News last update:6 Aug 2012

Glycerol improves feed efficiency in cattle

Glycerol, a co-product of biodiesel production, was added at 10% inclusion to feedlot cattle rations at a 150-day study conducted by University of Missiouri-Columbia. As a result feed efficiency ration of the cattle improved.

The study by Professor Monty Kerley was conducted from May to October with the results released December.

"For maximum results, feed efficiency on a 10% diet inclusion of glycerol produced a 12% improvement in feed efficiency and equal weight gains to a diet with no glycerol," Kerley said.

The study showed that at a 10% addition of crude glycerin to feed for cattle, the average daily weight gain was 635 grams compared to 590 grams without the glycerol.

At 5% inclusion, cattle gained 635 grams and at 20%, cattle gained 544 grams.

"Nutritionally, glycerol is used as an energy source," Kerley noted. "From this work and other studies, glycerol has at least the same energy value as corn."

In the body of cattle, glycerol is converted to glucose which also increases marbling and value of the carcass, Kerley said.

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