Cotton By-Products Supplementation for Steers Grazing Tobosagrass (Hilaria mutica [Buckl.] Benth.) Rangeland
Keywords:cotton gin by-products, stockers, cattle, summer weight gain, tobosagrass
The objective of this research was to compare the performance of growing cattle fed COBY-processed (CBP) or a commercial supplement during winter and spring. In addition, forage utilization was also measured. Three treatments were evaluated: (1) control (CON), no supplement, (2) commercial supplement (COMM), and (3) starch coated and extruded cotton gin by-products (CBP). Commercial supplements and CBP were fed three times a week at a rate of 1.0 lbs/head/day. We used a total of 197 British and Continental crossbred steers with an average initial weight of 366 lb/hd (SD ± 17 lbs). Steers that were fed with the COMM supplement gained 35 lbs/head more than the control, whereas steers fed with CBP gained 20 lbs/head more than the controls. In contrast, steers fed with the COMM supplement gained 15 lbs/head more than those fed with CBP. Forage utilization for CBP treatment was 37%, while COMM steers achieved 63%, and CON 52%. The research confirmed that CBP as a supplement was palatable but incomplete on nutritional value to support cost effective performance in growing cattle grazing tobosagrass rangeland.