Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 14, 2011
Publication Date: January 14, 2011
Citation: Stipanovic, R.D., Puckhaber, L.S., Byrd Ii, J.A., Dowd, M.K., Bell, A.A. 2011. Utilization of cottonseed with low levels of (-)-Gossypol as a feed for chickens. Proceedings of Beltwide Cotton Conferences, January 4-7, 2011, Atlanta, Georgia. p55. Technical Abstract: Currently, cottonseed is underutilized as a feed for non-ruminants, such as chickens, because of the high level of the naturally occurring toxin (-)-gossypol in the seed of commercial cotton cultivars. Research indicates that (+)-gossypol, which is also found in cottonseed, may be a more innocuous compound than (-)-gossypol. Thus, we have developed cotton plants that have a low percentage (~6%) of (-)-gossypol with respect to the total amount of gossypol in their seed. Using seed from these newly develop lines, we have shown that this cottonseed with a low percent of (-)-gossypol yet a high percent of its (+)-enantiomer can be safely fed to chickens. To understand the disposition of gossypol in chicken tissues, we initiated a study to determine the amount of (-)- and (+)-gossypol in different animal tissues in chickens fed cottonseed. Specifically, we introduced 20 percent of either a commercial or a low (-)-gossypol cottonseed into the feed of one week-old chickens and held them on this diet for three weeks; the birds were returned to a normal diet after this time and euthanized after seven weeks. Tissue samples were collected during this period and analyzed for total gossypol and the relative percent of (+)- and (-)-gossypol. We found that (+)-gossypol levels were higher than (-)-gossypol. However, once cottonseed was removed from the diet, the levels of total gossypol diminished rapidly. This study, which was designed to challenge chickens with very high levels of total gossypol, indicates that there is the potential to incorporate cottonseed meal into the diets of chickens at low levels. If successful, the feed for broilers represents a very large market for cottonseed that could consume the entire U.S. cottonseed production.