Backgrounding and Finishing Cattle
When including DDGS in rations for growing and finishing cattle, nutritionists should be careful to evaluate the crude protein, phosphorus and sulfur levels of the total ration. DDGS typically has higher phosphorus content than barley grain which may cause a reduction in the calcium : phosphorus ratio of the ration. When formulating cattle diets to include DDGS, nutritionists should be aware that overfeeding DDGS can elevate protein and phosphorus levels in the diet and in the manure of cattle which may pose potential environmental problems.

Feeding Recommendations:

Feeding trials conducted at the University of Saskatchewan show that wheat-based DDGS can replace barley at up to 32% of ration DM in backgrounding diets, and up to 23% of ration DM in finishing diets without any negative effect on animal performance. The results of these trials indicate that wheat-based DDGS has a net energy of gain value which is similar to that of barley grain for finishing cattle.

Dairy Cattle

Before formulating dairy diets to include wheat DDGS, it is essential to know the energy value and nutrient analysis of the material. From some preliminary feeding trials, it appears that wheat DDGS has a similar energy value to barley for dairy cattle.

Feeding Recommendations:

Wheat DDGS can be included at 10% of ration DM without affecting milk yield and composition.


Wheat-based DDGS has potential as an alternative diet ingredient for swine diets. Nutritionists should be aware of some important considerations when including DDGS in swine diets:

1. Fiber content - high fiber in swine diets can severely limit feed intake and negatively affect performance.
2. Amino Acid balance – inclusion of DDGS can affect the balance of essential amino acids, especially lysine.
3. Energy content - energy calculations for DDGS from chemical analysis may return higher energy values than direct measurement methods. Nutritionists should be confident in the energy value assigned to the DDGS used in ration formulation to avoid reducing dietary intake energy.

Feeding Recommendations for Grower/Finisher pigs:

Limit DDGS inclusion to 5-10% of grower ration.
In finishing diets, DDGS may be used to replace a significant portion of soybean meal. The level of DDGS in finishing diets may be increased to 20% as long the overall ration supplies sufficient energy and has a favorable amino acid balance.


Reliable values for the nutrient content of feed ingredients are essential to poultry nutritionists in order to formulate diets more precisely. At present, there is limited information on the nutritive value of wheat-based DDGS for poultry. Similar to corn-based DDGS, the nutrient composition of wheat DDGS can be very variable depending on the type of grains, genotype, cultivar, type of fermentation, drying temperature and duration. However, the studies conducted so far suggest that wheat-based DDGS has potential as a feedstuff for poultry.

Nutritional Value: Wheat DDGS is known to have a nutrient profile very similar to that of canola meal. When compared to corn DDGS, it contains higher amounts of crude protein and lower levels of digestible energy.

Feeding Recommendations:

Laying Hens: Little or no research has been conducted to test the use of new generation wheat DDGS from modern ethanol plants in laying hen diets.

Broilers: Some studies show that wheat DDGS can be incorporated into diets as high as 15% without any detrimental effects on broiler performance.

More extensive research is needed in order to determine the nutrient variability among and within the ethanol producing plants and to characterize the nutritive value of wheat-based DDGS before it can be used as a regular feed ingredient in poultry diets.