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Utilization of grain milling byproducts in high-forage diets

Timothy Wayne Loy, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Due to its protein and energy content, dry corn gluten feed (DCGF) may fit well as a supplement to cattle consuming low-quality forages. A two-year study was conducted in conjunction with a commercial ranch to compare two systems of managing pregnant heifers. The ranch's standard system included access to native winter range, low levels of a undegradable intake protein (UIP) supplement formulated to meet metabolizable protein requirements, and increasing amounts of hay. The alternative system relied more heavily on grazed forage, and a DCGF-based supplement. Although weight and body condition differences were noted, no differences were observed in reproductive performance. The alternative system, however, lowered development costs and increased net present value of heifers within that system. ^ To test effects of supplementation and advancing gestation on forage intake, nine pairs of spring-calving heifers were assigned randomly to one of the two supplements described previously. Intake of low-quality forage was not affected by supplement, in spite of feeding levels of DGCF several times higher than UIP supplement. Forage intake changed cubically with respect to calving, declining 18% the last three weeks of gestation and increasing 17% the week after calving. ^ Due to its highly digestible fiber fraction, UIP and fat content, dry distillers grains plus solubles (DDGS) has potential as a supplement for growing cattle on forage-based diets. One hundred and twenty heifers were individually fed grass hay and supplemented with corn, corn with corn gluten meal, or DDGS. Supplements were fed at two levels either daily or three times weekly. Daily supplementation increased forage intake and ADG, with no differences in feed efficiency. At the low level, heifers fed DDGS gained more and were more efficient than corn-containing treatments. At the high level, DDGS and corn with corn gluten meal were not different, but improved performance relative to corn-supplemented heifers. The NEg of DDGS in a high-forage diet was 129% the value of corn. Ruminally-cannulated heifers were fed DDGS or corn daily or every-other d, with no differences in forage intake noted between supplements. However, reducing supplementation frequency resulted in heifers eating fewer and larger meals while spending less time eating; and led to more inconsistent DMI, with forage intake reduced 11% and total intake increased 36% on days supplement was fed. ^

Subject Area

Agriculture, Animal Culture and Nutrition

Recommended Citation

Loy, Timothy Wayne, "Utilization of grain milling byproducts in high-forage diets" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3107892.