Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Animal Science

First Advisor

Atkinson, Rebecca


The objective of this study was to examine the effects of 70% (DM) inclusion of dried distillers' grain with solubles (DDGS) on performance and meat quality. Ninety-six Angus steers (276 kg ± 7.5 kg initial BW) were used in an completely randomized design with incomplete replication. Steers were stratified by BW to pens and pens were randomly assigned to one of 6 treatments: 1) 80% corn; 5% soybean meal; 15% corn silage, fed as a negative control (CON); 2) 40% DDGS: 45% corn: 15% corn silage, fed as a positive control (PCON); 3) steers received PCON (0-84d) then switched to a diet of 70% DDGS: 15% corn: 15% corn silage until finished (40/70); 4) steers started on 70% DDGS: 15% corn: 15% corn silage (0-84d) then switched to PCON until finished (70/40); 5) CON + soybean meal, isonitrogenous to PCON (N40); 6) CON + corn oil, isocaloric to PCON (E40). Steers were fed respective treatments until 80% of them reached low choice or higher by visual appraisal, providing their genetics allowed (168 and 213 days). Dry matter intake, DMI, (P &ge 0.82) was not affected by treatment, isocaloric, or isonitrogenous diets. End weight was greater (P = 0.04) for PCON steers compared to N40 steers. However, no treatment effect (P &ge 0.15) on G:F. Dietary treatment did not affect HCW, quality grade, %KPH, or liver score (P &ge 0.12). Yield grade was not affected (P = 0.12) by treatment but tended to be lower (P = 0.06) for N40 steers compared to PCON steers. However, N40 steers had a larger (P = 0.04) ribeye area and greater rib fat (P = 0.05) when compared to PCON and ribeye tended (P = 0.06) to be smaller in 70/40 and E40 steers compared to all other treatments. Minotola color, % cook loss, shear force, total SFA, total PUFA, total MUFA or lipogenic activity were not affected (P &ge 0.08) by treatment. The data of this study suggests that it is possible to feed 70% DDGS in feedlot rations with little to no adverse effects on growth performance or meat quality.




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