Evaluation of sulfur content of dried distillers grains with solubles in finishing diets based on steam-flaked corn or dry-rolled corn.J Anim Sci 2011; 89(8):2582-91JA
Crossbred yearling steers (n=80; 406 ± 2.7 kg of BW) were used to evaluate the effects of S concentration in dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and ruminal concentrations of CH(4) and H(2)S in finishing steers fed diets based on steam-flaked corn (SFC) or dry-rolled corn (DRC) and containing 30% DDGS (DM basis) with moderate S (0.42% S, MS) or high S (0.65% S, HS). Treatments consisted of SFC diets containing MS (SFC-MS), SFC diets containing HS (SFC-HS), DRC diets containing MS (DRC-MS), or DRC diets containing HS (DRC-HS). High S was achieved by adding H(2)SO(4) to DDGS. Ruminal gas samples were analyzed for concentrations of H(2)S and CH(4). Steers were fed once daily in quantities that resulted in traces of residual feed in the bunk the following day for 140 d. No interactions (P ≥ 0.15) between dietary S concentration and grain processing were observed with respect to growth performance or carcass characteristics. Steers fed HS diets had 8.9% less DMI (P < 0.001) and 12.9% less ADG (P=0.006) than steers fed diets with MS, but S concentration had no effect on G:F (P=0.25). Cattle fed HS yielded 4.3% lighter HCW (P = 0.006) and had 16.2% less KPH (P=0.009) than steers fed MS. Steers fed HS had decreased (P=0.04) yield grades compared with steers fed MS. No differences were observed among treatments with respect to dressing percentage, liver abscesses, 12th-rib fat thickness, LM area, or USDA quality grades (P ≥ 0.18). Steers fed SFC had less DMI (P < 0.001) than steers fed DRC. Grain processing had no effect (P > 0.05) on G:F or carcass characteristics. Cattle fed HS had greater (P < 0.001) ruminal concentrations of H(2)S than cattle fed MS. Hydrogen sulfide concentration was inversely related (P ≤ 0.01) to ADG (r=-0.58) and DMI (r=-0.67) in cattle fed SFC, and to DMI (r=-0.40) in cattle fed DRC. Feeding DDGS that are high in dietary S may decrease the DMI of beef steers and compromise the growth performance and carcass characteristics of feedlot cattle.