Research reports

Investigation of relationship of chemical composition, viscosity, and metabolizable energy of distillers grains for poultry

Read the complete report: Investigation of relationship of chemical composition, viscosity, and metabolizable energy of distillers grains for poultry

About this report:
The overall goal of this project was to determine measurable characteristics of DDGS for use in prediction of energy values in poultry diets. Protein and energy remain the most expensive components of poultry feed. Poultry in contrast to ruminant animals will extract less energy and protein from feed ingredients such as DDGS, so use of DDGS in poultry diets is ultimately dependent on the economic value of the energy and nutrients that are provided by DDGS as compared to other ingredients.

Prediction of metabolizable energy content of DDGS based on chemical composition has not been very successful in indicating the amount of energy derived from DDGS. This likely reflects a variety of influencing factors – diet levels, nutrient digestibility, gut environment, and interaction with other components in the feed at the gut level. Viscosity of intestinal contents has been used successfully to assess the feeding value of ingredients such as wheat, rye, and barley that contain high levels of a fiber component called non-starch polysaccharides. Increased viscosity can be associated with decreased nutrient digestibility in the gut and an association with non-desirable bacterial populations.

Conclusions:
Previously reported concerns that poorer performance of DDGS was attributable to increased viscosity in the intestinal tract was not shown to be the case for young turkey poults fed diets containing different sources of DDGS in comparison to a control diet without DDGS.  Apparent metabolizable energy (AME) of the 12 samples of DDGS averaged 3,079 kcal/kg on a dry matter basis and varied from a low to high of 2267 to 3930. The results of this project demonstrated that feeding of a variety of different DDGS at a level of 15% did not increase intestinal viscosity in young turkey poults and therefore should not be associated with an increase in undesirable bacteria in the gut associated with necrotic enteritis. In addition, this research found there to be a relatively simple regression equation to predict DDGS AME content using crude protein (dry matter basis).

Project outcomes:
This information allows livestock producers to make the most affordable and nutritional decisions for feeding their birds, and helps others understand the value and impact of DDGS from ethanol production.

Partners:
University of Minnesota
Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council

Questions?
For questions or additional information, please contact AURI at 800.279.5010.