Beef Magazine is part of the divisionName Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Distiller’s grain-based lick tub enhances fiber digestibility

As ethanol by-products continue to become part of the livestock feeding industry, innovative approaches in utilizing these nutritional feedstuffs are being introduced

As ethanol by-products continue to become part of the livestock feeding industry, innovative approaches in utilizing these nutritional feedstuffs are being introduced. One such example is the SweetPro/EquiPride feed supplements for cattle and horses from Montana-based Agri-Best Feeds.

Scott Anderson with Agri-Best Feeds explains that the supplement is developed with three components – a vitamin and mineral package which includes chelated trace minerals, a distiller’s grain-based carrier, and a proprietary digestive aide blend of yeast and enzymes that they call ProBioTein.

As a balanced feed supplement, the SweetPro/EquiPride product line – which is available as 250 lb. tubs or granules – is designed to enhance livestock fiber digestion and maximize livestock health and performance. “We call it ‘Super Fuel for Cattle and Horses,’” says Anderson, acknowledging the feed supplements’ connection to ethanol industry by-products.

Anderson points out that those by-products offer an important component to the feed. He explains that the SweetPro/EquiPride supplement is created using a unique nutritional technology that combines dried distiller’s grains solubles and condensed distiller’s solubles into a solid block. By using the starch free distiller’s grain, Anderson says virtually 100% of the feed is available for animal benefit with a positive associative effect on the fiber digesting bacteria in the rumen of cattle and cecum of horses.

He adds, “Distiller’s grains are known for their high rumen by-pass value which helps in milk production and is a great protein source for growing frame on young calves.”

Conversely, Anderson points out that in grain- or molasses-based feed supplements a percentage of the energy in that feed goes to the digestion process leaving less than 100% available for animal benefit, with starch and sugar digestion also having a negative associative effect on the fiber digesting bacteria in the rumen or cecum.

Additionally, what makes the specially formulated SweetPro/EquiPride supplement unique from other distiller’s grain-based feeds is the addition of ProBioTein, a prebiotic digestive aide which Agri-Best Feeds manufactures in a proprietary fermentation process similar to ethanol milling.

In this process, Anderson explains that wheat, barley malt, oats, and flax are used as the grain source to give a broad amino acid profile to the ethyl alcohol by-product that is produced. This is then blended back into the distiller’s grain block to add live yeast, enzymes and more energy to the SweetPro/EquiPride feed supplement. “By doing this the yeast and enzymes are readily available to the forage digesting bacteria in the rumen and cecum – and this ultimately enhances forage digestion by the animal,” says Anderson.

Specifically, Anderson reports that feeding SweetPro/EquiPride supplements has been shown to help livestock digest forage 25% more efficiently. Anderson says, “On a mature animal in good condition this means they will eat 25% less hay or pasture.”

On a growing animal, he explains that forage consumption will remain about the same, but the positive associative affect from the supplement will help livestock utilize more nutrition from the feed and promote faster frame and muscle growth.

Anderson says producers feeding the SweetPro line have also noted improved feed utilization, herd health benefits such as reduced hoof rot, sore eyes, infections, and pathogens, improved milk production, improved conception rates, healthier calves, and improved rates of gain.

The Sweet Pro/EquiPride supplement is designed for 1 pound per head per day with the tubs, which is regulated by ammonium sulfate, or 1 oz/cwt on the granular products. Anderson emphasizes that no urea is used in making these feeds. Thus, they are safe for horses.

Anderson also points out that 1 pound of SweetPro/EquiPride feed supplement is adequate to replace 3.5 pounds of grain or range cake.

SweetPro/EquiPride blocks and granular feed are available in the U.S. and Canada and have an 18 month shelf life. Anderson explains that a patented process is used to ensure the distiller’s grain product will not spoil in that time frame.
SweetPro also offers an economical fly control program for cattle by making ALTOSID IGR (fly control) available in the blocks.

Agri-Best Feeds is the marketing arm of SweetPro/EquiPride feeds through a network of dealers. For more information visit or call 406-696-8301.