What Is Cotton in Animal Feed Used For?

Update: 3/22/2013

Although widely known as a fiber crop, the seed from cotton has been used as a feed ingredient in farm animal diets for over 150 years,  providing a natural source of protein, fiber and energy.

Cottonseed Meal
Cottonseed meal is often processed into pellets. Other than soybean meal, cottonseed meal is the most widely available plant-based protein feed in the United States, used in a variety of livestock diets.
Cottonseed Hulls
Cottonseed hulls mix well with other ingredients and don't require grinding, so are often fed at cattle feedlots and on dairy farms. They are sometimes made into pellets for easier handling.
Whole Cottonseed
Whole--or "fuzzy"--cottonseed is the linted seed left over after ginning the long fibers. It is a concentrated source of protein and energy, primarily used in dairy cattle diets.
Delinted Cottonseed
Cottonseed is delinted to increase its nutrient density as a feed ingredient and to make the product easier to handle.
Gossypol is a pigment found in cotton and can cause toxicity concerns of varying degrees, depending on the animal species. Nutritionists consider these levels in formulating animal diets.
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