Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Proceedings, Western Section, American Society of Animal Science Vol. 60, 2009


Used by permission


Two-experiments determined the effects of feeding wet distillers grains with solubles (WDGS) either on the ground or in a bunk to cattle grazing native Sandhills winter range. In Experiment 1 (Exp. 1), 120 multiparous March-calving cows (536 ± 53.5 kg BW) were stratified by age and assigned to one of four treatments: WDGS fed on the ground, either three or six d/wk; or WDGS fed in a bunk either three or six d/wk. In Experiment 2 (Exp. 2), 63 March-born steer calves (201.2 ± 27.5 kg BW) were stratified by weight and assigned to one of two feeding treatments: WDGS fed in a bunk or on the ground. Both experiments were conducted at the University of Nebraska Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory. Exp. 1 was conducted for 90 d from Dec 1, 2007 to Mar 1, 2008, while Exp. 2 ran for 60 d from mid-Oct to mid-Dec 2008. Cows in Exp. 1 were supplemented with the daily equivalent of 0.45 kg/cow (DMB) and supplement was delivered three or six d/wk. Steers in Exp. 2 were supplemented with the daily equivalent of 1.02 kg/steer (DMB) and supplement was delivered 5 d/wk. In Exp. 1, frequency had no effect on cow BW (P = 0.55) or BCS (P = 0.27). Body condition score of cows fed in a bunk increased, while that of cows fed on the ground did not change (0.4 vs. 0.0; P = 0.01). Cows fed in a bunk lost less BW than cows fed on the ground (9.1 vs. 29.0 kg; P = 0.07). In Exp. 2, steers fed in a bunk had higher ADG than steers fed on the ground (0.29 vs. 0.20; P = 0.04). A retrospective analysis using the NRC (1996) showed a 0.14 kg/d reduction in WDGS intake would have resulted in the 0.09 kg reduction in ADG. This is the equivalent of 13% waste. Calf sale value would have to be less than $0.81/0.45 kg to justify not feeding in a bunk based on cost of feeding in a bunk being about $0.16/d. Frequency of delivery of WDGS did not affect animal performance. An advantage in animal performance to feeding WDGS in a bunk versus on the ground was seen in the current studies.