Has anyone ever fed this???

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Senna95, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Senna95

    Senna95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an oportunity to buy "spent brewers grain". It comes from a local beer brewery, and the price is right! $20 for a 55-gallon drum. It's still wet (so I'd have to feed it all within a few days, which shouldn't be a problem since I've got lots of birds). From what I've read, it's higher in protein (about 20%), but lower in carbs, since most of the carbs have been used up in the fermentation process.

    My other thought was that since it was fermented with BREWER'S YEAST, there is probably some residual yeast, which would be high in niacin.

    My birds (ducks and chickens) love it.

    I'd feed it in addition to their regular food of course. Not as a sole food source.

    Does anyone have any experience feeding this? It's hard to find any reliable information on the internet...... however, I did find out that most large breweries sell their spent grains to large cattle feed-lots and feed manufacturers, so it must be good food
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  2. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dried brewers grains are listed as over 25% protein, lysine .9%, methionine 0.57%, and 2080 kcal/kg.Generally high in protein and low in energy. It'll increase protein intake because it'll dilute the energy content of a commercial diet and increase the relative protein nonlinearly. Niacin is 29 mg/kg.

    Clint
     
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Spent brewer's grain is dried and added to commercial livestock feed. I assume that means it is suitable to be used as feed. Even though commercial manufacturers are always looking for cheap, they are liable if their feed damages health, so I doubt that they would add any ingredient that might be dangerous.

    I'd be very careful that it doesn't go sour. Me, if I could get 55 gallons at a time, I'd probably add a couple of piglets to my livestock.
     
  4. Senna95

    Senna95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, sounds great. Thanks........

    29mg niacin per KG, that's 29 grams per ton. That's pretty good!

    Where do you find your info at Clint?
     
  5. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HMMM, I'm not sure that that per KG translates directly per ton. You might want to check you math. Also, you might want to think aboiut those values I posted were for 90% dry mass. If you're getting wet weight, that screws everything up.

    I get my stuff from some old-fashioned things called books and peer-reviewed publications (not the internet).

    Clint
     
  6. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't do it. The ducks will probably LOVE it, but anything that high in protein is going to unbalance their diet if they gorge on it instead of their main food (which they may do). It would be like giving candy to kids alongside their dinner and expecting them to eat a healthy meal.

    Also, adult birds do not have the same need for niacin that ducklings do. They're fine on standard chicken feed.

    And they're susceptible to mold, and if it's wet, it will mold very quickly.

    I'd skip it in favor of greens or something else for treats.

    If you have ducklings, you could use it as a *supplement* to their feed, but I would still only do it in small quantities because it's not a balanced feed. Just because feed lots use it to fatten up cows doesn't mean it's a healthy food for ducks.
     
  7. Senna95

    Senna95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I went and bought a 55-gallon drum, and spread it out over 4 days (I have to use it up quickly, since it's wet). The ducks eat some of it, but the chickens seem to like it more. Still, everyone's going to their regular feeder to eat.

    So far here are the results for chicken eggs:

    Without the spent grain feed: 37-40 eggs per day
    With the spent grain feed: 42-45 eggs per day

    I'm planning on keeping up this experiment for a few weeks to see what happens.

    Clint, thanks for the info. That was going to be my next question: wet or dry.

    Also, is percent protein measured as a percentage of calorie intake or as a percentage of weight?
     
  8. Speceider

    Speceider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, adult birds do not have the same need for niacin that ducklings do.

    Part of the reason I do not rely on the internet. This is incorrect. The recommended diets are all 55 mg/kg feed. Chiickens have a better ability to synthesize niacin from tryptophan (an amino acid in the diet) than ducks because ducks have more of an enzyme that moves tryptophan into the Krebs Cycle, with the end product energy, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen.

    Also, is percent protein measured as a percentage of calorie intake or as a percentage of weight?


    A GREAT question, and a pet peeve of mine. Diets are usually calculated on dry weight....it's much easier to measre when processing the diet. Most of the least-cost formulations (that's what I am trying to use) relate the ME of the diet to meet daily needs with the nutritional requirement. You end up with a ME: protein ration that is very important because the amount of protein needed is highly correlated with the ME content, that controls the amount of feed eaten. For example, a bird will eat less with diet with a 3300 kcal/kg energy content than a diet of 3100 kcal/kg diet. The latter can have alower protein content because they eat more, and will still ingest enough protein. That's also part of the problem with those who want to "dilute" the protein content with a low energy feed like oats. It may well be they are actually increasing protein content. I wish feed manufacturers would list the ME content of the food and the ME:protein ratio. The scarey part is that most don't even list it on the web site, and I have had a hard time with my local feed rep being able to provide me with the info.

    Clint
     
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am clearly in WAY over my head here, lol. Good luck with the feed--you obviously know enough about this to make smart decisions. I would still be worried about spoilage, but I'm sure you'll be watching for that.

    And by the way, x2 on the pig comment! [​IMG]
     

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