Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Corzo, Alex

Committee Member

McDaniel, Chris

Committee Member

Kidd, Michael

Committee Member

Schillin, Wes

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Poultry Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Poultry Science


In times of economic hardship, everyone must find ways to adapt, and the poultry industry is no exception. The majority of the cost in an integrated poultry operation is feeding the birds. Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) has been around for decades as a by-product of the beverage industry and more recently as a co-product of the ethanol industry. Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the production of DDGS from U.S. ethanol biorefineries, making the co-product a very economical choice. DDGS have not held a common place in the poultry industry for long though, as issues with nutritional variability, storage, transportation, etc. all have led to the product being avoided by nutritionists much of the time. Even now, DDGS are fed at a relatively low inclusion level compared to other major feed ingredients such as corn, wheat and soybean meal. With the often volatile price of corn grain, DDGS are receiving more attention as a feasible alternative in commercial poultry diets as research, such as that presented in this dissertation, continues to elucidate the nutritional, economical and dietary inclusion aspects of this once neglected ingredient. The primary purpose of this research has been to determine the efficacy of DDGS as an ingredient in poultry diets, and also to further elaborate on the suitable inclusion rates in a ration. In the end it is clear that DDGS are an effective and suitable choice for inclusion into both broiler and layer diets. DDGS can be incorporated into layer diets at up to one-third of the ration with no deleterious effects on performance or egg quality. DDGS can be added to broiler diets at varying inclusion levels, depending on bird age, as the research points towards increased tolerance of the co-product as the bird ages, without harming bird health or performance. It is also shown that further processing of DDGS, primarily fiber separation, can have a positive effect on bird performance. In conclusion, DDGS inclusion in poultry rations is a sound choice provided attention is paid to the nutritional profile of this co-product.



feed mill||layer||broiler