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Old 04-10-2018, 09:47 PM   #1
Low Fence
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Default Cotton seed advise

Iíve aquired a property this year to hunt and Iíve started a trial run on cotton seed. I realize I may take them awhile to eat it (expecially being spring... and east Texas)

But my question:

Do those of you feeding it, feed year around or pull it in fall? Raising herd bulls we feed them a different feed without cotton seed for fertility purposes.
Will feeding during hard horn cause breeding problems... or just roll on (assuming they take to it here)
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:55 PM   #2
deerwatcher51
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Most people usually stop feeding cottonseed before fall. I have been on places where we fed cottonseed and always stopped about late August.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:25 PM   #3
Low Fence
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Didn’t know if anything “new” on research had been done. I had planned on removal by fall... but if no danger and they take to it I’d consider leaving year round
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:52 PM   #4
Muddy Bud
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You can feed it year around if you like. They don't really get enough in their diet to hurt them sterile wise. But I usually put out my last baskets full in September. Other wise deer will get nocturnal on you once they feel the pressure of hunting season. At least the mature ones will.
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:10 AM   #5
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Good watch for anybody starting cottonseed. Talks specifically about when and why to stop... just to be safe/sure.

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Old 04-12-2018, 08:05 PM   #6
Low Fence
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Good info, thanks
Hogs found it,lol. ... or found corn mixed in it at least
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:48 AM   #7
chase15
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We stop around August just because our supplier runs out of it by then, I know ranches in South TX feeding it year round for several years with no problems.
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Old 04-13-2018, 03:13 PM   #8
roadkill54
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Started feeding cottonseed 3 yrs ago in January. We fed about 60 days and switched into protein. Our deer took to it inside of 5 days originally. In looking for ways to provide food but also not go broke with protein I adjusted strategy this spring. In mid January I brought in 25 tons (BIG truck). I have 6 established protein sites and cotton baskets. We loaded all the basket spots plus a bed worth more per site. After original loading we had about 18 tons left. I reload with a Ranger bedful plus now I have added protein into the mix. Between the native green (finally got some rain), cotton and protein my plan/hope is a reduced amount of protein annually. What's funny is to watch the deer climb to the top of the pile. We acutally had one shed his antlers up top. To say my deer like the cottonseed would be an understatement!

Anyway I have read all the stories about cottonseed making deer sterile. I haven't seen enough to make me concerned. At the current consumption level I should get well into summer maybe fall before running out. The only critters eating the seed are deer. Nothing else will touch it on our place. Also the deer will eat every blessed seed off the ground and even dig it out of the dirt when it starts to run out. I've read about many ranches in Mexico feeding cottonseed primarily because that's all they can get without any detriment to the deer.....

As I said earlier one of the key drivers was feed cost. 73K lbs of protein at $400/ton ..... you can do the math. I paid $186/ton delivered for cottonseed in my pile. The deer put the weight back on quickly and look healthy. It appears this approach has slowed the protein consumption down so far this year. In past years I have kept protein out till late October however am thinking I will change over this fall when they go hard antler (labor day). This is truly a work and love in progress. We'll see and yes I already know I have to many mouths on the ranch.

For me its always been about improving the herd and chasing the holy grail of deer scores
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:26 PM   #9
Low Fence
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Pigs have destroyed the seed twice getting to the corn I topped it with going to leave it as is and see what happens. Deer are heavily using area naturally
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:36 PM   #10
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Cottonseed is primarily useful after the season for post rut weight gain - we feed it January to October and then shut it off - it helps with horns but more importantly helps with recovery from the rut - the sterilization question is irrelevant in free range deer
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Old 05-02-2018, 01:07 PM   #11
roadkill54
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Just ordered 16K lbs of protein for delivery. In watching the deer interaction with the different feed available I am seeing a more balanced approach in consumption already. They graze in, nibble on the cotton, then get a bite of protein and graze on. They have packed the weight back on since rut, the does are showing and you can see their individual attitudes in a reduced stresses environment (as defined by available food for ingestion). El Gato is definitely on target as he talks about the nutritional plane on his farm and how it affects deer size. Our bucks shed earlier than normal and I attribute this to winter finishing dry. I also see that our bucks are already growing with a few out with over 8-10 inches of new bone. I don't think I'll have a real feel for how much 'added value' the cottonseed provides until the bucks finish out in late August/September. As I mentioned in the prior post this effort is in an attempt to control cost and still improve the herd. If consumption remains at or below the current level then the cost side will have been achieved. I don't anticipate any downsizing of bucks, will have to wait to see how much additional gain we achieve. I am convinced about one aspect though....if they can't get the nutrition (greens) they'll never achieve full potential! Now if we could just get some rain
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:13 PM   #12
Smart
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Default Cotton seed advise

2800 lbs practically gone at two stations. 1500 and 1300 respectively. The before on top... after 1.5 months below.

Was gonna refill this weekend but rain in the forecast has me switching is for the next weekend. I bet there isnít a seed left by then..

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Old 05-02-2018, 02:23 PM   #13
bbqfan5909
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Make sure to fence off the pile or baskets, our cows demolished a fence and took down 6 tons of seed. Was hard to take in but that goes on use for a poor fence with little time given. Its so dry where we are at, tanks are drying up quick.
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:08 AM   #14
No-Tox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart View Post
2800 lbs practically gone at two stations. 1500 and 1300 respectively. The before on top... after 1.5 months below.

Was gonna refill this weekend but rain in the forecast has me switching is for the next weekend. I bet there isnít a seed left by then..

Where do you get the baskets from?
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:22 AM   #15
Smart
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They are water tote frames I have taken off damaged water totes.



You can make your own feeders out of 2x4 netwire as well.

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