Dried brewers’ grain as a replacement for soybean meal on nutrient digestibility and rumen parameters of cattle

  • A. Faccenda
  • M.A. Zambom
  • A.S. Avila
  • T. Fernandes
  • M.M. Stum
  • J. Garcias
  • R.C.R. Tinini
  • A.L.G. Dias
Keywords: Ammonia nitrogen, by-product, digestibility, intake, pH


The objective of this study was to determine the effect of replacing soybean meal with dried brewers’ grains (DBG) in intake and digestibility of the nutrients and the ruminal parameters of cattle. Four ruminal cannulated Jersey oxen with initial body weight of 662.7 ± 85.5 kg were distributed in a 4x4 Latin square design. The treatments were levels of 0%, 33%, 66% and 100% DBG replacing soybean meal in the diet. Dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) intake were not influenced by the treatments. There were linear increases in ether extract (EE), neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and acid detergent fibre (ADF) intakes because of higher levels of these nutrients in diets with DBG. Non-fibre carbohydrate (NFC) and total digestible nutrient (TDN) intake showed a decreasing linear effect. Dry matter and NFC digestibility decreased linearly with rising DBG levels, while EE, CP, NDF and ADF digestibilities were not affected. Ruminal pH was not influenced by DBG levels in the diet. There was a quadratic effect in ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) concentration in the rumen, with the maximum occurring at a level of 36.7% DGB. The replacement of soybean meal with DBG in cattle diets did not alter DM intake and ruminal pH, but reduced TDN intake.

Keywords: Ammonia nitrogen, by-product, digestibility, intake, pH

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2221-4062
print ISSN: 0375-1589