Mangile's Pigeon Pages

American Pigeon Journal
June 1975, pages 424 & 425.

Toasted Soybeans - A Desirable Pigeon Food!

  by Robert J. Mangile

With the high protein legume grains growing scarce and expensive during the past few years, I decided to try another twist to providing legume grains, i.e., toasted soybeans, to my pigeons.

It has been known for some time that raw soybeans are not the most desirable grains for most animals, including humans, but that cooking would make them palatable.

Not knowing how much heat is required to render them harmless without destroying the grain itself, I decided to write Rod Hatcher, a feed expert of sorts - of Fantail fame; asking about cooking details.  Rod said to cook the soybeans in a 250 F degree oven until the grain begins to turn brown; the hulls might pop but the grains will stay intact.

I used a flat tray with 1/16 inch perforated holes about one inch apart and with 1-1/2 inch high sides.  I filled the tray and placed it in an electric oven at 250 F degrees.  After about 1-1/2 to 2 hours (periodically mixing the grains) they began turning brown and the hulls popped.  I should caution that if larger volumes of grains are used that perhaps 225 F degrees heat should be used for about the first hour, then raised to 250 F degrees to prevent burning of the outer grains.  There aren't set rules on heat or cooking containers?  The objective is to destroy the problem causing agent in the soybeans with heat.

After cooking three or four batches, I thought had enough soybeans for a trial.  I had 27 pounds of cooked beans and decided to include them in my ration, as follows:

whole yellow corn -------------- 200 lb.
whole milo ----------------------- 150 lb.
whole wheat ----------------------120 lb.
18% protein laying pellets ----- 50 lb.
toasted whole soybeans ------- - 27 lb.
vetch -------------------------------  20 lb.
oats (with full hulls) --------------  9 lb.
                  Total ---------------- 576 lb.
This made 576 pounds of ration that was calculated to contain approximately 13.86% protein, 3.82% fat and 3.02% fiber.  Price of ration was 8.7 cents per pound, well under $10 per one hundred pounds.

January 1, 1975 the ration was started on my flock of about 150 pigeons of which about one-third were in individual mating coops.  The rationed lasted until the end of February (two months).  The birds ate the toasted soybeans heartily from the first day offered to them. There were no side effects and squabs grew nicely.

This was only a trial test with just under 5% of the ration consisting of toasted soybeans.  Later I plan to prepare a ration of only corn, milo, wheat and toasted soybeans.  But, if my opinion is worth asking, I can-not say anything unfavorable about using toasted soybeans for pigeon feed.  The birds never reject them and they are almost always easily obtained.  Why not try them and report your results to the APJ.  I can almost guarantee you satisfactory results.

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