Effects of distillers grains with high sulfur concentration on ruminal fermentation and digestibility of finishing diets.J Anim Sci 2011; 89(9):2817-28JA
Twelve ruminally cannulated crossbred Angus steers were used to evaluate ruminal fermentation characteristics and diet digestibility when 30% (DM) corn dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) containing 0.42 or 0.65% (DM) of dietary S was incorporated into finishing diets based on steam-flaked corn (SFC) or dry-rolled corn (DRC). The study was a replicated, balanced randomized incomplete block design with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Factors consisted of dietary S concentration (0.42 and 0.65% of DM; 0.42S and 0.65S, respectively) and grain processing method (SFC or DRC). The 0.65S concentration was achieved by adding H(2)SO(4) to DDGS before mixing rations. Steers were assigned randomly to diets and individual, slatted-floor pens, and fed once daily for ad libitum intake. Two 15-d experimental periods were used, each consisting of a 12-d diet adaptation phase and a 3-d sample collection phase. Samples were collected at 2-h intervals postfeeding during the collection phase. Ruminal pH was measured immediately after sampling, and concentrations of ruminal ammonia and VFA were determined. Fecal samples were composited by steer within period and used to determine apparent total tract digestibilities of DM, OM, NDF, CP, starch, and ether extract. Feeding 0.65S tended (P = 0.08) to decrease DMI but resulted in greater apparent total tract digestibilities of DM (P = 0.04) and ether extract (P = 0.03). Ruminal pH increased (P < 0.05) in steers fed 0.65S diets, which may be attributable, in part, to decreased (P = 0.05) VFA concentrations and greater (P < 0.01) ruminal ammonia concentrations when 0.65S was fed, compared with feeding 0.42S. These effects were more exaggerated in steers fed DRC (interaction, P < 0.01), compared with steers fed SFC. Steers fed DRC-0.65S had greater (P < 0.01) acetate concentration than steers fed DRC-0.42S, but acetate concentration was not affected by S concentration when SFC was fed. Propionate concentration was decreased (P < 0.01) in steers fed SFC-0.65S compared with steers fed SFC-0.42S, but dietary S concentration had no effect on propionate concentration when DRC was fed. Butyrate concentration was less (P < 0.01) in steers fed 0.65S diets than in steers fed 0.42S. Lactate concentrations tended (P = 0.06) to decrease in steers fed 0.65S diets. Feeding DDGS with increased S concentration may decrease feed intake and ruminal VFA concentration but increase ruminal ammonia concentration.