Use of Distillers Dried Grains Plus Solubles in Laying Hen Diets

B. Lumpkins, A. Batal,1 and N. Dale

Poultry Science Department, 208 Poultry Science Building, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602-2772

A major emphasis on ethanol production in the US has led to the construction of new ethanol plants and an increased production of distillers dried grains plus solubles (DDGS). In the past DDGS came largely from the beverage industry and consisted of several grains used during fermentation. Recently, a majority of the DDGS produced is from corn fermentation for ethanol production. Little research has been conducted to test the use of this new generation DDGS from modern ethanol plants in laying hen diets. Hy-line W-36 laying hens were used to test an elevated inclusion level of DDGS from modern ethanol plants that can be incorporated into layer diets. Hens were fed a commercial or low-density diet formulated to contain 0 or 15% DDGS for 25 to 43 wk of age. No differences were observed in the majority of parameters evaluated between hens fed 0% or 15% DDGS. However, there was a significant (P < 0.05) reduction in hen-day egg production through 35 wk of age when hens were fed the low-density diet with 15% DDGS. Hens fed the commercial diet with 15% DDGS had numerically lower egg production to 32 wk of age, but this was not statistically significant. Distillers dried grains plus solubles proved to be an acceptable feed ingredient for laying hen diets. A suggested maximal inclusion level of 10 to 12% DDGS, based on these data and previous research, may be used in commercial diets, but it is speculated that DDGS should be incorporated at lower levels in low-density diets.