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Effects of DDGS and Mineral Sources on Gaseous Emissions

24 March 2014

A new US study reveals that feeding a diet containing 20 per cent Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to hens may be beneficial for the environment by reducing emissions. Substitution with organic trace minerals did not impact the parameters measured.

DDGS, an important ethanol industry co-product, has been used as a high-protein feed in poultry production.

However, first-named author in a paper in the current issue of Journal of Applied Poultry Research, W. Li of Michigan State University and others state that there have been few studies on their effect on air emissions.

In the current study with the University of Maryland and Purdue Univeristy, four 4 diets (2×2 factorial design: 0 or 20 per cent DDGS + inorganic or organic mineral sources) were fed to Hy-line W36 hens from 50 to 53 weeks of age. The effects of DDGS level and mineral sources on air emissions were monitored continuously for a 23-day period in environmentally controlled chambers.

The emissions (per hen and day) of ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, methane, non-methane hydrocarbons, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions ranged from 0.51 to 0.64g, 0.71 to 0.84mg, 33.9 to 46.0mg, 54.1 to 60.0mg, 66.0 to 72.2g and 83.1 to 92.1g, respectively.

Feeding DDGS to laying hens resulted in 14 per cent decrease in ammonia emissions but a 19 per cent increase in methane emissions, without affecting other gaseous emissions.

More than 30, 80, 80 and 50 per cent of the nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and calcium, respectively, was retained in the manure.

Feeding laying hens a diet containing 20 per cent DDGS may be beneficial for the environment, concluded Li and co-authors.

They added that substitution for organic trace minerals did not affect hen performance or air emissions.


Li W., Q-F. Li, W. Powers, D. Karcher, R. Angel and T.J. Applegate. 2014. Effects of distillers dried grains with solubles and mineral sources on gaseous emissions. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 23(1):41-50. doi: 10.3382/japr.2013-00802

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March 2014

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