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Effect of low and high oil corn distillers' grain on rumen fermentation, growth performance and carcass characteristics of lambs

O'Hara, A.S., Tanner, A., McAllister, T.A., Gibb, D.J., Van Herk, F., Chaves, A.V. (2011). Effect of low and high oil corn distillers' grain on rumen fermentation, growth performance and carcass characteristics of lambs, 51(8), 708-716. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN11023

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the effect of replacing a mixture of canola meal and barley grain in the diet with (low and high oil) corn dried distillers' grains with solubles (DDGS) or wheat DDGS on rumen fermentation, feed intake, growth performance and carcass traits in lambs. Seventy Canadian Arcott lambs (24.7±3.21 kg) were used in a completely randomised block design over a 14-week trial. Experimental diets were provided ad libitum as pelleted total mixed rations. In the treatment diets, canola meal and barley grain were replaced with 200 g/kg of dietary DM of either high oil corn DDGS, low oil corn DDGS or wheat DDGS. A positive control diet was added to match the lipid content of 39 g/kg DM of the high oil corn DDGS diet. An in vitro rumen digestibility trial was conducted using ruminal fluid obtained from three non-lactating Holstein dairy cows. Rumen contents were also collected from each lamb at the time of slaughter for testing in vivo rumen fermentation. Data from both the in vivo and in vitro results were analysed using the MIXED procedure of SAS. The in vitro incubations revealed both corn DDGS diets produced less microbial N and microbial DM than control and wheat DDGS diets; however, this difference was too minimal to affect growth performance. Similarly, there was no dietary effect on (P>0.05) on in vivo ruminal fermentation or carcass characteristics (P ≥ 0.19) of the lambs. Lambs fed low oil corn DDGS had lower average daily gains (P<0.03) than those fed either high oil corn DDGS or wheat DDGS however they did not differ from those fed the control. This research demonstrated that replacing canola meal and portions of barley grain with 200 g/kg DM of either high oil corn DDGS, low oil corn DDGS or wheat DDGS in finishing lamb ratios could effectively maintain healthy rumen function, growth performance and carcass characteristics. © 2011 CSIRO.

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