Utilization of diets containing graded levels of ethanol production co-products by Nile tilapia

T. W. Schaeffer, M. L. Brown, K. A. Rosentrater, and K. Muthukumarappan

Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition. Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2010 Dec., v. 94, no. 6 p. e348-e354.

A feeding trial was performed to investigate inclusion levels of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) as a fishmeal replacement for juvenile Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). On a dry matter basis, five isocaloric [19.3 ± 0.4 kJ/g (mean ± SE)], isonitrogenous (39.1 ± 0.5% crude protein) diets were formulated to contain 17.5%, 20%, 22.5%, 25%, and 27.5% DDGS and compared against a 0% DDGS, reference diet (gross energy = 14.5 kJ/g; crude protein = 39.8%). The reference diet resulted in significantly higher body weight gain (BWG), food conversion ratio (FCR), and protein efficiency ratio (PER) than experimental diets except that 17.5% DDGS provided similar FCR and PER. The diet containing 27.5% DDGS had significantly lower FCR and PER values than all other diets even though apparent digestibility did not significantly differ among experimental diets. Although DDGS can be incorporated at higher levels, 20% DDGS provided the highest apparent BWG among experimental diets, while 17.5% promoted the best FCR and PER. Fishmeal may be replaced with low levels of fuel-based DDGS to reduce feeding cost; however, additional supplements should be considered to enhance fish performance.