Finishing on spent brewers grains.

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ksmit454

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I have 5 beef steers that are being finished out and I have a source for spent brewers' grains at a local brewery. I have a few questions:

1. Will finishing them on spent brewers' grain and free choice hay/pasture be enough to get good marbling? In the past I have finished using a sweet cob mix, but it has gotten extremely expensive.

2. Being that I only have 5, would it hurt to get a trailer full, and dump it out in the pasture? They have been started on grain already, but I do not want any acidosis issues. Maybe start out slow and then I can work up to free choice? Bad idea, or no? I would not be concerned if I were finishing out a bunch, but I only have 5.

3. How long does the spend grain last (if I were to get a trailer full and feed slowly, I want to know how long I could potentially feed from that pile). The gentleman that owns the brewery told me it does not necessarily go bad, but it will become acidic like wine.

If anyone has had experience feeding spent brewers' grains, I would appreciate any tips.
Thank you all!
 
Brewers grain is a good feed source, but not a free choice or finishing ration. You risk sulfur toxicity if you're feeding it as more than 15% of their ration.
 
Brewers grain is a good feed source, but not a free choice or finishing ration. You risk sulfur toxicity if you're feeding it as more than 15% of their ration.
Thank you Buck. Appreciate the advice. Sounds like I might take advantage of feeding it but not too much, and still stuck to my finishing on sweet cob.
 
I've fed it before, i find it goes mouldy and smells bad after a few days. Best if it is spread out to dry. I dumped it in a pile and had an electric wire i moved so they could only access a certain amount each day. They love it so will make themselves sick if too much too soon but once used to it could eat pretty much free range. I found they would eat a bit then go off grazing and come back for a bit more a few hours later etc. We butchered a steer who had free access plus was on good pasture and the meat was excellent. Had a few cows that had constant access to it for about a year and they never had any issues.
 
I've fed wet and modified distiller's grain - and yeah, it does mold and stink in a short time, especially in warmer weather - but the cows never seemed to care. I never fed free-choice, though.
Now, as to 'finishing' a steer on it... IDK much abou that... but...it's had most of its carbohydrates removed, so should not be a threat for causing rumen acidosis... a good source of protein, but I wouldn't think it would drive fattening like an unfermented grain.
 

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