Amat, S., Hendrick, S., McAllister, T. A., Block, H. C. and McKinnon, J. J. 2012. Effects of distillers' dried grains with solubles from corn, wheat or a 50:50 corn:wheat blend on performance, carcass characteristics and serum sulphate levels of feedlot steers. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 92: 343-351. Two trials were conducted to evaluate the effects of corn (CDDGS), wheat (WDDGS) or a 50:50 corn:wheat blend (BDDGS) dried distillers' grains with solubles (DDGS) on performance (Trials 1 and 2), carcass traits (Trial 2) and serum sulphate level (Trial 2) of steers. In Trial 1, 396 steers (281.1±19.6 kg) were fed one of three backgrounding diets. The control diet was 34.3% barley grain, 26.0% grass hay, 10.3% barley straw, 22.8% barley silage and 6.7% supplement [dry matter (DM) basis]. For the two treatments, 17% of the barley was replaced with CDDGS or WDDGS. In Trial 2, 288 steers (273.9±18.5 kg) were backgrounded and finished. Backgrounding diets were identical to Trial 1, with a third treatment where 17% of the barley grain was replaced with BDDGS. The control finishing diet was 86.8% barley grain, 7.4% barley silage and 5.8% supplement (DM basis). Treatments included replacement of 40% of the barley grain (DM basis) with CDDGS, BDDGS or WDDGS. In Trial 1, there was no effect of DDGS on dry matter intake (DMI) (P=0.49), average daily gain (ADG) (P=0.64), feed efficiency (P=0.06), ultrasound fat (USFAT) (P=0.90) or longissimus dorsi (USLD) (P=0.071) area. In Trial 2, overall, DMI of cattle fed WDDGS was higher (P=0.03) than control or CDDGS cattle, with BDDGS intermediate. In contrast, ADG was higher (P<0.01) for the CDDGS and BDDGS than either the control or WDDGS fed cattle. The CDDGS and BDDGS cattle were more efficient (P<0.01) than those fed WDDGS with the controls intermediate. Cattle fed CDDGS or WDDGS exhibited higher (P<0.01) serum sulphate levels compared with BDDGS or control cattle, reflecting differences in sulphur intake. The results indicate that CDDGS is a superior energy source to WDDGS and that both sources of DDGS can be used as a partial replacement for barley in backgrounding and finishing diets for cattle.
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