What does crude fiber tell me about a feed?

The crude fiber analysis on a feed tag is a rough indicator of energy level. Low crude fiber at 8 percent or less indicates that substantial grain is included, and 12 percent or more crude fiber may indicate that considerable plant or milling by-products are used. Cottonseed and sunflower meals are exceptions, as they are high in fiber with 13 percent; thus, if large amounts are used in the supplement, the total fiber would be over 10 percent. When grain by-products (corn gluten feed, distillers grains with solubles, wheat middling, soybean hulls) are utilized in cattle feed and supplements, crude fiber is not a good indicator of energy content.