Alberta researchers are exploring the livestock feeding implications of reduced fat content in dried distillers grain imported from U.S. corn ethanol plants.
Tim McAllister, a research scientist with Agriculture Canada who has done several studies on DDGs in livestock diets, told a recent Leth-bridge meeting that reducing any feed ingredient leads to a higher concentration of the remaining ingredients. In this case, that means higher fibre.
“In ruminants, that change in fibre concentration, because it’s so digestible, is not quite as big a deal as it is in monogastric animals where they can’t utilize fibre as efficiently.”
Every one percent reduction in fat results in 1.3 percent reduction in net energy, but DDGs with lower fat content does not appear to be a major hindrance to cattle gain.
“At this point we’re saying low-oil corn DDGs is at least equivalent to wheat DDGs and equivalent to barley grain, with a higher value in growing diets where that protein may have some benefit,” said McAllister.
The feed value of corn DDGs is also affected by particle size, carbohydrate composition and drying temperature, in addition to fat level.
Other research has shown higher incidence of liver abscesses in cattle fed with DDGS, though there is no difference in carcass quality.