Low oil DDGS products can hold a place in poultry rations, but it will have less value as oil is taken out, said Dr. Sally Noll, University of Minnesota, and Dr. Sheila E. Purdum, University of Nebraska, during the pre-show Nutrition and Poultry Health Symposium at the 2013 Midwest Poultry Federation Convention.

Over the past five years, DDGS have become a mainstay in poultry rations, increasing to as much as 10 percent of many diets. The oil content has presented a highly available source of energy for poultry. However, as ethanol plants are extracting oil from DDGS for other purposes, the value of DDGS energy needs to be re-evaluated, according to Noll and Purdum.

Noll presented study results on the impact of feeding DDGS that vary in fat content through de-oiling on finishing market turkey performance, especially feed conversion. Purdum presented research conducted in laying hens that looked at the effects of low oil DDGS, incorporated at 20 percent of the ration, on feed intake and egg production.

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In summary, other sources of energy will need to increase in the rations at economic prices to provide the energy needs of the bird. Low oil DDGS products are more likely to fit in layer rations, which are lower in metabolizable energy compared to meat bird rations such as broilers or turkeys. Research shows that most laying hen rations likely have enough flex in their metabolizable energy formulation to allow for 4-6 kcal/kg drops in energy, with hens adjusting feed intake slightly up.

Producers of low oil DDGS should not expect as high of economic value associated with low oil products compared to higher oil products in the poultry feed industry, said Noll and Purdum.