Effect of corn processing method and corn wet distillers grains plus solubles inclusion level in finishing steers.J Anim Sci 2009; 87(10):3351-62JA
Two experiments were conducted to determine the effect of corn processing method and corn wet distillers grains plus solubles (WDGS) level on steer performance and metabolism. In Exp. 1, 480 crossbred steer calves (314 +/- 18 kg of BW) were used in a finishing experiment with a randomized complete block design and a 3 x 4 treatment structure. Diets were based on dry-rolled (DRC), high-moisture (HMC), or steam-flaked corn (SFC) with increasing levels of WDGS (0, 15, 27.5, or 40%; DM basis). A corn processing x WDGS level interaction (P < 0.01) was observed for ADG and G:F. Average daily gain and G:F increased linearly (P < 0.01) in steers fed DRC; ADG increased quadratically (P = 0.04) and G:F increased linearly (P = 0.02) in steers fed HMC; and ADG decreased quadratically (P = 0.02) with no change in G:F (P = 0.52) in steers fed SFC as WDGS increased. In Exp. 2, 7 ruminally fistulated steers (440 +/- 41 kg of BW) were used in a 6-period crossover design with 3 x 2 factorial treatment structure. Diets were the same as those fed in Exp. 1, except they contained only 2 levels of WDGS (0 or 40% of diet DM). Total tract starch digestibility was greater (P < 0.01) for steers fed SFC than for steers fed DRC or HMC. Minimum ruminal pH was less (P < 0.01) for steers fed SFC than for steers fed HMC or DRC. Variance of ruminal pH was different among all 3 processing methods with DRC < HMC < SFC (P < 0.10). In situ 22-h DM digestibility of DRC and HMC and starch digestibility of DRC were greater (P < 0.10) in steers fed DRC compared with steers fed HMC or SFC. Steers fed 0% WDGS had less (P < or = 0.02) intake of DM, OM, NDF, and ether extract compared with steers fed 40% WDGS. Total tract digestibility of DM and OM was greater (P < or = 0.08) and digestibility of ether extract tended (P = 0.11) to be less for steers fed 0% WDGS compared with steers fed 40% WDGS. Maximum ruminal pH and pH variance were greater (P < or = 0.08) in steers fed 0% WDGS. A corn processing x WDGS level interaction (P = 0.09) was observed for ruminal acetate to propionate ratio (A:P). Within diets containing 0% WDGS, A:P in steers fed SFC was less (P < or = 0.08). In diets containing 40% WDGS, A:P was similar between processing methods and not different from the SFC with 0% WDGS. The corn processing x WDGS level interaction observed in the finishing experiment may be due to the decreased ruminal A:P in DRC and HMC diets with 40% WDGS.