Initial Observations on the Inclusion of High Protein Distillers Dried Grain into Rainbow Trout Diets

Michael E. Barnes1, *, Michael L. Brown2, Kurt A. Rosentrater3
1 McNenny State Fish Hatchery, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks 19619 Trout Loop, Spearfish, South Dakota 57783 USA
2 Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 USA
3 Iowa State University, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Ames, IA 50011 USA

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© 2012 Barnes et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the McNenny State Fish Hatchery, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks 19619 Trout Loop, Spearfish, South Dakota 57783 USA; Fax: 605-642-6920, 605-642-6921; E-mail:


An initial investigation into the inclusion of high protein distillers dried grain with solubles (HPDDG) in juvenile rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss diets was conducted during a 36-day feeding trial. Four experimental diets containing either 10% or 20% HPDDG with supplemental amino acids, and either with or without phytase, were compared to a fish-meal-based, non-HPDDG, diet. There was no significant difference among any of the diets in total weight gain, percent weight gain, feed conversion ratio, or percent mortality. There was also no significant difference in length, weight, condition factor, hepatosomatic index, viscerosomatic index, or any fish health parameter in fishes fed any of the diets. Fillet composition, as determined by crude protein, crude lipid, water, and ash were also not significantly different from fish reared on any of the diets. Estimated protein digestibility coefficients were significantly less in the fish receiving the diet void of HPDDG compared to any of the other diets. The addition of phytase had no effect on any rearing parameters. The results suggest that HPDDG, if supplemented with essential amino acids, may be included at concentrations of at least 20% (dry weight) in rainbow trout diets and that more detailed investigation into the use of HPDDG is warranted.

Keywords: Alternative proteins, Fish feed, HPDDG, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Salmonid.