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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Commodity Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #223566

Title: Utilization of Whole Cottonseed and Hay in Beef Cow Diets

item HILL, G.
item POORE, M.
item RENNEY, D.
item NICHOLS, A.
item PENCE, M.
item Dowd, Michael
item MULLINIX, JR., B.

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2007
Publication Date: 1/29/2008
Citation: Hill, G.M., Poore, M.A., Renney, D.J., Nichols, A.J., Pence, M.A., Dowd, M.K., Mullinix, Jr., B.G. 2008. Utilization of Whole Cottonseed and Hay in Beef Cow Diets. In: Proceedings of the 19th Florida Rominant Nutrition Symposium, January 29-30, 2008, Gainesville, Florida. 20pp.

Interpretive Summary: Cottonseed was added to the diets of cow to determine the free choice intact of cottonseed during the winter. While feeding whole cottonseed at 0.05% body weight was found to provide several benefits; feeding whole cottonseed free-choice depressed some measure of animal performance and was not found to be cost effective. The results should be of interest to cattle producers and researchers working to incorporate cottonseed and cottonseed meal into animal rations.

Technical Abstract: Over a 3-yr period, cow wintering experiments were designed to determine free-choice intake of WCS (whole cottonseed) by mature beef cows during winter, and the effects on diet digestibility when WCS was fed at recommended levels (0.05% body weight) and free-choice. In a 2007 study, the potential value of cottonseed as a supplement compared with a hot-poured molasses protein product fed with hay to beef cows was evaluated, with supplementation beginning just prior to initiation of calving, and continuing until the spring breeding season began. Hay and supplement intake, cow and calf gain, cow body fat changes, calf weaning weights, and cow pregnancy rates were determined. The recommended level of WCS feeding supplied adequate energy and crude protein for non-pregnant cows and for winter-calving cows. In these experiments, cows had higher average daily gain and body condition scores when fed 0.05% BW WCS compared with a poured protein product. Apparent digestion of hay and whole cottonseed diets by large steers was unaffected by cottonseed fed at 0.05% BW, but free-choice feeding of WCS at higher levels depressed OM and fiber digestion. At current prices, feeding WCS free-choice to cows was not found to be cost effective.