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Better Prediction of Energy Value of DDGS for Broilers

06 January 2014

US - Researchers have developed an equation to estimate the apparent metabolisable energy content of the new types of low-oil distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) from their chemical composition.

An experiment consisting of two identically designed trials was conducted to determine the nutrient composition and nitrogen-adjusted apparent metabolisable energy (AMEn) content of DDGS to develop prediction equations for AMEn in broilers.

First-named author, K.J. Meloche of Auburn University and co-authors there and with USDA-Agricultural Research Service and the University of Minnesota describe their study in Poultry Science

Fifteen samples of DDGS ranging in ether extract (EE) from 3.15 to 13.23 per cent (on a dry matter basis) were collected from various dry-grind ethanol plants and were subsequently fed to broiler chicks to determine AMEn content.

A corn-soybean meal control diet was formulated to contain 15 per cent dextrose, and test diets were created by mixing the control diet with 15 per cent DDGS at the expense of dextrose.

In each trial, 672 male Ross × Ross 708 chicks were housed in grower battery cages with seven birds per cage (0.06 square metres per bird) and received a common starter diet until 10 days of age. Each cage was randomly assigned to one of 16 dietary treatments, with six replicate pens per treatment.

Experimental diets were fed over a six-day acclimatisation period from 10 to 16 days of age, followed by a 48-hour total excreta collection period.

Gross energy (GE) and crude protein (CP) of the experimental diets and excreta were determined to calculate AMEn for each DDGS sample.

On a dry matter basis, AMEn of the 15 DDGS samples ranged from 1,869 to 2,824kcal per kg.

Analyses were conducted to determine the gross energy (GE), CP, EE, dry matter (DM), starch, total dietary fibre (TDF), neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF) and ash content of the DDGS samples.

Stepwise regression resulted in the following best-fit equation for AMEn (on a dry matter basis) based on the adjusted coefficient of determination (R2adj), standard error (SE) and prediction error sum of squares (PRESS):

AMEn, kcal/kg = −12,282 + (2.60 × GE) + (89.75 × CP) + (125.80 × starch) – (40.67 × TDF)
R2adj = 0.86; SE = 98.76; PRESS = 199,819; P≤0.001

Meloche and co-authors conclude their results indicate that the composition of DDGS with variable EE content may be used to predict AMEn in broiler chicks.


Meloche K.J., B.J. Kerr, G.C. Shurson and W.A. Dozier III. 2013. Apparent metabolizable energy and prediction equations for reduced-oil corn distillers dried grains with solubles in broiler chicks from 10 to 18 days of age. Poult. Sci. 92(12):3176-3183. doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03290

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