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Cotton gin byproduct: Effects on feed intake, quality, and safety for use in diets of gestating beef cows

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Authors: J. L. Jacobs,1 M. K. Mullenix,2† J. C. Koebernick,3 S. L. Dillard,1 S. M. Justice,1 D. A. Tigue,1 S. P. Rodning,1 and R. B. Muntifering2
1Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29631; 2Department of Animal Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849; and 3Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849

†Corresponding author: [email protected]

Year Published: 2022


Objective: The effects of cotton gin byproduct processing and feed safety characteristics are not well defined in beef cattle systems. Our objective was to determine the effects of feeding loose or baled cotton gin byproduct on animal performance and safety of use in beef cattle diets.

Materials and Methods: Twenty-four nonlactating, crossbred cows and heifers (average BW = 613 ± 77 kg) were assigned to 1 of 2 treatments: ad libitum (1) baled cotton gin byproduct or (2) loose cotton gin byproduct. Animal BW and BCS were collected at d 0, 30, and 60 of the study. Jugular blood samples were collected weekly during the trial and again at 30 and 60 d after the study to monitor hematologic responses due to consumption of cotton gin byproduct containing defoliant residue (4.84 and 1.98 mg/kg tribufos for baled and loose, respectively).

Results and Discussion: Cattle consuming loose cotton gin byproduct had greater (P < 0.0001) daily DMI (2.0% of animal BW) than those consuming baled byproduct (1.8% of animal BW). Cattle gained BW and maintained BCS across treatments during the study. White and red blood cell count, hematocrit, and hemoglobin concentrations were within the acceptable range for normal health conditions in beef cattle, and animals displayed no clinical symptoms of altered neurological status due to consuming gin byproduct.

Implications and Applications: Results indicate that cotton gin byproduct in either loose or baled form can be used to maintain nonlactating, bred cows with additional supplementation during a short-term feeding period (60 d).

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