The feeding types that currently exist in the majority of farms do not enable to balance the rations as for the most crucial indicators such as energy and protein, which causes genetically determined animal productivity potential to be used by not more than 50-60%. Ration imbalance results into a significant (by 25-30%) overexpenditure of feeds and, accordingly, growth in specific weight of forage. The share of rough feeds in the structure of feeds increases, while swine and poultry farming requires, primarily, concentrated feeds.

Distillers dried grains are the core waste from ethanol production. According to the data from monitoring the scientific literature, they are extensively used in animal breeding of many countries of the world. Thus, for instance, in France and USA 90-95% of vinasse is processed into a dry feed product containing dry protein, easy-digestible carbohydrates, vitamins, and mineral nutrients. Such product is either supplied to compound feed plants and introduced into full-ration compound feeds or purchased by farmers and mixed with forage grains directly at the farm. It should be noted that the majority of the dried waste in these countries is used for cattle feeding. The high energy value and content of protein makes it especially useful for cattle sagination. Introduction of dry products into the feeding ration enables to reduce the consumption of grains in a significant way.

Distillers dried grains contain all nutrients peculiar to the source product, however, their quantitative proportion is different from such of the raw materials. Distillers dried grains contain a significant amount of crude protein reaching 37 and more percent, which is equal to protein from sunflower cake in terms of the use efficiency and feeding value. Such amount of protein is determined by the life  of yeast in the process of raw material fermentation to obtain spirit. Protein of distillers dried grains is of quite high quality, as it is enriched with the indispensible amino acids    (lysine, methionine), which can not be generated in the organism of single-chambered stomach animals (swine, poultry) and should come in only with feeds.

Distillers grains contain at least 17 various amino acids, the total content of which reaches 35.6% expressed as an absolutely dry substance. The share of carbohydrates, fats and mineral salts, in average, account for 13.5%, 7-8%, and 2.4% respectively. The content of the full range of group B vitamins, Bc vitamin (folic acid), tocopherol, ergosterol, which are the regulators of animal metabolism, is a valuable property. Distillers dried grains feature  the rich content of such micro-nutrient elements as iron, zinc, manganese, copper, etc.

In terms of nutritive value, distillers dried grains surpass standard compound feeds and bran. One kilo contains (in relation with the content of moisture and other components) from 1.08 to 1.27 feed units.


Total content Amino acid content
Indicator in % per dry matter Indicator in % per dry matter
Moisture 3,7–7,6 Lysine 1,08
Crude protein / Protein according to Barnstein 35,9–37,3 /28,0-34,0 Histidine 1,17
Crude fat 5,2–7,6 Arginine 1,77
Crude ashes 1,7–5,1 Aspartic acid 2,43
Crude fibre 11,3–15,6 Threonine 1,33
Nitrogen-free extractive substances 32,5–35,8 Serine 1,67
Calcium 0,4–2,4 Glutamic acid 9,92
Phosphorus 0,5–1,1 Proline 3,25
Vitamins Glycine 1.40
indicator in % per dry matter Alanine 1,52
B1 (tiamin) 8,2 Cystine 0,57
B2 (riboflavin) 120,4 Valine 1,83
B3 (pantothenic acid ) 110,5 Methionine 0,72
B4 (choline) 4250 Isoleucine 1,42
B5 (nicotinic acid) 370,7 Leucine 2,70
B5 (free piroxidine) 15,4 Tyrosine 1,10
H (true biotin) 0,75 Phenylalanine 1,67
Bc (folic acid ) 14,2 Total amount of amino acids 35,55
Micro-nutrient elements Feeding units 1,08–1,27
indicator mg/kg dry matter
Iron 1570
Zinc 210
Manganese 75,2
Copper 8,4

In the cattle experiment, there had been formed two groups of calves (each of 10 calves) with the age of 3.5–4 months. The control group animals received farming ration consisting of silage, hay and compound feed from own-produced grain waste. The compound feed was provided each day in consideration of 2.5 kg per head. For the analogical animals of the experimental group, a part of compound feed (30%) was substituted by distillers dried grains.

The weighing results in course of the reporting period (2 months) shown that the average daily growth in live weight for experimental sagination calves was greater by 73.6 g or 8,7%, in average.

The analogical experiment was conducted on weanling piglings of the Large White variety, 20 heads in both experimental and control groups, with the average live weight of 19.2 kg. In the preliminary experiment, the full consumption by the piglings of the distillers dried grains was observed in proportion 1:3 to the ordinary compound feed (1 part of distillers dried grains and 2 parts of the compound feed).

The researches had shown that the average daily growth in weight of the piglings over the entire experimental period (70 days) was equal to 323.5 g in control group and 372.7 in the experimental one, which is higher by 25.2 g or 7.8%.

We had also obtained positive results at replacement of a part of  the standard compound feed with distillers dried grains at sagination of broiler chicken.

Considering the results of the experiment and other researches data, we may recommend the following exemplary rates of daily adding distillers dried grains per head: cattle – (bulls, cows) – 500-700 g; young cattle – 200-300 g; yelts – 170-210 g; breeding she-pigs – 250-300 g; horses – 500g; mature birds – 5 g; chicken – 3g. In other words, the average rate of using the additive is equal to 1–1.3 g daily per 1 kg of live weight of an animal.

Therefore, distillers dried grains may be a complementary source of high-value feeding protein, easy-digestible carbohydrates, vitamins,  and mineral nutrients. Their use in rations of farm animals and poultry increases the productivity and lowers  forage grain consumption in a significant way.

The prospects of more extensive use of distillers dried grains in farm animals feeding, as the scientists believe, may consist in the following directions:

  • use of the distillers dried grains as a base for production of vitamin and mineral premixes for the poultry and animal groups of various kinds, age and gender groups.
  • production of a feed additive with pro-biotic agents on the basis of distillers dried grains;
  • protein enrichment of distillers dried grains (with following drying) by preliminary introduction of groups of special microorganisms into a liquid fraction.