Nov 212011

Here is an extensive list of what is acceptable for dairy cattle to eat in the United States. I have a feeling the list is similar for dairy cattle in Canada and other industrialized nations. Interesting sources in red.

High-fiber sources:

  • Beet Pulp
  • Brewers Grains
  • Corn Gluten Feed
  • Cottonseed, Whole
  • Distillers Dried Grains
  • Distillers Dried Grain with Solubles
  • Distillers Solubles
  • Distillers Wet Grains
  • Hominy Feed
  • Malt Sprouts
  • Soy Hulls
  • Straws
  • Wheat By-Products

Medium-high protein sources:

  • Canola Meal
  • Corn Gluten Meal
  • Cottonseed Meal
  • Crambe Meal
  • Linseed Meal
  • Lupin Seeds
  • Safflower Meal
  • Soybeans
  • Soybean Meal
  • Sunflower Seeds, Whole
  • Sunflower Meal
  • Urea

Animal and marine sources:

  • Blood Meal
  • Feather Meal, Hydrolyzed
  • Fish Meal
  • Meat and Bone Meal
  • Poultry Meal

Unusual by-products sources:

  • Bakery Waste
  • Beans (or Peas), Cull
  • Candy
  • Fat
  • Molasses, Cane
  • Pasta
  • Potato Waste
  • Screenings
  • Starch
  • Wastes, Animal
  • Whey

Source: North Dakota State University, Agriculture Dept.

Why are we feeding cows all this crap (urea, animal waste, CANDY ffs) when all they’re designed by nature to eat is grasses?

DISCLAIMER: Cows actually like a bit of corn, but if they overeat corn they will bloat up because their bodies aren’t ready to metabolize it (I have seen this). Corn is technically a grass, but the grains don’t count as grass, just the stalk and leaves.

 Posted by at 1:12 PM

  2 Responses to “What’s in your milk?”

  1. I grew up cattle ranching in eastern Oregon. Cows will eat anything that tastes good to them – they can bloat on rich foods like young alfalfa even when not consuming a large amount. The feed you describe here is just like the crap-in-a-box designed for people – not natural foods, not healthy, but cows eat it because it’s formulated to taste good. Of course in feedlots, they don’t have a choice in what to eat, but in order to maximize weight gain, it must taste good enough to the cows to make them eat more than survival amounts. Processed food for cows! It should make a person think about what they are eating on the SAD and why.

    • Wholeheartedly agree. When I was growing up I had to take the cows to pasture and keep an eye on them so they wouldn’t get in the neighbour’s corn field. They love eating corn (whole plant) and would run and just grab a stalk before I could stop them. However, they were perfectly happy to munch on grasses, tree leaves, clover, etc. Feeding them this crap in feedlots literally kills them and it becomes a race to get the cow to slaughter before they die due to intestinal diseases.

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