How To Roast Soybeans [For Feeding To Animals]

Soybeans are a popular animal feed due to their high-quality protein content and relatively low cost. These are two essential factors to farmers around the world, and the only real downside to soybeans is that they do require a certain amount of processing before they can be fed to some animals. In this article, we will be looking at how to roast soybeans for feed.

Why Roast Soybeans?

why roast soybeans

Feeding raw soybeans can have a detrimental effect on single-stomached animals. The reason for this is that they contain a trypsin inhibitor that prevents protein uptake. The beans also contain a protein called Soyin which, when raw, can be toxic.

By heat-treating soybeans, these problems can be removed, leaving a high protein product.

Soybeans are the most common protein crop for feeding to livestock in the world. Roasted soybeans are more suitable for single-stomached mammals and poultry than for ruminants, which do better on soy meal.

One of the problems with other protein feeds such as flaxseed, or lupin is Lysine deficiency. Lysine is an essential amino acid necessary for good overall health. Soybeans are high in Lysine.

Roasted soybeans have a crude protein dry matter content of between 33% and 44% and contain 15% to 22% fat. They can make up 18% of the daily ration in dry matter.

The overheating of soybeans is undesirable. It reduces the amount of quality protein by making it unavailable to the animal’s metabolism. For this reason, care must be taken to prevent overheating.

How to Roast Soybeans

roasting soybeans

Depending on the size of your enterprise, there are various ways to roast soybeans. We’ll be taking a look at a few of the different choices here.

Large Scale

High-temperature air dryers and drum roasters are the two principal types of roasters for processing soybeans on a large scale, air dryers and drum roasters.

A high temperature air dryer conveys the soybeans along a floor that contains perforations where hot air is blown. This type of roaster causes less scorching than a drum roaster but is more expensive.

Drum roasters drop the soybeans into a rotating drum, rather like a clothes dryer. The temperature inside can be 400°F to 600°F. The beans are tumbled inside for around a minute before being ejected.

Sometimes beans take too long to come out and can be scorched, but this has a minimal detrimental effect.

The aim of both types of roasters is to provide even heating of the beans.

This is a small machine that can cater for 1 ton at a time.

Once roasted, it’s usual to steep the beans for 30 minutes.

Small Scale

When it comes to roasting soybeans on a small scale, there are two points of concern.

  • The beans can easily be overheated, causing a deterioration in the amount of quality protein.
  • The beans can be underheated so as not to destroy the trypsin inhibitors.

To dry roast, heat your oven to 250°F and place a single layer of beans on each baking sheet. You can roast as many sheets as will fit in your oven at one time, leaving an inch gap minimum between each.

Roast the beans for 20 minutes, giving each tray a shake to turn the beans every 5 minutes.

This is by no means a sure method of destroying all of the trypsin inhibitors as there are many variables, including the moisture content of the beans before roasting, the accurate temperature of the oven, and heat lost during turning.

It is advisable not to feed home-roasted beans to poultry under two years, or to young pigs as their sensitivity to the trypsin inhibitors is too great.

Older pigs and poultry will be able to cope better with the home-roasted soybeans as they will be more tolerant of any inhibitors that remain.

Alternative to Roasting

If you only have a small number of animals to feed, then boiling soybeans might be a better solution.

  1. In a large pot, soak the required quantity of soybeans overnight, remembering that they will almost double in size, so be sure to add sufficient water.
  2. The following day place your pan on the stove and boil for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain the beans and allow them to cool.

You can now feed them to your animals, dry them by spreading them out on a tray in the sun to use later, or keep them for several days in the refrigerator.

Additional Benefits

The additional benefits of roasting soybeans are that no extra oil needs to be added to the feed, as soybeans are naturally high in omega-3. This can help save money and time.

If you want to make your own soybean meal and oil, you can learn how here.

Frequently Asked Questions

how to roast soybeans Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do you steep soybeans after roasting?

To steep soybeans after roasting, you can follow these steps: Place the roasted soybeans in a container and cover them with clean water. Allow the soybeans to soak for about 12 to 24 hours, ensuring they are completely submerged. After steeping, drain the water and rinse the soybeans thoroughly. The steeped soybeans are now ready for further processing, or you can use them as animal feed.

2. What animals can eat raw soybeans safely?

Ruminant animals such as deer, antelope, cattle and sheep have the ability to digest raw soybeans due to their specialized digestive systems. Ruminants have rumens that contain microbes capable of breaking down the anti-nutritional factors found in raw soybeans.

3. What animals must have soybeans thoroughly roasted for safety?

Animals that cannot eat raw soybeans safely include horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, and rodents such as mice and rats. These animals have specific dietary requirements and digestive systems that are not adapted to process raw soybeans effectively. Raw soybeans contain anti-nutritional factors that can cause digestive issues and hinder nutrient absorption in these animals.

4. Are boiled soybeans a good addition to feed for older horses, donkey and mules?

Boiled soybeans can be a beneficial addition to the feed for older equines. As horses age, their digestive systems may become less efficient in processing certain nutrients. Boiling soybeans helps to soften them and increase their digestibility, making it easier for older equines to extract the necessary nutrients. Before adding boiled soybeans to your horses’ diet, consult with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist for specific dietary recommendations.

5. Why are young swine and poultry extra-sensitive to trypsin inhibitors?

Just as babies cannot eat regular table food, young swine and poultry have immature digestive systems. Their pancreas and other digestive organs are not fully developed, resulting in a lower production of trypsin and other digestive enzymes. This limited enzyme activity makes them more susceptible to the inhibitory effects of trypsin inhibitors found in soybeans and other feed ingredients, leading to reduced protein digestion and nutrient absorption.


Adding soybeans to your animal feed can be an inexpensive way of feeding additional protein.

It’s important to destroy harmful components in raw soybeans by heating them. This can be done by roasting or by boiling.

To learn more about soybeans, please take a look at all the great information featured on our site. We’re sure you’ll find plenty of other things of interest too.

8 thoughts on “How To Roast Soybeans [For Feeding To Animals]”

  1. Very informative especially the bit about boiling the beans as an alternative to roasting. Do we have to remove the skin from the soya

    • It is not necessary to remove the skins from boiled soybeans before drying them or offering them as feed. The skins of soybeans are safe for consumption and provide additional fiber content, which can be beneficial for some animals.

  2. This is a very good information.. can some one soak the soyabean for good 3 day by changing the water evry 24 hours?

    • Soaking soybeans for several days with daily water changes before boiling them can have some benefits. Soaking helps to soften the soybeans and reduces cooking time. It also allows some of the anti-nutritional factors, such as trypsin inhibitors, to leach out into the water. Changing the water daily helps to remove these compounds further, improving the overall nutritional profile and digestibility of the soybeans.


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