cows fed candy
by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals.

The 2012 drought has decimated the corn crop causing farmers to search for different types of feed to give their dairy and beef cows.

Not that a diet of corn has ever been the most healthy diet for cows, but the new feed (read: sugary trash) some farmers are giving to their herds is downright despicable. Examples of the kinds of foods being used to get through this season as cheaply as possible include cookies, gummy worms, marshmallows, fruit loops, orange peels, and dried cranberries. The fruit is the best thing on that menu, but marshmallows and gummy worms? (Trying not to be grossed out by the cows eating the bovine based gelatin in those nasty foods.)

Ki Fanning, a nutritionist with Great Plains Livestock Consulting in Nebraska, said, “Everybody is looking for alternatives. It’s kind of funny the first time you see it but it works well. The big advantage to that is you can turn something you normally throw away into something that can be consumed. The amazing thing about a ruminant, a cow, you can take those type of ingredients and turn them into food.”

The fact that a nutritionist is touting the benefits of this kind of junk is potentially just as shocking as the foods being fed to the cows.

Not all farmers are jumping on the candy wagon. Most others are choosing different alternatives like distillers grains, cottonseed hulls, rice products, potato products, peanut pellet and wheat middlings. But the truth is, nearly everyone is struggling to feed their cows when there is no corn to be found.

Via Yahoo News

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • tplvth

    Certainly the thought of feeding them grass has never crossed their minds!

    • Bark

      are you aware of how much grass that would be?

  • Sanity

    Seriously… the outrage from the author is a bit silly. The farmers will feed the cows the most economical mix that will produce the best results. So, they can’t afford corn right now, even if they can find it. Get over it. I’m sure that the cow isn’t concerned about tooth decay. The alternative is to sell the cow for slaughter. I know which option the cow prefers…

    • Guest



    You took the words right out of my mouth. Dairy Cows different digestive system