composition of cattle feed

Asked January 30, 2013, 12:05 AM EST

I was wondering if, how, and why peanut skins can be used in either dairy or beef cattle feed.

Larimer County Colorado

1 Response

This is a new one for me. In Colorado, we don't deal with peanut by-products since they are grown only in the southeast part of the U.S. There is a lot of good information online. Below is information from one source:

From: Alternative Feeds for Beef Cattle, Mark L. Wahlberg, Extension Animal Scientist, Virgina Tech., Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 400-230.

Peanut Skins

Description: Peanut skins are the thin, outer coat on the nut after shelling (not the hull). These are a by-product from peanut shellers and are usually available during the winter and spring. They are a good energy supplement for cattle, containing an estimated 60 percent to 80 percent TDN (not experimentally determined) and 17 percent crude protein.
Storage and Feeding: Peanut skins are light, bulky, and not likely to flow well in grain-handling facilities. They can be blown by wind and need to be hauled in covered vehicles and stored in closed facilities. Experiences indicate they can be stored and rancidity of the fat is not usually a problem. Peanut skins are usually mixed with grains and are readily consumed by cattle.
Limitations: Peanut skins are high in tannin (18 percent) that will negatively impact protein digestibility and may affect palatability, and they are high in fat (22 percent), which contributes to their energy content but limits the levels that can be fed. Research indicates that peanut skins may be used at up to 20 percent of the total diet of cattle, but protein levels may have to be increased to compensate for the protein binding by the tannin.

I hope this answers your question. It looks like peanut by-products have some positive and negative aspects.