News 3 commentslast update:6 Aug 2012

Cotton as potential hay substitute

The search for hay substitutes has led some to consider cotton residues as a potential supplement for other animal feeds. Dr. Tyron Wickersham of Texas AgriLife Research, a nutrition scientist at Texas A&M University analysed the feed potential of cotton.

Cotton is treated with pesticides and defoliants before it is harvested, and hence is under restrictions prior to its release for consumption.
The question was whether the chemcial pre-treatment affected the cotton residue’s nutritional value.
Dr. Wickersham of Texas A&M University found that cotton residue can be given to livestock with some precautions.
A far better nutritional option is giving the whole cotton plant for consumption. There is more crude protein in cotton plants than in the commonly used hays. 
The cotton seed gives the feed a high fat content, higher than what would normally be given to cattle, and some scouring may occur, Wickersham said.
Dr. Wickersham and his colleagues plan to continue their research on feed cotton. 

Editor AllAboutFeed


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    Jide Ogunsanya

    Dear Dr. Wickersham,
    You deserve commendations for your research work.I am aware that cotton seed cake is an important animal feed stuff in several animal farms in Africa and Nigeria. Just as the cotton seed has a post-milling residue, the cotton itself also has a post-milling residue.I would like to know if your research question for determination is targetting to reveal further information on either, both or even other parts of the in-field cotton plant.

    Awaiting your clarification
    Thank you.

    Yours sincerely,
    Jide Ogunsanya

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    Sandra Baxendell

    The feeding of cotton trash was widespread during drought about 15 years ago but is now regulated against due to residues in beef that were detected.

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    Norman Wilcox

    Thousands of tonnes of whole cotton seed have been imported into Saudi Arabia for years and used as a significant contributor to the very high milk yields achieved on Saudi dairy farms. Nutritionally it is an excellent product.

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