Image of the Day: Cookies & Candy for the Cows
In an attempt to feed their cattle amid these times of high corn prices due to one of the U.S.'s top 10 worst drought events on record, farmers are turning to an unconventional solution: candy. According to an article from Reuters, cattle are being fed cookies, gummy worms, sprinkles, marshmallows, fruit loops, or anything else the farmers can find that was unfit to sell in stores but can substitute the starchy sugar content the animals usually received from corn. Which means some cows are luckier than others, as distiller grains, cottonseed hulls, rice or potato produce, and peanut pellets have also been used.
In certain locations throughout the country where corn is priced sky-high or not even available at any price, these corn alternatives or “co-products” have been in high demand and crafty resellers have taken advantage, tying the alternative's price to that of corn. But thankfully, as Reuters notes, buyers still report a savings of 10 to 50 percent.
For those worried about the nutrional well-being of the cows, Reuters explains that unlike pigs and chickens, ruminant animals such as cows can ingest a wide variety of feed. And a farmer quoted in the Huffington Post, noted that his 1,400 cows — which he feeds a diet of second-hand candy — haven't illustrated any health problems and are on track with their weight gain.