Evaluation of Wet and Dry Distillers Grains with Solubles for Finishing Holstein Steers
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One hundred ninety-two 430 lb Holstein steers were allotted to 32 pens and fed eight diets in a 299-day trial to evaluate the responses of feeding wet or dry distillers grains (DGS) to growing and finishing dairy steers. The dry rolled corn, corn silage and chopped grass hay diets were supplemented with urea, soybean meal, 10, 20 & 40% dry DGS and 10, 20, & 40% wet DGS. During the initial 91 days of the trial, representing a growing period, steers fed soybean meal or dry DGS gained faster than those fed the diet with urea. Feed cost of gain was reduced by feeding dry or wet DGS, but increased by feeding soybean meal. It was concluded that the calves were not gaining enough (3 lbs/d) to obtain a large response to increasing metabolizable protein above that provided by supplementing the basal diet with urea. Calves fed 40% wet DGS consumed less feed and had slower gains. During the entire trial, feeding wet or dry DGS did not affect performance except steers fed 40% wet DGS consumed less feed and had less gain, and steers fed 10% wet DGS consumed less feed with the same gain and improved feed efficiency. Except for the steers fed 40% wet DGS that had lighter carcasses, feeding wet or dry DGS did not affect carcass weight, area of ribeye, thickness of backfat, marbling, quality grades or yield grades. Value of the carcasses was not affected by feeding DGS when the value was based on grade and yield or a grid with premiums and discounts for quality and yield grades. Wet or dry DGS can be fed to dairy beef steers without affecting performance or carcass value. Depending on relative prices of DGS, corn and protein supplement, feeding DGS might reduce feed cost of gain.