Submitted to: Texas Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2009
Publication Date: 12/5/2009
Citation: Villalobos, C., Avila, M., Richardson, R., Holt, G.A., Bezanilla, G., Britton, C. 2009. Cotton by-products supplementation for steers grazing tobosagrass (Hilaria mutica [Buckl.] Benth.) rangeland. The Texas Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 22:17-31. Interpretive Summary: Feeding cotton gin byproducts (gin trash or gin waste) as roughage to livestock has been a topic of numerous studies over the past few decades. Some of the studies focused on processing the gin byproducts in order to enhance the material as a feedstock. One such process developed at the cotton gin laboratory in Lubbock, Texas, is the COBY Process. The COBY process adds starch to gin byproducts to aide in processing and improve nutritional value. This study focused on using pelletized COBY material as a supplement to steers grazing on tobosagrass. Three treatments were evaluated in the study: 1) control (no supplement), 2) commercial supplement, and 3) COBY pellets. Results indicate the commercial supplement had 35 lb/head more gain than the control and 15 lb/head more than COBY. The COBY product produced 20 lb/head more gain than the control. One issue with the COBY product in the early stages of the study was palatability. The study shows the COBY product to be incomplete in nutritional value to support cost effective performance for cattle grazing tobosagrass rangeland.
Technical Abstract: The objective of this research was to compare the performance of growing cattle fed COBY-processed CBP or a commercial supplement during winter and spring. In addition, forage utilization was also measured. Three treatments were evaluated: (1) control (CON), no supplement, (2) commercial supplement (COMM), and (3) starch coated and extruded cotton gin by-products (COBY). Commercial supplements and COBY were fed three times a week at a rate of 1.0 lbs/head/day. We used a total of 197 British and Continental crossbred steers with an average initial weight of 366 lb/hd (SD ± 17 lbs). Steers that were fed with the COMM supplement gained 35 lbs/head more than the control, whereas steers fed with COBY gained 20 lbs/head more than the controls. In contrast, steers fed with the COMM supplement gained 15 lbs/head more than those fed with COBY. Forage utilization for COBY treatment was 37%, while COMM steers achieved 63%, and CON 52%. The research confirmed that COBY as a supplement was palatable, but incomplete on nutritional value to support cost effective performance in growing cattle grazing tobosagrass rangeland.