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The Nutritive Value of Thin Stillage and Wet Distillers' Grains for Ruminants - Review -

  • Mustafa, A.F. (Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan) ;
  • McKinnon, J.J. (Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan) ;
  • Christensen, D.A. (Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan)
  • Published : 2000.11.01

Abstract

Thin stillage and distillers' grains are byproducts remaining after alcohol distillation from a fermented cereal grain mash. Both byproducts are used as energy and protein sources for ruminants. Due to its liquid nature, more than 50% of thin stillage bypasses the rumen. Thin stillage can be fed alone or in combination with distillers' grains. However, a better utilization by beef cattle is anticipated when thin stillage replaces water as a fluid source. Ruminal undegraded protein content of distillers' grains is greatly affected by type of cereal grain and by drying. Corn distillers' grains have a higher ruminal undegraded protein content than wheat distillers' grains while dried distillers' grains have a higher ruminal undegraded protein content than the wet distillers' grains. Wet and dried distillers' grains can replace up to 50% of corn grain in beef cattle diets without affecting animal performance. The estimated NEg of corn distillers' grains for beef cattle ranges from 100 to 169% of that of corn. In general, wet corn distillers' grains have a higher NEg value than dried corn distillers' grains and the addition of thin stillage improves the NEg of distillers' grains. Improved performance of ruminats fed distillers' byproducts can be attributed to high digestible fiber content, improved rumen environment and a shift in organic matter digestion from the rumen to the small intestine.

Keywords

Distillers' Grains;Thin Stillage;Ruminants

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