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  1. #1
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    Question Nutrition folks! Tell me about DISTILLER'S DRIED GRAINS! (DDG or DDGS)

    I know a little bit about DDG and DDGS, but not a lot and I want to learn more!

    What 'category' is DDG under in the equine diet? Grain, forage, supplement? What does it contribute to the horse's diet? I've heard it's a protein source, and I've heard it's a vitamin source.

    Also, it seems like DDG/DDGS has really begun to sneak its way into more and more feeds/supplements. Is it economical, compared to other feedstuffs in it's category?

    Are there any negatives to this feedstuff? I know mold can be an issue, but really, it can be an issue in any feed.

    I also know DDG/DDGS is known to be a low-starch feed. Does anyone know the NSC? I'm thinking this is a big reason why it's becoming more popular in feeds, because it's a low-starch additive.

    Basically.. tell me about DDG/DDGS! I want to learn!
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  2. #2
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    Dang, nobody?
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  3. #3
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    As you know, it is the byproduct of making alcohol.

    I remember being really creeped out by it, when I first saw it on a label a few years ago. Did some research and I couldn't find anything bad BUT...

    I just have this creepy feeling that it is a throw away by-product that manufacturers are tossing in. A "filler." But I have that issue with soybean hulls, peanut hulls, wheat middlings, etc. It is the stuff "we" don't eat and it is downright difficult to find out info.

    For instance, is it all the same quality and consistancy? Is the by-product of making beer equal to the by-product of making vodka the same in nutritional value? Versus the stuff from making ethanol (which is why so much of it is now out there -think auto fuel and corn).

    http://www.ddgs.umn.edu/
    Oh, but check out this book (the description implies that there are issues with the product):
    http://www.matric.iastate.edu/DGbook/

    What work has the USDA done on ensuring it is safe?
    What preservatives are currently being used to stop it from going bad? What is being tested?

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/as-fact/distillers.html

    Yeh, I do have questions. I use TC senior feed or a similar product (a no/low grain product) but the stuff that substitutes grain can be "interesting." I feel like they are designing foods based on left over "stuff," and the bad side effects may not known yet. Essentially, our animals are being used as equine guinea pigs, as are other livestock and yet, the rational behind using it is sound and it certainly has better nutritional content than corn. So??? Yep, I use it but I wouldn't be surprised if one day our horses get some terrible issue from it.
    Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s



  4. #4
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    Distiller's Grains have been used in livestock feeds since 1907, hardly a new development. I remember reading feed tags and seeing the stuff in the bag as a child, at least 40 years ago. Again this is not a new development.

    They contain little starch because that is what is distilled off, but the protein, fat, fiber and minerals of the original grain becomes concentrated. It is added to feeds to help achieve the numbers on the tags.

    Soy hulls are easily digested by the cecum, have little starch, and are high in pectins and other soluble fibers. Equines need fiber and a lot of it to survive.



  5. #5
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    What Seal Harbor said

    Small amounts are nice, but too much is not healthy.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  6. #6
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    Pennfield did a press release early this year, announcing no more distillers' grains in its feed.
    Think info is probably on Pennfield website.
    Concern was mold from wet conditions in the fields, I believe.
    Now I only feed two feeds with no distillers' grains.



  7. #7
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    The problems in cattle rations is that distiller grains tend to have too much sulfur, so if you use them, you have to keep testing the rations.
    Many beef cattle producers and most dairies make their own feed, unlike horse owners.
    I expect that would be addressed at the mill when manufacturing horse feeds to be sold to horse owners by the sack.



  8. #8
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    Nutrients like any others. Not swept up off the floor, not second-class citizens. Just an efficient use of something that would otherwise be thrown out by brewing companies as they have no further use for it. Environmentally much more responsible to feed it to animals than to chuck in the landfill.
    Click here before you buy.



  9. #9
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    Environmentally much more responsible to feed it to animals than to chuck in the landfill
    yes, true; but is it "good for the animals"? a feed that is ok to fatten beef for slaughter may not be what you want to feed to your horse, whom you hope will live a long, healthy life. You can be sure that any "feeding trials" to test the safety and value of the product won't have gone on for years. Cattle fed something with a tiny amount of a toxin in it for six months may appear to be wonderfully healthy at slaughter time, but keep feeding that toxin, year after year, and maybe your horse's liver or kidneys will give out.

    ALso, most of these "re-packaged garbage from another industry" products have little quality control or consistency from batch to batch, because, obviously, they aren't being manufactured specifically for any purpose.



  10. #10
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    In moderate amounts, DGs are perfectly fine for most horses. Trouble comes in when people feet 10lb of the stuff

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/as-fact/distillers.html
    Corn DG is about 30% protein and 4% starch and 12% fat,, compared to sub-10 and 70% and 4%, respectively, for the corn itself. On average

    That's why it's valuable as a feed additive - increases the protein and the fat while doing little to increase the NSC content.

    Trouble comes in if they are not used and stabilized quickly, as it doesn't take long for them to start spoiling.

    http://www.ddgs.umn.edu/articles-hor...vel%20of--.pdf
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  11. #11
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    Remember, the USA is now producing vast quantities of this stuff with ethanol gasoline. This is not a tiny by-product of beer making. This is a new stockpile on distillers dried grains like the USA has never seen before. There are government studies to try to figure out export markets. I think we will probably start seeing it in our own food stuffs, as soon as they can get approval.
    http://www.ethanolproducer.com/dgq/a...rticle_id=1189

    The various publications that I cited, by experts in the field did have some concerns, I will list some of them:

    "Variability in Nutrient Composition
    The nutrient composition of distillers grains varies. (fine if one is using Triple Crown -which does guaranteed analysis but not so fine for Purina and other such companies which don't do guaranteed analysis). The nutrient composition not only varies from grain product to grain product (corn, wheat, etc) but from batch to batch.

    "Lower concentrations of rumen undegradable protein (same reactions that reduce energy digestibility also reduce protein degradation)" TO ME: this could be important but right now, a total unknown..
    http://www.extension.org/pages/Feed_...etary_Nitrogen
    Horses don't have a rumen, but the undegradable protein issue is very interesting. I could not find a study on the effects of undegradable protein ratios in the equine that looked at high quantities of distillers grains in the equine diet. But it is an issue in cattle and diets are supplemented when fed distilled grains.

    " Not stable, thus spoilage can be very high." Ergo large amounts of (unknown type) preservatives are being added, according to one of the papers. But if the spoilage occurs before it is dried, that could be a significant issue.

    So, yes...of course, it is high protein, high fat and low starch But I just can't dismiss that there could be issues. Too many livestock nutritional experts (not activists) have concerns (many mild but a few have significant concerns) and there have been no studies done that I can find involving the equine and distiller's grains. The ratio of this product in feed will continue to increase and that does pose a small but real risk.

    Yep, I do and will use it but I will also keep an eye out for what research will be done in the future on the equine and distiller's dried grains.
    Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cielo Azure View Post
    "Variability in Nutrient Composition
    The nutrient composition of distillers grains varies. (fine if one is using Triple Crown -which does guaranteed analysis but not so fine for Purina and other such companies which don't do guaranteed analysis).
    Purina absolutely does have a guaranteed analysis. They just don't have a fixed ingredient list.

    The nutrient composition of DG varies from batch to batch, not just grain by grain, so anyone using it, including TC, has to know that and adjust accordingly to meet the guaranteed analysis.

    One can choose a company who uses "distillers grain products" (which Purina might do), or one who uses "corn distillers grain products" (which TC might do, and I just saw a new formula that Kent has come out with to replace TC which states the specific DG in the ingredient list).


    The nutrient composition not only varies from grain product to grain product (corn, wheat, etc) but from batch to batch.
    Ah, see And this goes in conflict with the first statements (I realize you didn't say these things), because companies using a guaranteed analysis have to take this into account and adjust.

    there have been no studies done that I can find involving the equine and distiller's grains.
    Thankfully I just posted one

    Yep, I do and will use it but I will also keep an eye out for what research will be done in the future on the equine and distiller's dried grains.
    Oh me too! I don't currently use anything with this in it, but I wouldn't be put off by it either, not at this point, but I'll sure be watching nutritional updates as it pertains to anything "different" we feed, not just DGs
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  13. #13
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    With cattle the DG is probably more wet - they spray it on things like silage. Which already has a higher moisture level.

    Dried DG is like molasses - adding it to horse feeds in that form might reduce the likelihood of spoilage.



  14. #14
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    Reading all these great replies, wow! Keep it coming folks.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  15. #15
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    Isn't it along the same line as beet pulp? A byproduct with some good nutritional properties.



  16. #16
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    suzyq, yep, that's my view on it!
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  17. #17

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    My name is Tami Jones, and I am the marketing coordinator for Pennfield Equine Feed Technologies. These are good questions about ingredients, and I'd like to offer you our thoughts on them, if I may:

    First, we removed DDGS from our horse feeds some time ago because they are a source of mycotoxins, including deadly fumonisins. Since mycotoxins in DDGS can be quite concentrated we determined this ingredient would not be used in any Pennfield equine products.

    Next, we do use a substantial amount of wheat middlings and soybean hulls in our horse feeds. Both are excellent sources of digestible fiber, especially soybean hulls, which are high in pectin. Wheat middlings, like oats, barley and corn, may also be a source of mycotoxins, but at Pennfield we chemically test every single load of these four ingredients to be certain they are not contaminated with mycotoxins above FDA allowed and recommended levels.

    Here is the referenced press release, which contains a lot of good information on mycotoxin testing and protocols:
    http://pennfieldequine.com/newsdetails.php?id=28

    Hope this helps!



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tami Jones View Post
    Next, we do use a substantial amount of wheat middlings and soybean hulls in our horse feeds. Both are excellent sources of digestible fiber, especially soybean hulls, which are high in pectin. Wheat middlings, like oats, barley and corn, may also be a source of mycotoxins,
    Thank you for weighing in here.

    What is a wheat middling?



  19. #19
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    Wheat middlings are the co-product from the flour processing industry. The bran, germ, and some flour remnants. Higher in protein, lower in starch, higher in fiber than the parent grain. It is usually pelleted. So the people get the white flour (not good for you really) and the animals get the good bits - wheat germ, wheat bran.

    Higher in phosphorous as most grain products are and also provide a source of selenium, copper, zinc and magnesium.



  20. #20

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    And oddly, wheat middlings are not considered "grain". Found that out about Pennfield Fibregized, which is beet pulp, wheat middlings, soybean hulls and other stuff, no grain. My Oldenburg is very sensitive and allergy-prone, and does noticeably better on Fibregized.



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