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Case Study: Effects of inclusion of wet brewers grains on the growth performance, carcass characteristics, and meat quality of finishing cattle

Parmenter, R.T., Rickard, J.W., James, D.M.
The Professional animal scientists 2018 v.34 no.5 pp. 505-512
beef, brewers grains, brewing, brewing industry, byproducts, calves, carcass characteristics, case studies, cattle feeding, corn, corn silage, crossbreds, diet, fat thickness, finishing, growth performance, heifers, marbling, models, ribs, shear stress, steaks, steers
Wet brewers grains (WBG) are an increasingly available by-product of the growing craft beer industry that may be useful in finishing cattle rations. Therefore, the objective of this pilot study was to determine the effects of including WBG sourced from craft brewing on the growth performance, carcass characteristics, and meat quality of finishing steers and heifers. Twenty-four [n = 24; 12 heifers (303 kg), 12 steers (346 kg)] crossbred calves were blocked by BW within sex to 12 pens (2 calves of the same sex per pen) in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement with 3 replications per treatment and fed for 140 d. Model factors included calf sex and finishing diet [corn silage and whole shelled corn finishing diet (control) and control + 7.2% WBG]. Primal ribs (Institutional Meat Purchase Specification #103) were obtained and rib eye steaks (Institutional Meat Purchase Specification #1112) were fabricated from the 9th to 11th rib portion for additional analyses. No differences were observed in total gain, ADG, or G:F between diets (P > 0.05). However, there was a diet × sex interaction (P < 0.001) for DMI in which inclusion of WBG increased DMI in heifers compared with steers. There were no differences (P > 0.05) in HCW, YG, or marbling score, but rib fat thickness was less (P = 0.020) in WBG calves than in control calves. Diet did not alter Warner-Bratzler shear force, package purge, or cook loss measurements (P > 0.05). These data indicate low-level inclusion of WBG can maintain performance and quality of finishing cattle similar to conventional finishing diets.