of about 20°C and soil pH between 4.5 and 8.3 (Duke, 1983). Barley thrives on well-drained, fertile loams or light clay soils and does better on alkaline than on acid soils. Low pH may induce aluminium toxicity (Duke, 1983). Barley does not withstand waterlogging but has good salt tolerance (up to 1% salt in the soil)(Duke, 1983).

Barley is grown as a winter crop in areas with comparative mild winters, as in Mediterranean basin and India (Duke, 1983). In other regions, such as the highlands of Ethiopia, barley can be cropped twice a year. Barley can be sown with wheat in mixed cropping systems, examples being in Eritrea and northern Ethiopia (Cecarelli et al., 2006).


Barley grain must be dried before storage. In developing countries, the harvested crop is left to dry in open and sunny areas during the day and covered during the night. When the crop is harvested by hand, bunches are made with the straw and left in the field until the moisture content is reduced to 12-14%, and then collected and threshed (Akar et al., 2003).

Barley is a hard grain that should be crushed or ground, otherwise it will pass undigested through the alimentary tract. Feed efficiency improves with the removal of hulls, grinding, or the breaking of the bran layer. Common processes include rolling (dry or steam rolling), flaking, grinding, and pelleting (OSU, 2006). Ground barley can be sifted into a finer fraction containing less than 3% fibre and a coarser one containing about 11% fibre. The finer fraction is more suitable for pigs and poultry than whole ground barley (Göhl, 1982). Dry-rolled and ground barley contains considerable dust that may reduce intake and adversely affect performance and health in cattle (Mathison, 1996).

Environmental impact 


Barley is a salt-tolerant species that can be used for the reclamation of saline soils. The main mechanisms of salinity tolerance are salt exclusion and salt dilution (Anderson et al., 1985 cited by UC SAREP, 2006). Barley is thought to have potential for Zn, Cu and Cd extraction (Ebbs et al., 1998). Barley has Al tolerance provided the pH is not too low (Singh et al., 2007).

Weed suppression

Barley can compete with weeds for soil moisture and may be used for this purpose in high-density sown swards (UC SAREP, 2006).

Cover crop and green manure

Barley can be ploughed in as green manure in spring or grown as a cover crop. In the latter case, only barley forage will be harvested (UC SAREP, 2006).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

Barley grain is an important feed ingredient for the major livestock species, and often competes with wheat and maize grain. For instance, barley is a valuable grain for finishing beef cattle in the United States (OECD, 2004). In most European countries, wheat and barley are the most commonly used cereal grains in poultry and pig feeds (Bergh et al., 1999).

Like maize and wheat, barley grain contains a high level of starch, about 60% DM (55-63%), which is lower than that of the other two cereal grains. Its protein content (about 11-12% with values comprised between 9.5 and 13% DM) is similar to that of wheat and higher than that of maize. Barley has a higher fibre content (crude fibre 4-6%, ADF 5-7%, NDF 18-24%) than maize and wheat, which results in a poorer nutritive value in animal species sensitive to fibre content (Feedipedia, 2011).

Several types of barley varieties can be of interest in animal feeding. Hulless varieties, which contain about half the fibre content of hulled varieties and 1-2% more protein, are more digestible and less bulky (CDC, 2003). Low-phytate barleys can help reduce phosphorus excretion (Gaylord et al., 2010). There are waxy barleys that contain more amylopectin (up to 97% of starch) than regular barleys (about 54%), and high-amylose barleys. The physical structure of starch (distribution of starch granules according to size) can interact negatively with the presence of other constituents (lipids, protein, ß-glucans) to decrease digestibility by reducing contact between the starch and the digestive enzymes (Svihus et al., 2005; Bergh et al., 1999). Waxy barleys are high in ß-glucans and should be treated with enzymes in pigs and avoided in poultry (CDC, 2003).

Potential constraints 

Mechanical injuries

Awned barley varieties may cause irritation and result in stomatitis in horses, cattle and poultry (Kahn, 2005; Göhl, 1982). The awns should be removed prior to feeding poultry (Göhl, 1982).


Barley grain is susceptible to scab (Fusarium head blight), a disease caused by Fusarium spp. in hot and humid conditions. Fusarium head blight results in the production of mycotoxins, notably in deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin) (Burrows et al., 2008). Signs of toxicosis are weight loss, lower feed conversion, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, severe dermatitis and death. It causes lower egg production in hens and abortion in mammals. Pigs are more susceptible to vomitoxin than cattle and poultry (Herrman, 2002). Harvested grain containing more than 5% infected kernels may contain enough toxin to be harmful to humans and animals (Buhariwalla et al., 2011). The USDA has set a limit for deoxynivalenol at 5-10 ppm in grains intended for animal feeding (Burrows et al., 2008).


Barley contains pentosans (ß-glucans) that cause sticky droppings in poultry, resulting in leg and breast damage and low-grade products. In laying hens, sticky droppings tend to adhere to the mesh and to mark the eggs as they roll away, reducing their market value (Chesson, 1991). ß-glucans also result in poor performance in monogastric animals. ß-glucanase supplementation may alleviate these problems (OECD, 2004; Göhl, 1982).


Barley grain is one of the most common grains used in diets for dairy and beef cattle. Due to its high gross energy and high energy digestibility (80%), barley grain has a high metabolisable energy value for ruminants (about 12.4 MJ/kg DM; Sauvant et al., 2004). However, its protein value is low with a digestible protein content of about 10% DM in diets with an adequate N balance (INRA, 2007). Due to its high content of rapidly degradable starch (nearly 50% of the DM), barley grain should be included in the diet at levels compatible with dietary recommendations on degradable starch (less than 40% of the DM). Other factors that influence pH buffering (for example particle length, forage NDF, electrolyte balance) should also be taken into consideration.

Effects of processing

Because the pericarp surrounding the endosperm of the barley kernel is extremely resistant to microbial degradation in the rumen, even in high-forage diets favoring mastication (Mathison, 1996), dry barley grain needs to be processed to improve its utilisation by beef and dairy cattle (Dehghan-banadaky et al., 2007). In lambs, however, processing (pelleting) did not prove to be necessary since feeding whole barley grain resulted in similar digestibility, prevented rumenitis and resulted in better subcutaneous fat quality (Orskov et al., 1974a; Orskov et al., 1974b).

Individual animal variation is high when animals are fed whole barley (Mathison, 1996). When barley is processed, for a given level of barley grain in the diet, animal performance depends not only on grain quality, but on the processing method, the extent of processing and their interactions (Dehghan-banadaky et al., 2007; Mathison, 1996). Incidence of bloating have been shown to be higher in steers fed whole rather than rolled barley, which is surprising since processing should increase degradability and the risk of bloating, but the mechanisms involved in these results are still unclear (Mathison, 1996).

Individual animal variation is high when animals are fed whole barley (Mathison, 1996). When barley is processed, for a given level of barley grain in the diet, animal performance depends not only on grain quality, but on the processing method, the extent of processing and their interactions (Dehghan-banadaky et al., 2007; Mathison, 1996). Incidence of bloating have been shown to be higher in steers fed whole, rather than rolled, barley, which is surprising since processing should increase degradability and the risk of bloating, but the mechanisms involved are still unclear (Mathison, 1996).

Grinding with a hammer mill is not an adequate process. It induces considerable dust due to shattering grain kernels and is generally detrimental to animal performance (Dehghan-banadaky et al., 2007). Finely ground barley grain ferments more rapidly than cracked barley grain, and may reduce productivity of cattle. Reduced feed intake (a reduction of 5% of DM intake compared to rolled barley given to steers), growth rate (down 100 g/d), feed efficiency (4.47 vs. 7.54), and fat depots (less 0.15 cm) have been observed with ground barley (Mathison, 1996).

Dry rolling, achieved by passing kernels between rotating rollers, is a common processing method. Adequate dry rolling increases rumen digestibility of grain and animal productivity (Dehghan-banadaky et al., 2007). In cattle fed high-grain diets, digestibility increased by 16% when rolled barley was fed rather than whole barley, related to an increase in starch digestibility of 37% (Mathison, 1996).

Tempering is achieved by raising the moisture content of the barley to 20-25% by adding water, mixing, and storing for 12-24 h prior to rolling (Dehghan-banadaky et al., 2007). This method reduces dustiness and production of fine particles. Although information is scarce, tempering of barley may slightly improve feed conversion (increased by 6.8%) in growing and finishing cattle, but the mechanisms are not clear since intake, starch digestibility, daily gain, and carcass characteristics are not affected (Mathison, 1996).

Steam rolling is achieved by application of steam above the roller mill prior to rolling. Compared to dry rolling, it reduces production of fine particles during rolling, allowing a more uniform particle size distribution. Short term (70 seconds) steam rolling was of no benefit in improving feeding value compared to dry rolling, where longer times (20 min) increased digestibility. However, there was generally little response in either live-weight gain or efficiency (Mathison, 1996).

Steam flaking is achieved by applying steam at low or high pressure and allowing the grain to cool before rolling. The combination of moisture, heat and pressure gelatinizes the starch granules. This process does not improve feed efficiency (Owens et al., 1997), because barley starch, once exposed to microbial organisms in the rumen, is readily degradable even without being gelatinized (Dehghan-banadaky et al., 2007). Neither pelleting with a low moisture content and a temperature around 80°C, nor extrusion affect rumen degradation of starch in barley grain, due to the very high level of rumen degradable starch before processing (Svihus et al., 2005).

Some processes can be applied to barley grain to control its rate of degradation in the rumen. Roasting, aldehyde treatment, and ammonia can decrease starch and rumen protein degradability (Mathison, 1996, Dehghan-banadaky et al., 2007). Ammoniation can increase milk production in dairy cows, but does not affect daily gain and feed efficiency in lambs (Mathison, 1996). Treating grains with NaOH may increase its ruminal starch digestibility without increasing the ruminal rate of starch release (Dehghan-banadaky et al., 2007). Ammonia or fibrolytic enzymes can increase hull degradation (Dehghan-banadaky et al., 2007). The effect of expanding is unclear, and could depend on temperature, treatment duration and particle size. At high heat input and low moisture content (toasting), the protein matrix becomes resistant to proteolysis and the rumen degradation of barley starch is decreased, but this does not reduce its intestinal digestibility in situ or in vivo (Svihus et al., 2005).


Like other cereal grains, barley is mainly a source of energy for pigs due to its starch content. The main advantage of barley relative to the other cereal grains is its higher content in digestible amino acids (particularly lysine), especially when compared to maize grain (Noblet et al., 2002). However, barley contains about 95% of the digestible or metabolizable energy content of maize and wheat due to its higher dietary fibre content (Noblet et al., 2002). Barley contains more phosphorus than the other commonly used grains and its bioavailability is also higher. Pigs are particularly susceptible to the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol, which may be present in Fusarium-contaminated barley (Herrman, 2002) (see Potential constraints above).

In weaner pigs, the palatability of barley distributed in mash form is higher than for maize and wheat and this difference increases when pelleted diets are fed to piglets (Sola-Oriol et al., 2009).

The inclusion rate of barley for weaner pigs should be lower than 40% (of diet DM) to avoid negative effects on growth performance. In growing and finishing pigs and in gestating and lactating sows, barley meal can be used as the only cereal grain without adverse effects on performance (Harrold, 1999).


Because ME value of barley is lower than that of maize and wheat, its use is limited in high-energy poultry diets. Barley composition and ME value depend on its origin (Jeroch et al., 1995; Metayer et al., 1993). The use of high inclusion rates of barley in poultry diets has been known for a long time to be detrimental to growth, particularly in young birds (Jeroch et al., 1995). Sticky droppings and wet litter can result from feeding barley to poultry, due to soluble polysaccharides such as ß-glucans. These non-starch polysaccharides are known to reduce nutrient digestibility and to increase viscosity of digestive contents (Chesson, 2001). Older birds can consume diets containing up to 20-30% of barley without detrimental effects on growth, but litter condition can be negatively affected with diets containing more than 20% of barley (Brake et al., 1997). Increased percentages of dirty eggs are mentioned in literature from laying hens fed barley-based diets.

In order to prevent those negative effects and to increase the percentage of barley in poultry diets, multi-enzyme preparations containing mainly ß-glucanases can be added (Burnett, 1966). The possible benefits of those preparations include the reduction of digesta viscosity, enhanced digestibility of nutrients and a reduction in water intake (Jeroch et al., 1995, Chesson, 2001, Choct, 2006).


Growing rabbits

Barley grain can be included at up to 40-45% in feeds for growing rabbits if the diet is well balanced (Seroux, 1984). In commercial feeds, the level of inclusion is generally lower, between 10 and 25% (de Blas et al., 2010). Barley supports growth rates comparable to those obtained with other cereal grains such as wheat or maize (Seroux, 1984; Lanza et al., 1986; Sinatra et al., 1987). Compared to these grains, the advantage of barley is its relatively high fibre content (ADF 5-7% in barley DM compared to 3-4% in wheat and maize DM). Thus feeding barley helps overcome the problem of supplying sufficient fibre in a grain-rich diet for rabbits as reaching an adequate fibre level in rabbit diets is always difficult. Only oat grains have a higher fibre level but they have a detrimental effect on pellet. Pellets produced by rabbits on a diet including barley are as good, or better than those produced from a diet based on maize (Acedo-Rico et al., 2010; Thomas et al., 2001).

Rabbit does

Barley grains is valuable for feeding breeding rabbit does. The inclusion levels in control diets reported in numerous experiment range from 25 to 40% (Lebas et al., 1988; Pascual et al., 1998), with some as high as 64% (Prasad et al., 1998).

Effects of processing

Several processes aiming at improving the nutritive value of barley for rabbits have been tested. Feed trials have failed to demonstrate the practical advantages of flaking (Seroux, 1989) and multi-enzyme addition with products containing ß-glucanases (Tor-Agbidye et al., 1992; Fernandez et al., 1996; Garcia-Ruiz et al., 2006). Similarly, fine grinding of barley (1.5 mm vs. 4.5 mm screen) failed to increase average daily gain or feed to gain ratio in growing rabbits (Romero et al., 2011).


Barley is relatively low in protein and is used in fish feeds primarily for its starch content. Its nutritional value for fish species is lower than that of other common cereal grains and cereal by-products due to several factors. The presence of hulls in standard varieties tends to dilute the energy content of the grains since the hulls have little or no nutritional value for fish. Also, hulls make processing more difficult, notably grinding and extrusion. Another issue is that barley phosphorus is bound primarily as phytate that cannot be digested effectively. Low-phytate varieties have been tested successfully in several fish species (Gaylord et al., 2010).


Barley should be extruded in order to gelatinize the starch and increase its digestibility, as salmonids utilize starch less effectively as an energy source than protein or fat. In rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), waxy barley varieties, which contain a lower amylose:amylopectin ratio, have been found to be more digestible than non-waxy ones, due to the higher digestibility of amylopectin relative to amylose (Gaylord et al., 2009). The apparent protein and amino acid digestibility of waxy barley were generally lower than those of maize, wheat and wheat milling by-products (Gaylord et al., 2010).

In rainbow trout fed a diet containin 30% barley, using low-phytate varieties (less than 40% of phytate-P in total P) significantly reduced fecal excretion of phosphorus (Sugiura et al., 1999; Overturf et al., 2003).


In common carp (Cyprinus carpio) fed diets containing 47.5% barley or maize grain, or 65% wheat grain, the apparent energy, protein and lipid digestibility of barley grain was significantly lower than that of wheat and barley. For instance, energy digestibility was 36% for barley whereas it was 68% and 50% for wheat and maize respectively. However, the digestible energy value of barley was higher than that of maize (10.5 vs. 9.3 MJ/kg DM) (Degani et al., 1997a).

Feeding barley had no influence on the organoleptic properties of common carp flesh (Vacha et al., 2006).


In adult tilapia (Oreochromis aureus x Oreochromis niloticus) fed diets containing 50% cereal grains, the digestibility of carbohydrates in barley (85%) was higher than that of maize grain (81%) and lower than that of wheat flour (93%). Digestible energy was the lowest for barley but remained high: 14.4 MJ/kg vs. 15.5 MJ/kg for maize and 17.5 MJ/kg for wheat flour (Degani et al., 1997b). In Oreochromis niloticus fed 51% cereal grains in the diet DM, barley could replace 100% of maize grain without affecting growth, feed utilization and feed conversion (Belal, 1999).

Other fish species

Phosphorus excretion was considerably reduced in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) fed diets containing 30% low-phytate barley in the diet (Buentello et al., 2010).

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 87.1 1.3 82.8 91.6 17310
Crude protein % DM 11.8 1.1 8.5 16.1 15723
Crude fibre % DM 5.2 0.8 3.1 8.2 14398
NDF % DM 21.7 3.2 14.7 30.0 1068
ADF % DM 6.4 0.9 4.4 8.7 1090
Lignin % DM 1.1 0.3 0.6 2.0 987
Ether extract % DM 2.0 0.3 1.2 2.9 4388
Ash % DM 2.6 0.3 1.9 3.4 4720
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 59.7 2.3 52.2 66.8 9706
Total sugars % DM 2.8 0.7 1.4 4.4 594
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.4 0.1 18.1 18.7 304 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 0.8 0.4 0.1 1.8 974
Phosphorus g/kg DM 3.9 0.3 3.0 4.9 1613
Potassium g/kg DM 5.7 0.6 4.5 7.2 87
Sodium g/kg DM 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.3 233
Magnesium g/kg DM 1.3 0.2 0.9 2.0 88
Manganese mg/kg DM 19 3 13 24 54
Zinc mg/kg DM 30 4 24 44 65
Copper mg/kg DM 12 5 5 20 56
Iron mg/kg DM 184 119 52 468 57
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Alanine % protein 4.1 0.3 3.5 4.6 103
Arginine % protein 4.7 0.4 3.9 5.5 108
Aspartic acid % protein 5.8 0.4 5.0 6.6 104
Cystine % protein 2.2 0.2 1.9 2.7 109
Glutamic acid % protein 22.8 1.5 19.6 26.0 102
Glycine % protein 4.0 0.2 3.5 4.5 105
Histidine % protein 2.2 0.2 1.8 2.8 90
Isoleucine % protein 3.6 0.2 3.2 4.0 117
Leucine % protein 6.8 0.3 6.1 7.5 117
Lysine % protein 3.7 0.3 3.2 4.3 315
Methionine % protein 1.7 0.2 1.4 2.1 117
Phenylalanine % protein 4.9 0.3 4.3 5.4 113
Proline % protein 10.5 0.9 8.5 12.0 53
Serine % protein 4.2 0.2 3.7 4.7 103
Threonine % protein 3.4 0.2 3.0 3.9 118
Tryptophan % protein 1.2 0.1 1.1 1.4 52
Tyrosine % protein 2.8 0.4 1.5 3.5 55
Valine % protein 5.0 0.3 4.3 5.7 116
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 0.8 1.4 0.2 4.9 15
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 83.2 17.6 41.2 86.4 12 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 80.7 21.4 38.4 82.1 6 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 14.8 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 12.4 0.4 5.4 12.4 4 *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 66.6 12.4 63.6 91.0 4 *
a (N) % 15.5 10.0 7.0 29.6 5
b (N) % 74.7 8.6 63.2 87.1 5
c (N) h-1 0.168 0.105 0.097 0.340 5
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=4%) % 76 71 86 2 *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 71 6 61 83 21 *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 80.6 1.7 76.7 82.9 30 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 14.8 0.4 13.8 15.2 35 *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 14.3 0.3 13.8 14.8 11 *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 11.1 *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 76.2 9.4 52.4 87.0 12
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
AMEn cockerel MJ/kg DM 13.2 0.5 13.2 15.3 10 *
AMEn broiler MJ/kg DM 11.3 0.4 11.3 13.1 19 *
Rabbit nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, rabbit % 79.0 75.7 79.1 2 *
DE rabbit MJ/kg DM 14.5 0.5 13.9 14.9 3
MEn rabbit MJ/kg DM 14.1 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


ADAS, 1988; AFZ, 2011; Aguilera et al., 1985; AIRFAF, 1994; AIRFAF, 1996; AIRFAF, 1997; AIRFAF, 1998; AIRFAF, 1999; AIRFAF, 1999; Arieli et al., 1989; Aufrère et al., 1988; Aufrère et al., 1991; Aw-Yong et al., 1983; Bach Knudsen, 1997; Batajoo et al., 1998; Beames et al., 1996; Belibasakis, 1984; Belibasakis, 1984; Bell et al., 1989; Bell et al., 1993; Ben-Ghedalia et al., 1988; Bochi-Brum et al., 1999; Bourdon et al., 1986; Buraczewska et al., 1987; Carré et al., 1986; Cave, 1988; Cilliers et al., 1998; CIRAD, 1991; Cirad, 2008; Coates et al., 1977; Davidson et al., 1978; De Boever et al., 1984; De Boever et al., 1988; De Boever et al., 1994; de Lange et al., 1991; Demarquilly, 1987; Dewar, 1967; Eggum et al., 1984; El Maadoudi, 2004; El-Hag et al., 1992; Erdman et al., 1987; Etienne, 1985; Fadel, 1992; Fan et al., 1995; Fekete et al., 1986; Fernandez Carmona et al., 1996; Gibb et al., 2004; Göhl et al., 1976; Goodband et al., 1988; Green et al., 1987; Greife et al., 1985; Grings et al., 1992; Han et al., 1976; Hanczakowski et al., 1979; Harrold et al., 1993; Harrold et al., 1994; Harrold et al., 1995; Heger et al., 1983; Henry et al., 1973; Henry et al., 1975; Herrera-Saldana et al., 1990; Huet et al., 1988; Huhtanen, 1988; Imbeah et al., 1988; Israelsen et al., 1978; ITCF, 1994; ITCF-ONIC, 1990; ITCF-ONIC, 1991; ITCF-ONIC, 1992; ITCF-ONIC, 1992; Jentsch et al., 1992; Jongbloed et al., 1990; Kamel et al., 1981; Kandylis et al., 1986; Karunajeewa et al., 1984; Kendall et al., 1982; Landry et al., 1988; Lechevestrier, 1996; Leeson et al., 1974; Leterme et al., 1989; Lin et al., 1987; Lindberg et al., 1982; Lindberg, 1981; Lindberg, 1981; Livingstone et al., 1977; Lund et al., 2008; Madsen et al., 1984; Maertens et al., 1981; Maertens et al., 1985; Mason et al., 1988; Maupetit et al., 1992; May et al., 1971; McNiven et al., 1994; Mondal et al., 2008; Morgan et al., 1975; Morgan et al., 1984; Narang et al., 1985; Näsi, 1984; Nehring et al., 1963; Neumark, 1970; Noblet et al., 1989; Noblet et al., 1997; Oksbjerg et al., 1988; O'Shea et al., 1986; Partanen et al., 1994; Partanen, 1994; Perez et al., 1980; Perez et al., 1982; Perez et al., 1984; Perez, 1989; Petit, 1992; Pettersson et al., 1987; Pozy et al., 1996; Ramsey et al., 2001; Rooke et al., 1997; Schang et al., 1982; Schöne et al., 1996; Sibbald, 1979; Singh et al., 2006; Skiba et al., 2000; Skiba et al., 2007; Smith et al., 1986; Smolders et al., 1990; Steen, 1993; Storey et al., 1982; Susmel et al., 1989; Taghizadeh et al., 2005; Taira, 1965; Taverner et al., 1981; Thielemans et al., 1991; Umucalilar et al., 2002; Valaja et al., 1994; Valentine et al., 1987; Valentine et al., 1988; Van Cauwenberghe et al., 1996; Van Lunen et al., 1989; Vargas et al., 1965; Vérité et al., 1990; Vervaeke et al., 1989; Wainman et al., 1984; Weisbjerg et al., 1996; Wiseman et al., 1992; Wolter et al., 1982; Woods et al., 2003; Yamazaki et al., 1986; Yang et al., 2001; Yang et al., 2001

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:31

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 86.8 1.1 85.7 88.6 7
Crude protein % DM 14.4 2.2 9.8 16.6 15
Crude fibre % DM 2.3 0.3 1.7 2.8 10
NDF % DM 12.8 2.6 10.1 16.3 7
ADF % DM 2.9 1.0 2.0 5.2 8
Lignin % DM 0.6 0.2 0.5 1.0 5
Ether extract % DM 2.3 0.1 2.1 2.4 4
Ash % DM 2.1 0.1 1.9 2.4 11
Starch (enzymatic) % DM 61.00 6.07 52.50 66.10 4
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.6 0.2 18.1 19.0 14 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 0.5 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 4.3 1
Magnesium g/kg DM 1.5 1
Manganese mg/kg DM 15 1
Zinc mg/kg DM 30 1
Copper mg/kg DM 5 1
Iron mg/kg DM 55 1
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Alanine % protein 4.5 1
Arginine % protein 5.4 0.4 5.1 5.9 4
Aspartic acid % protein 6.0 1
Cystine % protein 2.7 0.5 2.3 3.4 4
Glutamic acid % protein 21.6 1
Glycine % protein 4.4 1
Histidine % protein 2.5 0.5 2.2 3.2 4
Isoleucine % protein 3.8 0.1 3.6 3.9 4
Leucine % protein 7.2 0.3 6.8 7.4 4
Lysine % protein 3.8 0.1 3.6 3.9 4
Methionine % protein 1.8 0.1 1.6 1.9 4
Phenylalanine % protein 5.2 0.3 4.7 5.4 4
Proline % protein 9.6 1
Serine % protein 4.2 1
Threonine % protein 3.6 0.1 3.5 3.7 4
Tryptophan % protein 1.0 1
Tyrosine % protein 3.4 0.3 3.1 3.8 4
Valine % protein 5.3 0.2 5.1 5.7 4
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 88.8 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 86.5 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 16.1 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 13.4 *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 72.1 *
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 87.5 0.8 86.6 88.8 8 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 16.2 0.4 15.7 16.8 9 *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 15.1 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


AFZ, 2011; Bach Knudsen, 1997; Beames et al., 1996; Bell et al., 1989; Bell et al., 1993; Henry et al., 1975; Perez et al., 1980; Perez et al., 1982; Ramsey et al., 2001; Yamazaki et al., 1986

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:45:29

Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., Nozière P., Noblet J., Renaudeau D., Lessire M., Lebas F., 2016. Barley grain. Feedipedia, a programme by INRAE, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://feedipedia.org/node/227 Last updated on March 29, 2016, 11:44

English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)
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