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Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
Bulletin 553 October 1954
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS
WILLARD M. FIFIELD, Director
Sunflower-Seed Meal as a Protein
Supplement for Beef Cattle and Swine
A. M. PEARSON, H. D. WALLACE and J. F. HENTGES, JR.
Department of Animal Husbandry and Nutrition
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Single copies free to Florida residents upon request to
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
INTRODUCTION .. .....----------- -------------.........-...--- --.. ...... ............. 3
PART I.-SUNFLOWER-SEED MEAL FOR BEEF CATTLE .........----.................. 3
Experimental Procedure .... ..-------- -----....-.... ..-..-...... ....-.. ... 3
Results and Discussion ... ..----- --- ---------........ -------..---.......--- 5
Summary and Conclusions --.--..-.---......... ---..-....------.---. ..-..-- 7
PART II.-SUNFLOWER-SEED MEAL FOR SWINE .......-..-- ..-----.........-......--.. 7
Experimental Procedure .-..-......- ----..----.. --...... ..-.....-..----- 7
Results and Discussion ........-- .....-- ---- -----..---- ---........ --------.. 9
Summary -...---.-- ......- .. -- ---.... -- --.................................... 11
LITERATURE CITED ........--. ...--- ---... .... ------ -- .......-...--............-- ... 11
Sunflower-Seed Meal as a Protein
Supplement for Beef Cattle and Swine
A. M. PEARSON, H. D. WALLACE and J. F. HENTGES, JR.
Although little sunflower-seed meal is produced commercially
in the United States, large quantities are imported and added to
mixed feeds as a source of protein whenever the price is favorable.
Mitchell, et. al. (2), working with rats, reported that the protein
from sunflower-seed meal which had been decorticated and sol-
vent-extracted at low temperatures had a biological value of 64.5
and was 94.3 percent digestible. Weaver (8) reported that
sunflower-seed meal compared favorably with tankage as a
protein supplement for dry-lot fattening of hogs weighing over
100 pounds initially. Krider et al. (1) reported sunflower-seed
meal could be used to replace a portion of the protein supple-
ment in the ration of growing-fattening pigs with good results,
but if used to replace all the meat scraps and/or soybean oil
meal gains were markedly reduced.
These experiments were undertaken in view of the limited
amount of information on the value of sunflower-seed meal as a
protein supplement for beef cattle and swine. Furthermore,
the possibility of importing large quantities of sunflower-seed
meal in times of short supply of protein supplement and the
potential production and processing of sunflower seeds in the
United States make knowledge as to the feeding value of sun-
flower-seed meal of economic importance.
SUNFLOWER-SEED MEAL FOR BEEF CATTLE
Experiment I.-Ten head of two- and three-year-old Here-
ford and Angus steers were divided into two lots of five animals
each. Initially, the steers in Lot 1 averaged 1,011 pounds and
those in Lot 2 averaged 1,013 pounds. The protein supplement
fed Lot 1 was 36 percent protein cottonseed meal, while Lot 2
was fed 45 percent protein sunflower-seed meal. The remainder
4 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
of the concentrate mixture consisted of cracked yellow corn
and crimped oats (complete mixture shown in Table 1). The
protein supplement and oats were adjusted to give equal energy
and protein content per unit of concentrate mixture.
TABLE 1.-COMPOSITION OF GRAIN RATIONS FOR STEERS.
Experiment I Experiment II
Lot 1 Lot 2 Lot 1 Lot 2
Corn, cracked ........... ........... 70.5 70.5 42.5 42.5
Oats, crimped ................ 17.8 20.5 26.4 27.4
Citrus pulp, dried ............... 7.1 7.1
Molasses, cane ..... ................ - 8.9 8.9
Cottonseed meal* .................. 11.7 15.1 -
Sunflower-seed meal** .......... 9.0 14.1
100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
In Experiment I the cottonseed meal contained approximately 36% protein, while it
contained 41% protein in Experiment II.
** The sunflower-seed meal used in both experiments contained approximately 45%
The sunflower-seed meal was imported from Argentina. It
contained 45 percent protein and was prepared by hexane ex-
traction of the hulled seed. The cottonseed meal was produced
by the expeller process. Western prairie hay was used as the
roughage, with the exception of the last two-week period when
Pangola grass hay was substituted. Both concentrates and
roughages were equalized between lots by limiting the daily
intake to that of the lot having the least appetite.
The feeding trial began on October 13, 1951, and lasted for
100 days. Throughout the trial the steers were allowed free
access to water and minerals.
At the close of the feeding trial the steers were slaughtered,
dressing percentages were calculated, and carcasses were graded
by a federal meat grader.
Experiment II.-Four Angus, one Shorthorn and seven Here-
ford steer calves were divided into two groups of six each. The
steers in both lots averaged 578 pounds on the basis of consecu-
tive two-day weights at the beginning of the trial. Lot I was
Sunflower-Seed Meal as a Protein Supplement 5
fed 41 percent cottonseed meal as the protein supplement, while
Lot 2 received 45 percent sunflower-seed meal. The concentrate
mixtures were equalized on a basis of energy and protein content
per unit of weight by adjusting the amount of protein supple-
ment and oats in the mixtures. Cane molasses was mixed with
the grain ration and Pangola grass hay was fed ad libitum
throughout the trial.
The steers were fed concentrates and hay individually ac-
cording to appetite. Weights were taken bi-weekly and in-
dividual records were kept on feed consumption. Free access
to minerals and water was allowed. The feeding trial began on
December 12, 1952, and lasted for 137 days.
At the end of the trial the steers were graded on foot. Three
steers from each lot were held for subsequent feeding. The
remaining steers in each lot were slaughtered and dressing per-
centages and carcass grades were obtained.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Average Daily Gains.-In Experiment I the average daily
gains (Table 2) were 2.09 pounds for Lot 1 (cottonseed meal),
compared to 2.10 pounds for Lot 2 (sunflower-seed meal). With
the younger steers in the second trial average daily gains were
1.90 pounds for the steers receiving cottonseed meal (Lot 1) and
1.93 pounds for those on the sunflower-seed meal (Lot 2). Al-
though there was a very slight advantage for the sunflower-
seed meal lot in both experiments, the differences were not statis-
Efficiency of Gains.-In the first trial the equalized group
feeding technique tended to mask any effect in difference of
feed requirements per unit of gain. Actually there was a dif-
ference of only two pounds in grain consumption per hundred-
weight of gain in favor of Lot 2, while there was no difference
in the hay consumption per unit of gain. Due to the variable
consumption of the different feed components used in Experi-
ment II, the individual records were reduced to the number of
pounds of total digestible nutrients required per pound of gain
(Table 2). Lot 1 required 6.10 pounds of total digestible
nutrients per pound of gain while Lot 2 (sunflower-seed meal)
required 5.87 pounds. The differences were small and not
statistically significant. Variation in efficiency between in-
dividual steers was considerable, with the number of pounds
6 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
of total digestible nutrients required per pound of gain vary-
ing from 4.38 to 7.01 pounds.
TABLE 2.-SUMMARY OF RESULTS--STEER FEEDING.
Experiment I Experiment II
Lot 1 Lot 2 Lot 1 Lot 2
Number of steers per lot ....... 5 5 6 6
Initial weight, lbs. ........................ 1,011 1,013 578 578
Final weight, lb. ........................-- .. 1,216 1,219 839 841
Average daily gain, lb ................ 2.09 2.10 1.90 1.93
Feed per 100 lb. gain:
Concentrates, lb ................... .. 720 718 600 536
Hay, lb. .................................... 662 662 371 380
Average grade on foot* ............. 4.5 4.7
Average carcass grade* ............ 6.0 5.2 4.0f 5.Ot
Average dressing percentage** 57.71 58.21 57.96t 60.88t
TDN per lb. of gain, lb. ..---...-. 6.10 5.87
For purposes of statistical analysis on foot and carcass, grades were assigned the
following arbitrary values:
Top Prime-1 Top Choice-4 Top Good-7
Average Prime-2 Average Choice--5 Average Good-8
Low P'rime-3 Low Choice-6 Low Good-9
Warm dressed weight
** Dressing percentage = ------ X 100
Final live weight full fed
"? Includes only three steers from each lot.
The younger steers in Experiment II were considerably more
efficient than the steers used in Experiment I. However, this is
in line with the tendency for younger steers to put on gain
with less feed.
Appearance and Appetite.-All animals were thrifty and did
well in both experiments. In the first trial the steers receiving
cottonseed meal cleaned up their grain faster and apparently
the ration was more palatable. The steers used in the second
experiment consumed 8,529 pounds of grain, 832 pounds of
cane molasses and 5,796 pounds of hay for Lot 1 (cottonseed
meal), while the corresponding values for Lot 2 (sunflower-seed
meal) were 7,680, 759, and 5,996. Thus, the higher palatability
of the cottonseed meal ration was again confirmed, but the
steers receiving sunflower-seed meal ate more hay.
In the first trial a veteran packer-buyer paid a higher price
per hundredweight for the steers on the cottonseed meal ration.
Apparently, the higher selling price was strictly a matter of
more bloom, as the carcass grades were slightly higher for the
steers fed sunflower-seed meal. In the second experiment, using
Sunflower-Seed Meal as a Protein Supplement 7
younger steers and a more varied concentrate ration, no dif-
ference in bloom was apparent.
Dressing Percentage.-In Experiment I the steers receiving
cottonseed meal (Lot 1) had an average carcass yield of 57.71
percent, compared to 58.21 percent for the sunflower-seed meal
steers (Lot 2). In the second experiment with data available
on only' three steers from each lot, the average dressing per-
centages were 57.96 for Lot 1 (cottonseed meal) and 60.88 for
Lot 2 (sunflower-seed meal). As would be expected in view
of the small numbers, the differences were not statistically
Grades.-Live grades were not placed on individual animals
in Experiment I as carcass grades were available for all steers.
In the second trial grades were placed on all steers at the con-
clusion of the feeding trial. The average live grades were
about midway betiveen Choice and High Choice for both lots.
Carcass grades in Experiment I averaged Low Choice for the
cottonseed meal steers (Lot 1), compared to Average Choice for
the sunflower-seed meal steers (Lot 2). Carcass grades for
three steers from each lot in Experiment II averaged High
Choice for Lot 1, compared to Average Choice for Lot 2. These
differences were small and indicated the similarity in degree
of finish between steers fattened on either protein supplement.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
Two experiments using a total of 22 steers were conducted
in which sunflower-seed meal was compared with cottonseed
meal as a source of supplementary protein. Results indicated
that the two protein supplements were about equal for fatten-
ing steers from the standpoint of average daily gain, feed re-
quirements per unit of gain, dressing percentage and carcass
PART II.-SUNFLOWER-SEED MEAL FOR SWINE
Purebred Duroc and Hampshire feeder pigs (60-120 pounds
live weight) were divided into experimental groups according
to weight, litter, breed, sex and previous history. The animals
were produced on the University swine farm and were in 'a
8 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
thrifty, growing condition at the time the experiments were
TABLE 3.-SWINE EXPERIMENTAL RATIONS.*:
Lot 1 Lot 2 Lot 3
Ground yellow corn ........... ......-..- 68.0 68.0 68.0
Peanut oil meal ................ .......... 22.0 11.0
Sunflower-seed meal ..................... 22.0 11.0
Alfalfa leaf meal ...................... 8.0 8.0 8.0
Minerals** .. ... .......... .......... 2.03 2.03 2.03
___~______)3__ ____100.03 100.03 100.03
Ground yellow corn .................. 68.0 68.0 68.0
Soybean oil meal ........................ 22.0 11.0
Sunflower-seed meal ................. 22.0 11.0
Alfalfa leaf meal .... ................ ..- 8.0 8.0 8.0
Minerals** .......................... 2.03 2.03 2.03
100.03 O_ 100.03 100.03
Ground yellow corn .................... 68.0 68.0 69.0
Soybean oil meal ........................... 22.0 -
Sunflower-seed meal .........--.... ..... 22.0 16.0
Alfalfa leaf meal ........................... 8.0 8.0 8.0
Fractionated wheat protein
hydrolyzate ............. 5.0
Minerals** ................................... 2.03 2.03 2.03
100.03 100.03 100.03
Aureomycin was added at a rate of .5 gm. per 100 pounds of feed to all rations. All
rations contained approximately 17 percent of crude protein.
** The mineral mixture contained 1 percent limestone, 0.5 percent steamed bonemeal,
and 0.53 percent of a salt-trace mineral mixture. The salt-trace mineral mixture con-
sisted of 50 pounds iodized salt, 921 gm. manganese sulfate, 398 gm. ferrous sulfate,
125 gm. copper sulfate, and 10 gm. cobalt carbonate.
t Obtained from the Huron Milling Company, Chicago, Illinois. Contained 50 percent
The three experiments herein reported were designed to
obtain information on the following points. First, to compare
sunflower-seed meal (hexane solvent-extracted and containing
an average of 45 percent crude protein) to soybean oil meal
and peanut oil meal as sources of protein for the pig. The soy-
bean oil meal and peanut oil meal were produced by the expeller
process and each contained approximately 44 percent of crude
Sunflower-Seed Meal as a Protein Supplement 9
protein. A second objective was to determine the effect of
feeding combinations of sunflower-seed meal and peanut oil
meal (Experiment 1) and sunflower-seed meal and soybean oil
meal (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3 a study was made of
the supplementary value of 5 percent fractionated wheat pro-
tein hydrolyzate to a corn-sunflower-seed meal ration. This
product is a good source of lysine and certain other essential
amino acids. It is produced as a by-product from the manufac-
ture of monosodium glutamate and contains 50 percent of crude
The experimental rations used in the three experiments are
described in Table 3. All rations were formulated to contain
approximately 17 percent of crude protein. The animals were
fed by means of self-feeders in concrete pens which were washed
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Results of three experiments are summarized in Table 4.
In the first experiment, pigs fed a corn-peanut oil meal ration
gained almost half again as fast as those that received a corn-
sunflower-seed meal ration. Results in the third lot, where a
combination of the two proteins were used, were somewhat
complicated by the necessity of removing a pig that exhibited
severe dermatitis. The growth rate of the remaining pigs
was very similar to that of Lot 2.
In Experiment 2 it was clearly demonstrated that soybean
oil meal (Lot 1) was a better source of protein for the pig than
sunflower-seed meal (Lot 2). However, when the two protein
supplements were combined (Lot 3) the gains were only slightly
below those obtained on an all corn-soybean meal ration.
Experiment 3 involved animals with lower initial weights
than the previous two experiments. In this test the animals
receiving the corn-soybean meal ration (Lot 1) gained very
well. Those receiving corn-sunflower-seed meal (Lot 2) gained
very poorly and were all afflicted with a severe dermatitis syn-
drome which appears to be of nutritional origin. Animals in
Lot 3 received a ration in which 5 percent of a fractionated
wheat protein hydrolyzate replaced a protein equivalent of sun-
flower-seed meal. This addition resulted in a very significant
improvement in gains and prevented the dermatitis syndrome,
except for one slight case that spontaneously cleared up before
the experiment was terminated.
TABLE 4.-SUNFLOWER-SEED MEAL AS A PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT FOR GROWING-FATTENING SWINE.
Experiment 1 _Experiment 2 Experiment 3
Lot 1 Lot 2 Lot 3* Lot 1 Lot 2 Lot 3** Lot 1 Lot 2 Sunflower-
Peanut Sunflower- Combi- Soybean Sunflower- Combi- Soybean Sunflower- Seed Meal
__Oil Meal Seed Meal nation Meal Seed Meal nation Meal Seed Meal I + DSCt
No. pigs started ........ 4 4 4 5 5 5 4 4 4
No. pigs finished ....... 4 4 1 3 5 5 I 5 4 4 4
wt., lbs ............... 83.1 82.0 91.8 117.2 117.4 116.9 66.1 63.3 62.5
wt., lbs. .......-.--.----.. 179.1 148.4 171.5 197.9 178.2 192.0 199.6 85.3 169.9
Average gain per
pig, lbs. ................... 96.0 66.4 79.7 80.7 60.8 75.1 133.5 22.0 107.4
Average daily gain
per pig, lbs. ........... 1.52 1.05 0.96 1.65 1.24 1.53 1.65 0.24 1.33
Average daily feed
consumed per pig,
lbs .................--.......... 6.5 4.9 5.5 9.0 6.8 6.8 6.3 3.3 5.1
Feed per 100 lbs.
gain, lbs. -........-.--... 411.0 452.0 424.0 547.7 550.0 441.1 384.0 1,363.0 384.0
Days on test ........... 61 61 61 49 49 49 81 81 81
Combination of sunflower-seed meal and peanut oil meal (see Table 3).
** Combination of sunflower-seed meal and soybean oil meal (see Table 3).
t The fractionated wheat protein hydrolyzate produced from the manufac ture of monosodium glutamate has been called DSC (distiller's selubles concen-
t One pig removed because of severe dermatitis.
Sunflower-Seed Meal as a Protein Supplement 11
Three experiments involving 39 pigs have been conducted
to determine the feeding value of a hexane extracted sunflower-
seed meal. Results indicate that both peanut meal and soy-
bean meal are superior to sunflower-seed meal as sources of
protein for the pig. Supplementation with a product containing
lysine and other essential amino acids greatly improved a corn-
sunflower-seed meal ration. This indicates that the protein of
sunflower-seed meal is lacking in quality and that lysine or
other essential amino acids are probably limiting factors.
Based on these experiments, it is recommended that sun-
flower-seed meal can be fed to swine if it is fed to animals
that weigh over 100 pounds or if fed in combination with other
excellent protein feeds.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Mr. J. Lawrence
Perry, feed broker, Tampa, Florida, and of the International Packers Com-
mercial Division of the International Packers, Limited, Chicago, for supply-
ing the sunflower-seed meal used in these tests and to D. H. Kropf, Mike
Milicevic and R. B. Sleeth for helping conduct these experiments.
1. KRIDER, J. L., D. E. BECKER, W. E. CARROLL and H. D. WALLACE. The
Value of Sunflower-Seed Meal in Rations for Growing-Fattening
Pigs. Jour. An. Sci. 6: 402-408. 1947.
2. MITCHELL, H. H., T. S. HAMILTON, J. R. BEADLES and F. SIMPSON. The
Importance of Commercial Processing for the Protein Value of Food
Products. I. Soybean, Coconut and Sunflower Seed. Jour. Nutr.
29: 13-25. 1945.
3. WEAVER, L. A. Sunflower-Seed as a Feed for Fattening Swine. Mo.
Agr. Expt. Sta. Bul. 189. 1921.