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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Nutrition

Effects of dietary concentration of wet distillers grains on performance by newly received beef cattle, in vitro gas production and volatile fatty acid concentrations, and in vitro dry matter disappearance1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 91 No. 6, p. 2836-2845
    Received: July 2, 2012
    Accepted: Feb 27, 2013
    Published: November 25, 2014

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. D. R. Smith 2,
  2. C. H. Ponce*,
  3. N. DiLorenzo*,
  4. M. J. Quinn*,
  5. M. L. May*,
  6. J. C. MacDonald†‡,
  7. M. K. Luebbe,
  8. R. G. Bondurant†‡ and
  9. M. L. Galyean*
  1. Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock 79409
    Texas AgriLife Research, Amarillo 79106
    Department of Agricultural Sciences, West Texas A&M University, Canyon 79016


Three studies were designed to evaluate effects of wet distillers grains with solubles (WDGS) on health and performance of newly received beef cattle, in vitro gas production, molar proportions and total concentrations of VFA, and IVDMD. In Exp. 1 and 2, 219 (BW = 209 kg, SE = 2.2 kg; Exp. 1) and 200 beef steers (BW = 186 kg, SE = 3.2 kg; Exp. 2) were used in randomized complete block design receiving studies. The 4 dietary treatments (DM basis) were a 65% concentrate, steam-flaked corn (SFC)-based receiving diet without WDGS (CON) or diets that contained 12.5, 25.0, or 37.5% WDGS. There were no differences among the 4 receiving diets in BW (P ≥ 0.61), ADG (P ≥ 0.75), DMI (P ≥ 0.27), and G:F (P ≥ 0.35), or in the proportion of cattle treated for morbidity from bovine respiratory disease in either of the 2 experiments. In Exp. 3, in vitro methods were used to determine the effects of WDGS on IVDMD, total gas production, and molar proportions and total concentrations of VFA. Substrates used for the incubations contained the same major components as the diets used in Exp. 1, with ruminal fluid obtained from steers fed a 60% concentrate diet. Total gas production was less (P = 0.03) for the average of the 3 WDGS substrates than for CON, with a linear decrease (P = 0.01) in total gas production as WDGS concentration increased in the substrates. In contrast to gas production, IVDMD was greater for the average of the 3 WDGS concentrations vs. CON (P ≤ 0.05) at 6 and 12 h and increased (P ≤ 0.02) with increasing WDGS concentration at 6 (linear and quadratic) and 12 h (linear) of incubation. At 48 h, there was a quadratic effect (P = 0.05) on IVDMD, with the greatest value for 25% WDGS. Molar proportion of butyrate increased linearly (P < 0.01) as the concentration of WDGS increased in the substrate, and the average of the 3 substrates containing WDGS had a greater proportion of butyrate (P = 0.03) than CON. Performance data from Exp. 1 and 2 indicate that including WDGS in the SFC-based diets for newly received cattle can be an effective at concentrations up to 37.5% of the DM. In vivo measurements are needed to corroborate the in vitro fermentation changes noted with addition of WDGS.

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