Feeding fat from distillers dried grains with solubles to dairy heifers: II. Effects on metabolic profile. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this study was to determine if increased dietary fat from dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) in diets of growing heifers affected metabolic profile, plasma fatty acid profile, and reproductive maturation. Thirty-three Holstein heifers (13318 d of age) were used in a 24-wk randomized complete block design with 3 treatment diets. Treatment diets were (1) control (CON) containing ground corn (15.9% of DM) and soybean products (17.9%), (2) low-fat (LFDG) containing low-fat DDGS (21.9%) and ground corn (11.9%), or (3) high-fat (HFDG) with traditional DDGS (33.8%). Diets were isonitrogenous and isocaloric, but the HFDG diet was formulated to contain 4.8% fat compared with 2.8% in the CON and LFDG diets. All 3 diets were limit-fed to 2.45% of body weight on a dry matter basis, and resulted in a mean average daily gain of 0.96kg/d across treatments. Every 4wk, jugular blood was collected for analysis of metabolites and metabolic hormones. During wk20 of the feeding period, blood samples were collected for analysis of plasma fatty acid profiles. When heifers weighed between 200 and 300kg of body weight, coccygeal blood samples were taken twice weekly for analysis of progesterone to determine if puberty had been reached. Plasma concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids were similar among treatments and consistent over the duration of the study. Plasma concentrations of -hydroxybutyrate, insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1, and leptin were similar among heifers fed each treatment diet, but increased over the duration of the feeding period. Serum concentrations of glucose tended to be less in heifers fed HFDG compared with heifers fed the CON diet. Glucose concentrations fluctuated throughout the feeding period, but no treatment by time interactions were noted. Plasma urea N concentrations were less in heifers fed LFDG compared with heifers fed HFDG and CON diets. The concentrations of plasma urea N increased over the duration of the feeding period, with no treatment by week interaction. Total plasma cholesterol was greater in heifers fed HFDG compared with the CON and LFDG diets, and a significant week effect and a week by treatment interaction were observed. Fatty acid profiles also differed among treatments based on the supply of fatty acids from the diet. Progesterone analysis indicated that heifers fed HFDG tended to be pubertal at a younger age than heifers on CON. These results demonstrate that dietary fat from DDGS can be used in high-plane of nutrition rations for growing heifers and maintain metabolic energy status compared with starch from corn, but alters the concentrations of different blood lipids.

published proceedings

  • J Dairy Sci

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Anderson, J. L., Kalscheur, K. F., Clapper, J. A., Perry, G. A., Keisler, D. H., Garcia, A. D., & Schingoethe, D. J.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Anderson, JL||Kalscheur, KF||Clapper, JA||Perry, GA||Keisler, DH||Garcia, AD||Schingoethe, DJ

publication date

  • August 2015