Journal of animal science

Effects of wet corn distillers grains with solubles on visceral organ mass, trace mineral status, and polioencephalomalacia biomarkers of individually-fed cattle.

PMID 25023807


Twenty-four steers (initial BW = 385 ± 1.1 kg) were blocked by BW and randomly assigned to 3 dietary treatments (0, 30, or 60% wet distillers grains with solubles [WDGS]; DM basis) and were fed individually to determine the effect of WDGS on live growth and carcass performance, visceral organ mass, trace mineral status, and polioencephalomalacia biomarkers. Steers were slaughtered at 125, 150, 164, and 192 d (2 blocks/slaughter date) when external fat depth was approximately 1.3 cm based on visual appraisal. Steers fed 30% WDGS had greater DMI than those fed 0 or 60% WDGS (P < 0.05), and steers fed 60% WDGS had the lowest carcass-adjusted ADG (P < 0.09) of the 3 treatments. Nonetheless, WDGS concentration did not alter feed efficiency (P > 0.41) on either live or carcass-adjusted basis. Steers fed 30% WDGS had greater liver S and Mn concentrations (DM basis) and lower liver Fe concentrations than control steers (P < 0.10; initial values used as a covariate), and feeding 60% WDGS decreased liver Cu and increased liver Fe (P < 0.10) compared with feeding 30% WDGS. Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) activity in brain tissue tended to be decreased with 60 vs. 30% WDGS (P = 0.12), and COX activity decreased linearly (P = 0.06) in lung tissue as dietary WDGS concentration increased. Likewise, gut fill linearly increased (P = 0.01) with increasing WDGS concentration. Feeding 30% WDGS increased fractional mass (g/kg of empty BW) of the small intestine (P < 0.10) compared with controls, whereas 60% WDGS increased fractional kidney mass (P < 0.10) compared with 30% WDGS. Overall, results suggest that gut fill, Cu status, and COX activity seem to be compromised by WDGS when fed at 60% of diet DM in diets based on steam-flaked corn, which suggests a greater susceptibility to polioencephalomalacia.

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