Iowa State University researchers are working to safely increase feed use by cattle and poultry producers feeding dry distiller's grains with solubles. DDGs are a co-product of the distilling process, which is rich in protein, oil and fiber. In Iowa for example, there is a comparatively large number of ethanol plants, therefore, DDGS are a relatively inexpensive feed source for livestock.
Mike Persia, whose research focuses on egg-laying hens, points out that currently people in the poultry industry will feed 5% to 8% of the overall diet as distiller's grains. The Iowa State assistant professor of animal sciences says what they're trying to do with the research is look at ways to safely increase that percentage of DDGS in the diets.
Part of the research includes looking closely at any impact feeding higher levels of DDGS will have on egg quality. According to Persia, the concern is that DDGS, which is high in lutein and unsaturated fatty acids, might change the yolk composition of fatty acids. Another area Persia is focused on is how the DDGS will affect the waste products of poultry. He says it's about working it into a balanced ration and finding out where that maximum is without affecting performance, environment, product quality, and human and bird safety.