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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What's in That Feed Bunk?

This past week I was in Ohio with my fiancé’s family for Thanksgiving. I was getting settled into our room when I saw this picture on the wall.

Very old fashioned, yet to the point. There are a lot of claims out there that livestock are fed non-nutritive feedstuffs or garbage. Obviously, farmers and ranchers wouldn’t feed our livestock any feed products that are detrimental to the animal or consumer’s health or safety. Would you like to know some of the ingredients in livestock feed? I thought you would….

The 5 main ingredients in a diet for market weight pigs are:
  • Corn 
  • Soybean meal 
  • DDGS – Distiller’s dried grains with solubles – (by products of ethanol production that are high in protein, fiber and oil)
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Fat
These ingredients meet the nutritional needs of the animal and also contribute to a safe, healthy end product for the consumer.

While on Thanksgiving break, I was fortunate enough to get to take care of the cattle at the Frobose feedlot – every morning and night we cleaned their bunks, gave them fresh feed and checked to make sure there were no sick animals. Those are some lucky cattle, here was their dinner menu:
  • Whole corn
  • Whole oats
  • Mineral supplement
  • Alfalfa hay
  • Straw to keep their intestines in fine working order
These dinner items may not be the most delicious sounding to you, but cattle love them!

If you have any questions about livestock feed, here are some links that provide ingredient lists:
Or, as always, ask a farmer! They’d be happy to share the components of their livestock’s rations with you.

Until next time, 


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