Including dry distillers grains with solubles in the diet of meat sheep can have a positive effect on performance and carcass weight, according to a meta-analysis conducted by a team of US scientists.
Analysing 33 peer-reviewed articles from 1997 to 2021, the study found that sheep fed DDGS had higher final body weight, neutral detergent fibre digestibility (NDFd) and total-tract ether extract digestibility compared to sheep on a control diet.
The analysis however indicates that the amount of DDGS in the diet should not exceed 20% in order to prevent negative impact on rumen fermentation, nitrogen metabolism and meat colouring.
The conclusion of the researchers is that DDGS at low concentrations can improve sheep performance and nitrogen metabolism, as well as increase carcass yield and meat colour.
Published in the Frontiers in Veterinary Science journal, the meta-analysis involved 940 sheep with an average weight of around 29 kg, with sheep fed DDGS reaching a final body weight of 51.4 kg compared to 50.4 kg for those on the control diet.