Effect of dietary inclusion level of distillers dried grains with solubles on layer performance, egg characteristics, and consumer acceptability

R. E. Loar II ,* M. W. Schilling ,† C. D. McDaniel ,* C. D. Coufal ,* S. F. Rogers ,‡ K. Karges ,§ and A. Corzo *

* Department of Poultry Science, and † Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State 39762; ‡ Cal-Maine Foods, Jackson, MS 39209; and § Poet Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Recent availability of and interest in distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) has resulted from the increased production of ethanol. A study was designed to evaluate secondcycle Bovans White laying hens that were fed varying levels of DDGS. Layer performance, egg characteristics, and consumer acceptability served as evaluation criteria. Hens were fed a commercial diet formulated to contain 0, 8, 16, 24, or 32% DDGS for a period of 15 wk. The varying levels of DDGS did not have adverse effects on any of the parameters measured. The 16% DDGS treatment resulted in significantly higher egg production than the 0, 8, and 24% treatments, whereas the 32% treatment was intermediate and was not significantly different from any other treatment. Inclusion of DDGS in the diet led to a significantly darker (L*) and redder (a*) yolk, with a tendency to increase Haugh unit values (P = 0.03), indicating potentially increased interior egg quality. During taste panels, consumers slightly preferred the eggs derived from DDGS-fed hens over eggs that were obtained from hens fed no DDGS in both the flavor acceptability (P = 0.04) and overall acceptability (P = 0.02) categories, but they liked eggs from all treatments. Based on the results from the present study, DDGS could be included at a rate of up to one-third of a commercial layer diet without any significant detrimental effects on the production or egg characteristics of second-cycle hens.