The use of distillers dried grains plus solubles as a feed ingredient on air emissions and performance from laying hens

W. Wu-Haan,* W. Powers,* R. Angel,† and T. J. Applegate‡
*Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824; †Department of Animal & Avian Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park 20742; and ‡Department of Animal Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

The objectives of the current study were to evaluate the effect of feeding diets containing 0, 10, or 20% distillers dried grains plus solubles (DDGS) to laying hens (21 to 26 wk of age) on emissions of NH3 and H2S. Hy-Line W-36 hens (n = 640) were allocated randomly to 8 environmental rooms for a 5-wk period (hens in 3 rooms were offered the 10% and 20% DDGS diets each; hens in 2 rooms were offered the 0% DDGS diet). Diets were formulated to contain similar CP levels (18.3%), nonphytate P (0.46%), and Ca (4.2%). On an analyzed basis, the 0, 10, and 20% DDGS diets contained 0.22, 0.27, and 0.42% S. Egg weight (50.9 g), egg production (85%), and feed intake (87.9 g/hen per d) were unaffected by diet (P > 0.05) over the study period. Daily NH3 emissions from hens fed diets containing 0, 10, and 20% DDGS were 105.4, 91.7, and 80.2 mg/g of N consumed, respectively (P < 0.05). Daily H2S emissions from hens fed commercial diets containing 0, 10, and 20% DDGS were 2.6, 2.4, and 1.1 mg/g of S consumed, respectively. Overall, feeding 21- to 26-wk-old laying hens diets containing 20% DDGS decreased daily NH3 emissions by 24% and H2S emissions by 58%. Each hen emitted approximately 280 mg of NH3 and 0.5 mg of H2S daily when fed a control diet containing 18% CP and 0.2% S. The results of this study demonstrate that 20% DDGS derived from ethanol production can be fed to laying hens, resulting in lower emissions of NH3 and H2S with no apparent adverse effects on hen performance.