Them Cows is Sweet: Cows Fed Human Junk Food to Save Money

In the most startling cow news I’ve heard this week, I learned that farm cow feed is coming from an unexpected source.

Due to the vast drought ravaging America, cow feed has become incredibly expensive or completely unavailable. Because of this the cows are being fed alternative grub. Hungry cows are eating discarded food products no longer okay for humans to consume. Not so bad I guess, considering they usually eat things we humans can’t, or so I thought. That was until I read what they’re being fed! Gummy worms, cookies, marshmallows and other comestibles that can replace the sugars from corn are apparently the new mainstays of these cows’ diets.

So why are cows eating gummy worms? They’re eating gummy worms because they’re hungry and it’s the cheapest food source. Is it acceptable for humans to feed cows discarded junk food when corn prices sky-rocket out of the range of the farmer’s budget? I’ll let you answer that one.

Did you answer it? Now let me tell you this isn’t new. Check out this paper on By-Product Feedstuffs in Dairy Cattle Diets in the Upper Midwest for an in-depth look at how it’s been happening since the ’90’s.  Cows have been eating candy, feathers, blood meal and other really disgusting  fare for years. It’s gotten worse this year because of the drought, but it’s only farmers expanding on an already in place system.

 

Sources:

Reuters- Sweet times for cows as gummy worms replace costly corn feed

University of Wisconsin -Madison: By-Product Feedstuffs in Dairy Cattle Diets in the Upper Midwest

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