Date of this Version
The Professional Animal Scientist 32 (2016):768–776
Two studies were conducted to evaluate the effects of sorghum wet distillers grains (SWDGS) in finishing diets on steer performance, carcass characteristics, and nutrient digestibility. In Exp. 1, 240 steers (initial BW = 379 ± 1 kg) were fed steam-flaked corn–based diets with or without 25% SWDGS and 7.5, 10.0, or 12.5% alfalfa hay. There were no effects of alfalfa hay concentration on BW, DMI, ADG, or G:F (P ≥ 0.16). Including SWDGS reduced (P ≤ 0.05) ADG and G:F. Fat thickness decreased (P = 0.03) and DP tended to decrease (P = 0.09) linearly as level of alfalfa hay increased. Final BW of steers consuming diets containing 25% SWDGS were 12 kg lighter (P = 0.05) than those of steers fed diets without SWDGS. Hot carcass weight tended (P = 0.09) to be lighter for steers fed SWDGS. In Exp. 2, effects of corn processing method (steam-flaked corn and dry-rolled corn) and 20% corn wet distillers grains with solubles (CWDGS) or SWDGS inclusion on ruminal pH and in situ digestibility were evaluated. Cattle consuming diets containing SWDGS had a greater (P ≤ 0.05) ruminal pH than steers consuming diets with CWDGS or no wet distillers grains with solubles. Including wet distillers grains with solubles did not affect (P ≥ 0.37) steam-flaked corn or dry-rolled corn in situ DM digestibility. In situ digestibility of DM and NDF differed between CWDGS and SWDGS (P < 0.0001). Differences in performance and nutrient digestibility between CWDGS and SWDGS are the result of differences in the product rather than an interaction with corn processing method.