Sunday, June 12, 2011

Candyland

Ever been in a real need of a sugar craving.....I was really feeling that yesterday, when I was knee deep in candy!  Yes, candy!  Farmers will use whatever is available to them to feed their animals, and in this case, the "candy", or more technically-termed "sugar by-product", can also be really good for the cows. 

You can see some of the candy sprinkles in the "Sugar By-Product".  Brent also thinks there is a lot of powdered drink mix, as it soaks up water from the air, and is really sticky!  I'm pretty sure I saw some pieces of malted milk eggs in the pile too....

Just like in humans, animals need some sugar/fat in their diet.  It allows nutrients & vitamins to be better absorbed in the body (remember, some of the key nutrients you need everyday are fat-soluble, meaning they need a little fat!).  In this case, we are feeding the sugar to the little living microbes in the cow's gut that work on her food to break it down.  By giving the microbes a little more energy, they work harder to break down the fiber (hay, silage, forage) that the cow eats, allowing her to wring the last bit of nutrients out of that fiber.  Feeding these alternatives as we call them allow us as the farmers to do as good, if not better, job of feeding our animals, while spending less on other feed sources.  In this case, the factories where candy sprinkles, drink mix, or whatever else might be powdered up in there, scrape the "bottom of the barrell" so to speak and use the broken or partial pieces to go into this by-product.  Our neighbors buy this product by the semi load, and are kind enough to let us buy a wagon load from them as we need it (since we don't have as nice of a place to store it & since it does wick up so much water it does need to stay inside).

May the next few days bring us an end to the monsoons we've been having as of late!  We all (cows, pigs, crops & humans) need to dry out for a little while.

1 comment:

  1. Cool post, Carrie! I've never heard of this before.

    ReplyDelete

I encourage you to leave comments, and ask questions to your heart's content. However, please be respectful. I reserve the right to remove derogatory or irrelevant comments.