Could cotton replace hay?
Researchers experiment with feeding cattle whole cotton plants
As hay supplies continue to dwindle in an ongoing drought, some Texas AgriLife researchers are experimenting with feeding cattle whole cotton plants. In the past, only the seed could be used in feed. However, new research shows cattle are able to digest the entire plant, lint and all.
Studies showed that an entire plant, including leaves and bolls, contains 13.3% crude protein and 62.4% total nutrients. Researchers add that the fat content is higher than in a typical hay feed, but since cotton is easier and cheaper to find now, it may save some cattlemen from going out of business.