Wet distillers grains plus solubles concentration in steam-flaked-corn-based diets: Effects on feedlot cattle performance, carcass characteristics, nutrient digestibility, and ruminal fermentation characteristics.J Anim Sci 2012; 90(5):1589-602JA
Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of wet distillers grain plus solubles (WDG; <15% sorghum grain) concentration in steam-flaked corn (SFC) diets on feedlot performance, carcass characteristics, ruminal fermentation, and diet digestibility. In Exp. 1, six hundred crossbred steers (364 ± 35 kg of BW) were used in a randomized complete block design with 8 replications/treatment. Dietary treatments consisted of a dry-rolled corn (DRC) control diet without WDG, a SFC control without WDG, and SFC with 4 WDG concentrations (15, 30, 45, 60% DM basis) replacing SFC, cottonseed meal, urea, and yellow grease. Final BW, ADG, G:F, HCW, and 12th-rib fat depth were greater (P ≤ 0.05) for SFC compared with DRC. Dry matter intake tended (P = 0.06) to be greater for DRC compared with SFC. Final BW, ADG, G:F, HCW, 12th-rib fat depth, and marbling score decreased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing WDG concentration. In Exp. 2, six ruminally and duodenally cannulated crossbred steers (481 ± 18 kg of BW) were used in a 6 × 6 Latin square design using the same diets as Exp. 1. Ruminal, postruminal, and total tract OM and NDF digestibility were not different (P > 0.14) for DRC compared with SFC. Ruminal and total tract starch digestibility were greater (P < 0.01) for SFC compared with DRC. Dry matter and OM intake were not different (P ≥ 0.43) among WDG treatments. Ruminal and total tract OM digestibility decreased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing WDG concentration. Intake, ruminal digestibility, and total tract digestibility of NDF increased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing WDG concentration. Starch intake decreased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing WDG concentration. Ruminal starch digestibility increased (P = 0.01) with increasing concentration of WDG. Total tract starch digestibility decreased quadratically (P < 0.01) with increasing concentration of WDG. Feeding SFC improved steer performance compared with DRC. The concentration of WDG and corn processing method influences nutrient digestibility and ruminal fermentation. The addition of WDG in SFC-based diets appears to negatively affect animal performance by diluting the energy density of the diet.