Moo-vie Snacks: Evaluation of waste popcorn as a feedstuff in comparison with known livestock feeds. Conference Paper uri icon


  • Abstract While the use of by- or co-products can help offset the costs of feeding cattle, these feeds often increase in price with increased adoption. Therefore, discovery and characterization of novel feedstuffs could benefit the producer. Our objective was to evaluate the viability of waste popcorn (Zea mays L.) as a feedstuff in ruminant diets. This objective was addressed through a series of two experiments. In Exp. 1, storage stability of popcorn was evaluated. Popcorn was collected on consecutive weekdays in 2 wk from a local cinema. Samples (n = 10) were subdivided into 9 aliquots and subjected to storage, uncovered, for 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, 35, 70, 105, and 140 d. Following the assigned storage time, samples were dried at 55C to determine weight loss. Following open storage in a laboratory at approximately 24C, popcorn gained (P < 0.05) between 2.6% (3 d) and 5.6% (105 d) of the original weight through moisture absorption. When dried, however, samples from any length of storage were within 1% of the original weight (P < 0.05). In Exp. 2, a composite sample of popcorn was used in comparison with cracked and steam-flaked corn (Zea mays L.), popped milo [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench ssp. bicolor], and rolled barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Samples were dried at 55C, ground to pass through a 2-mm screen, and subjected to a batch-culture in vitro assay for digestibility estimates. In vitro true digestibility of popcorn (77.8%) was less (P < 0.05) than estimates for cracked corn (94.8%), popped milo (93.6%), steam-flaked corn (92.6%), or rolled barley (90.3%). From these results, we may conclude that, while popcorn is not as digestible as other commercial energy sources, it may represent a viable option in the arsenal of feed formulation.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Bielamowicz, L. P., Garcia, T. J., Cherry, N. M., Muir, J. P., & Smith, W. B.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Bielamowicz, Lauren P||Garcia, Taylor J||Cherry, Nichole M||Muir, James P||Smith, William B

publication date

  • July 2019