Animal Science Department


First Advisor

Galen E. Erickson

Date of this Version



Burhoop, J. E. 2017. Evaluation of distillers grains components for finishing beef cattle. Masters theses. Univ. of Nebraska- Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Animal Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Galen E. Erickson. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2017

Copyright 2017 Jordan E. Burhoop


With the large expansion of the ethanol industry in previous years, there has been an increase in supply of distillers grains plus solubles (DGS) for the feedlot industry. Distiller’s grains are a common byproduct used in feedlot diets for added protein or energy. Recently, ethanol companies have been using different extraction techniques to remove various parts of the DGS to sell separately, such as corn oil and fiber. Previous research trials have tried to determine the contribution of individual nutrients in distillers grains that improve performance in order to predict the impact of removing certain components. In previous studies, fiber has shown the greatest contribution; however, no sole nutrient has been identified that contributes to providing equal performance to distillers grains. Therefore, a study was conducted to determine the value of the fiber in modified distillers grains plus solubles for finishing cattle performance. In that study, the conclusion was made that the isolated fiber component does not give equal performance to feeding MDGS due to a reduction in G:F and feeding value if only the fiber components replaced corn, which means the energy in MDGS is provided by other components to make it better than corn. Some producers are concerned that feeding de-oiled DGS will have a negative impact on finishing cattle performance. Currently, some feedlots have been adding corn oil back to diets to ensure they are getting the best performance possible. Although corn oil has been added to diets in the past and experiments have been done to evaluate de-oiled versus normal DGS, there has never been a study that evaluated the removal of corn oil from distillers grains compared to adding corn oil back to de-oiled distillers grains. Therefore, two finishing studies were completed to determine the effects of the removal of corn oil from modified distillers grains plus solubles and replacement with supplemental corn oil on finishing cattle performance and total tract digestibility. When corn oil was added back to MDGS, there was a negative impact on digestibility of OM and NDF as well as lower DE (Mcal/kg) compared with de-oiled MDGS or full fat MDGS. When 2% corn oil was added back to de-oiled MDGS, there was a 4.9% improvement in F:G compared to de-oiled MDGS. There was a numerical improvement in F:G by 3.7% for MDGS + Oil compared to FF MDGS.

Advisor: Galen E. Erickson