Cotton harvester

Inclusion of hydrolyzed cottonseed protein in calf starters

Alvaro Garcia

Young heifer calves represent the future of a dairy farm and need to be fed so they can express their full genetic potential during their productive life. Many challenges can impair their optimal development such as management flaws, disease, and sub-optimal nutrition. Despite the farmer’s efforts some of these stressors may show-up and compromise their well-being, negatively impacting their development.

Vitamin deficiencies for example (i.e. vitamin E), affect their ability to cope with oxidative stress and hamper the development of their acquired immunity. Taking adequate measures to reduce stress spares natural antioxidants needed for other important body functions. Some feeds possess antinutritional factors, and when included in the ration can further challenge normal metabolism.

Cottonseed meal is a traditional feedstuff commonly used in mature dairy cows. Its competitive price compared to other meals of plant origin makes it an attractive feedstuff. It is however a relatively poor source of the amino acids lysine and methionine, and contains gossypol, a phenolic aldehyde that permeates cells and inhibits several dehydrogenase enzymes.

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Cottonseed cake as a source of by-pass protein for dairy cows

Ishaya U. Gadzama & Fernando Diaz

Cottonseed cake is the co-product of oil extraction from cottonseeds. Cottonseed meal is the term applied to the ground cottonseed cake from which most of the oil has been extracted. Cottonseed cake is used as a protein supplement and can replace soybean meal and other protein sources in the ration. It is a good source of protein, energy, fiber, phosphorus and vitamin E for dairy cows. However, the nutritional value of cottonseed cake depends on the method of oil extraction, proportion of husk and lint and degree of decortication.

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