The case when, for unknown reasons, one of the Wisconsin Highway turned into a strewn with thousands sweets Skittles road, gave rise to a storm of indignation in the matter of feeding cattle sweets, bread and cookies. I believe that we should shed some light on this issue.
Modern dairy cows were specially bred to produce a huge amount of milk with proper care. Such care is one of the key tasks of agriculture. For reasons of economy, the farmer wants a cow that gives more milk with less water and feed, and takes less acres of land.
In the photo below you can see how the cow of the Holstein breed looked in the 1930s:
And how it looks now:
I understand that most people do not evaluate cows according to the "Dairy Judging" criteria and are probably bred for milk or for display. However, even with the naked eye, you can see the obvious difference between these two examples. Although the cow "A" was good at the time, but today it can no longer compete with modern individuals in the amount of milk.
Now look at the cow "B". These strong, powerful legs, wide chest, straight back, and these veins... They are not without reason called dairy. The udder is highly raised and densely adjacent to the cow's body, which is an important factor affecting life expectancy.
Of course, the second cow is a champion by all indications, but you can see how much the breed has evolved over the years.
How much the animal has changed has changed the approach to feeding it. Now this is a real science, and, quite complex.
When farmers add candy, biscuits or cakes to their cow's diet, they do so under the strict supervision of qualified nutritionists. Experts select the optimal ratio of elements such as sugar, starch and protein in order to maximize the benefits to the animal, while reducing the cost of feed.
The needs and digestive system of the cow are radically different from human. When we attended the meetings devoted to the issue of proper cattle feeding, nutritionists and veterinarians said that by feeding the cow you actually feed the bacteria inside it.
Such bacteria are in the rumen and carry out the splitting of food into constituent elements. This process is fundamentally different from what is happening in the human body. Thanks to this device of the stomach, the cow is able to turn the eaten grass into meat and milk. We from such food would not receive anything, except a pain in a stomach.
Sugar, contained in sweets, can help the cow to get the necessary nutrients in the right amount, improving the overall health of the animal. This fact is confirmed by practical examples.
We worked with professional nutritionists, both from our feed suppliers and from independent companies. We also consulted a group of veterinarians on cattle, and these people really know their business. I personally attended many meetings and trainings devoted to all aspects of the content of cows, from caring for them, to recommendations for optimal feeding.
Previously, we tried to feed the cows with crops, adding to them the chocolate left from production for people. By the way, the smell in the barn definitely improved. We also tried to add to the diet a whole range of products, the elements of which can not be found growing on the field: citrus pulp (another a good option for improving odor in stalls), cotton seed flour, and other by-products from food production products. Pat, Jim, Chris and many other experts have taught us how to use these ingredients correctly. The world-famous Cornell Cooperative Extension, together with veterinarians and production of fodders has developed many programs to teach the proper feeding of large horned livestock.
So you see yourself that criticism of farmers who add Skittles candies to the cows' diet is unfair. You just need to learn a few examples of the menu of the modern dairy cow, and you will see how carefully it is made up.
A huge amount of food produced for our pleasure is thrown away and wasted. So why not partially use some remnants of mass production, which in any case would go to the dump, for conversion to nutritious food for livestock? Is not this approach one of the ways of sustainable development of society?