EasiFlo™ Cottonseed Research
The handling characteristics of whole cottonseed are improved by coating with gelatinized cornstarch, but limited information is available on the effects of feeding the coated cottonseed to lactating dairy cows. Thirty-six lactating Jersey cows were used in a crossover design trial with 4-wk experimental periods to evaluate the influence of coating whole cottonseed with 2.5% gelatinized cornstarch on dry matter intake, milk yield, and composition. Cows were fed diets containing 10.2% alfalfa-orchardgrass hay, 45.2% corn silage, 15.0% coated or uncoated whole cottonseed, and 29.6% concentrate for ad libitum consumption. Coating whole cottonseed with gelatinized cornstarch tended to reduce dry matter intake, which averaged 16.2 and 15.9 kg/d for uncoated and coated cottonseed, respectively. Milk yield and composition were similar for uncoated and coated cottonseed. The yield of energy-corrected milk per unit of dry matter consumed was greater with coated cottonseed. Cows fed coated cottonseed gained body weight, but cows fed uncoated cottonseed lost weight. Concentrations of plasma urea were similar among treatments; however, NEFA concentrations were lower for cows fed coated whole cottonseed. Results of this trial indicate that coating whole cottonseed with 2.5% gelatinized cornstarch does not alter its feeding value for lactating dairy cows.