This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Evaluation of Cotton Gin Trash as a Roughage Source for Stocker Cattle




Kennedy, Julie

Type of Degree



Animal Sciences


Cotton gin trash is a by-product of the cotton ginning industry that may be used as a roughage source in beef cattle. A production trial and a digestibility study were conducted in an effort to determine the feeding value of cotton gin trash in growing cattle. In the production trial, 40 Angus x Continental steers (initial BW = 233 kg) were randomly assigned one of four diets in a 112-day study. There were 2 pens/diet and 5 steers/pen. Each diet was fed ad libitum and was composed of: 1) 45% peanut hulls + 55% cracked corn, 2) 45% peanut hulls + 47% cracked corn + 8% cottonseed meal, 3) 45% gin trash + 55% cracked corn, and 4) 45% gin trash + 47% cracked corn + 8% cottonseed meal. Free choice bermudagrass hay was also provided. Steers were weighed prior to the study and every 28 days throughout the 112-day trial. Steers fed gin trash had faster ADG than those fed diets containing peanut hulls (1.19 kg/d vs. 0.94 kg/d; P < 0.01). Diets containing cottonseed meal produced faster ADG than diets without cottonseed meal (1.14 kg/d vs. 0.99 kg/d; P < 0.02). Steers fed gin trash consumed more diet dry matter per day than those fed peanut hulls (10 kg/d and 10.7 kg/d vs. 6.6 kg/d and 8.7 kg/d; P < 0.05). Also, cottonseed meal did not improve intake of diets containing gin trash (P > 0.05), but did improve intake of diets containing peanut hulls (6.6 kg/d vs. 8.7 kg/d; P < 0.05). Hay intake and total dry matter intake were not different among diets (P > 0.05). In the digestibility study, 16 Angus x Charolais steers (initial BW = 301 kg) were randomly allotted to one of the four previous diets with 4 steers/diet. The diets were fed for 14 days then the steers were placed in metabolism stalls for a 10-day period with 2 days of acclimation. Fecal output, daily feed intake, and feed refusals were collected during the 8-day study period. Daily dry matter intake was not different among diets (P > 0.15). Fiber digestibility (NDF and ADF) did not differ between diets (P > 0.65). Diet 3 had a higher DM digestibility and OM digestibility than the other 3 diets (P < 0.07 and P < 0.05, respectively). Diet 2 had a higher crude protein digestibility than Diet 1 (70.2 vs. 60.3%; P < 0.05), but crude protein digestibility of Diet 2 was not different than that of Diets 3 and 4 (65.7 and 62.9%; P < 0.05). Cotton gin trash is more digestible than peanut hulls and results in a faster ADG. The addition of cottonseed meal to gin trash diets does not affect cattle performance; however, addition of the protein supplement to diets containing peanut hulls did increase performance.