Improve Manure Management for Pigs When Feeding DDGS

Grow/Finish : Grow Finish Production

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Purina Animal Nutrition

Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) are a common pig feed protein and energy source used to lower the cost of feed. However, they can increase pig manure volume and make manure stickier and more difficult to handle. DDGS also increase water intake.

These side effects can drive the need for additional manure storage and introduce other challenges.
For example, an operation finishing 10,000 head annually would create about 4.2 million gallons of manure, assuming a 200-pound pig creates about 9.8 pounds of manure per day.1 Increasing manure volume and bulk density by 20 percent (from feeding DDGS) could result in an additional 840,000 gallons of manure each year. The cost of the additional storage space, as well as the time needed to pump it, could negate the cost savings of feeding DDGS.
Before you toss DDGS aside, there are solutions to help manage pig manure while still taking advantage of this cost-competitive feed source.
Purina® EcoCare® feeds improve manure management for pigs and help you capture ROI for sustainable swine nutrition. EcoCare® feeds are designed to drive grow-finish pig performance and make pig manure easier to handle when feeding diets with or without DDGS.

So, how do EcoCare® feeds work? We’re glad you asked.

EcoCare® Feeds Reduce Water Use, Pig Manure Volume How EcoCare feeds reduce manure volume and water intake when feeding distillers dried grains

DDGS add fiber to diets, but most of the fiber in DDGS is insoluble. It passes through the pig, adding bulk to manure. The added volume can quickly eat up valuable manure storage and increase the risk of a pit overflow.

DDGS can increase water intake because pigs will drink more than usual to process the high levels of protein. Higher water intake can be a drain on natural resources and add to manure volume.

An Oklahoma State University study showed finishing pigs fed diets formulated with DDGS experienced a 37 percent increase in water intake and a 23 percent increase in manure volume compared to pigs fed corn and soybean meal-based diets.

A second study in partnership with Purina showed pigs fed EcoCare® feed in conjunction with DDGS showed a 17 percent reduction in water use and a 26 percent reduction in pig manure volume, compared to diets of corn, soybean meal and DDGS without EcoCare® feed3, supporting sustainable swine nutrition.

While you can’t eliminate the extra water intake and manure volume associated with DDGS, EcoCare® feeds can help you minimize the impacts.

EcoCare® Feeds Make Pig Manure Easier to Handle 

When diets contain 30 percent or more DDGS, pigs do not digest protein and amino acids as efficiently as they would at lower levels. Instead of driving pig performance, the excess protein makes manure sticky and difficult for your workforce to manage.

Undigested proteins and complex carbohydrates in manure cling to surfaces, including the walls and corners of the manure pit. Over time, manure can build up, reducing pit volume and increasing the risk of a manure pit overflow.
In research trials, EcoCare® feeds improved manure viscosity3, making it less likely for manure to stick to the pit walls and easier to remove manure during pumping.  Research showed EcoCare® feeds also helped manure dissolve 33 percent faster during pen cleaning,4 saving time, labor expense and water.   
It’s easy to get the benefits of EcoCare® feeds because your pigs do the work! EcoCare® feeds are not a pit additive; they are a feed program designed to deliver consistent nutrient distribution in manure, saving you time and effort when handling manure.
Connect with a local swine specialist to learn what EcoCare® feeds can do for your business.

1 "How Much Fertilizer Do Your Animals Produce."  University of Wisconsin- Extension, 1994. Accessed 22 Mar. 2017.
Kim, H.J., Carter, S., Walraven, T. and Bible, M. (2011) “The effects of increasing distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) on nutrient excretion during the finishing phase” American Society of Animal Science.
T. Walraven, S. Carter, M. Lachmann, J. Bundy, J. Jarrett and B. DeRodas (2008) Effects of EcoCare® Feed on growth performance and nutrient excretion of finishing pigs. Journal of Animal Science, Vol. 86.
Davis, M. E., T. Parrot, D. C. Brown, B. Z. de Rodas, J. B. Johnson, C. V. Maxwell, and T. Rehberger. 2008.  Effect of a Bacillus-based direct fed microbial feed supplement on growth performance and pen cleaning characteristics of growing-finishing pigs.  J. Anim. Sci. 86:1459.