Effect of sulfur content in wet or dry distillers grains fed at several inclusions on cattle growth performance, ruminal parameters, and hydrogen sulfide

J. O. Sarturi, G. E. Erickson, T. J. Klopfenstein, J. T. Vasconcelos, W. A. Griffin, K. M. Rolfe, J. R. Benton, V. R. Bremer

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11 Scopus citations


Effects of S from wet or dry distillers grains with solubles (DGS) containing 0.82 or 1.16% S on animal growth performance, carcass characteristics, apparent total tract digestibility, and ruminal parameters were evaluated. In Exp. 1, crossbred beef steers (n = 120; 345 ± 34 kg BW) were individually fed ad libitum using Calan gates. Treatments were applied as a 2 × 2 × 3 + 1 factorial treatment arrangement with factors of DGS type (wet or dry), S content in DGS (0.82 or 1.16% DM basis), and DGS inclusion (20, 30, and 40%, DM basis), as well as a corn control diet (no DGS). In Exp. 2, ruminally cannulated crossbred beef steers (n = 6; 381 ± 31 kg BW) were assigned to 1 of 5 diets in a 5 × 6 unbalanced Latin Square design and fed ad libitum through five 14-d periods. A 2 × 2 + 1 factorial treatment arrangement was used with the factors of DGS type and S content in DGS (similar to Exp. 1). Inclusion of DGS was 40%, except for a MATCH diet containing wet 1.16% S DGS included at 31.4% (DM basis). Intake of DM decreased linearly (P < 0.01) and quadratically (P < 0.01) for steers fed wet and dry DGS that was 1.16% S, respectively. In addition, steers fed dry DGS consumed 9% more DM (P < 0.01) than those fed wet. Gain decreased linearly (P = 0.02) when wet 1.16% S DGS increased in the diet, representing a 12% drop in ADG between the Control and 40% DGS inclusion. A quadratic (P = 0.02) improvement in G:F was observed for steers fed wet DGS compared with dry, regardless of S content (P = 0.52). Feeding diets with wet 1.16% S DGS linearly decreased (P = 0.03) HCW. In Exp. 2, molar proportion of propionate declined (P = 0.01) 9% and A:P ratio tended (P = 0.13) to be greater when 1.16 compared with 0.82% S DGS was fed. Apparent total tract DMD was not affected (P > 0.16) and only subtle changes (P < 0.01) in ruminal pH parameters were observed. Greater (P = 0.02) ruminal H2S concentration for steers fed wet compared with dry DGS was observed, while 1.16% S DGS tended (P = 0.12) to produce greater ruminal H2S than 0.82% S. Sulfur in wet DGS appears to be more prone to be converted to ruminal H2S, because feeding 1.16% S as wet DGS had a greater impact on ADG, DMI, and ruminal H2S compared with dry DGS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4849-4860
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Distillers grains
  • Feedlot cattle
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Sulfur


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