Publication Date

Spring 2021

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Phillip Gunter (Director), Todd Willian, and Fred DeGraves

Degree Program

Department of Agriculture and Food Science

Degree Type

Master of Science


Beef calves are weaned at 6-months of age and enter the stocker phase of beef production. Stocker producers have the primary goal of adding weight inexpensively to increase profit on weaned calves. Whole cottonseed is an inexpensive feed ingredient that is popularly top-dressed within dairy and finishing beef diets and is high in protein and energy. During three periods lasting 50-days (fall 2019, fall 2020, and spring 2020), freshly weaned calves were placed on a finishing ration with the goal of increasing average daily gain. Base rations were calculated at 25% tall fescue hay, 23% corn, and 52% distillers’ solubles. Calves were randomly assigned to two treatment groups: one consisting of the base ration and the second consisting of the base ration plus an additional 1% of whole cottonseed. All three periods found that the first 25-days showed a trend for calves fed whole cottonseed to have higher average daily gain during the first 25-days (P < 0.05) compared to calves on the control ration. Average daily gain between all three periods did not show significant variations between treatment groups (P = 0.2). Whole cottonseed did show positive trends of increasing total weight gain throughout the three periods compared to the control diet. Thus, adding whole cottonseed to the diet of weaned calves can potentially increase average daily gain specifically during the first 25- days on a finishing diet.


Agriculture | Animal Sciences | Meat Science