Date of this Version
The Professional Animal Scientist 24 (2008):404–410
A 167-d feedlot study was conducted to evaluate feeding increasing levels of dry distillers grains plus solubles (DDGS) to finishing cattle and the impact on performance and profitability. Crossbred steer calves (n = 240, BW = 306 ± 24.5 kg) were used in 30 pens with dietary treatments of 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40% DDGS dietary inclusion (DM basis). Quadratic relationships (P < 0.05) were observed for final BW and ADG as dietary DDGS increased, with the greatest ADG observed at 20% inclusion. The DMI was not affected (P > 0.15) by DDGS level, but G:F tended to be quadratic (P = 0.10) as 20% DM inclusion had the greatest value, although steers fed all levels of DDGS had numerically greater G:F compared with steers fed no DDGS. Carcass characteristics, other than hot carcass weight, were not affected by DDGS treatment. Energy value of DDGS at 10 to 40% dietary inclusion resulted in a quadratic trend (P = 0.10) and remained above corn, with the highest values at 10 and 20% inclusion averaging 127% of corn. When DDGS was priced equally to corn, all levels of DDGS from 10 to 40% inclusion resulted in higher profits compared with a dry-rolled corn based diet regardless of corn price. The greatest returns were observed when cattle were fed 20% DDGS. These data indicate that DDGS can be fed up to 40% DM to improve cattle performance and result in economic profits, with optimum levels at 20 to 30% diet DM.