Feeding Cotton Seed

“It’s the best feed there is if you’re set up to feed it, and as you look here we’ve got a bulk line feeder set up and what we do is we’ll take and we’ve got a hot wire trap set up and we’ll let the cows, different sets of them, come here and eat.”

Larry Herd is a rancher, cattle buyer, and has a PhD in animal nutrition. He says whole cotton seed is between twenty and twenty two per cent protein.

“It’s got a lot of fiber to it, to where you don’t have to worry about acidosis, if they ate too much. It provides some fill. You know if you feed a cow just straight corn it doesn’t fill her belly near as much as the same amount in weight as the whole cotton seed.”

Cotton seed also has fat in it.

“And so that fat is more highly, more highly concentrated energy source. And if you want some cows to milk, feed them whole cotton seed, because they will get more out of that…”

Herd says it works best when it’s fed along with hay or some other by-product feed. The cotton seed is purchased directly from a cotton gin, and its availability depends on how good the cotton crop is.

“This year it was a little harder to get because your feed costs for grains are going up. The drought has also caused the cotton crops to be smaller, so you’re in more competition with the oil mills for the whole cotton seed.”

Cotton seed, a remarkable by-product of our fiber industry. Another look at Brazos Valley agriculture, From the Ground Up.

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