Friday, January 27, 2012

What on earth do they feed dairy cattle?

One of the things that I try hard to do is to use food that would otherwise be wasted to produce my pork.  Most pig farms do that; it makes sense both from an economic and from an ecological point of view. 

Walter Jefferies just scored tons of dairy products in his operation, which, honestly, I'm jealous of.  I'd love to have a house of cheese, myself!  I guess I'll content myself with a mountain of pineapples
Yes, I really feed tons of pineapples to my pigs

But that's not the topic of the day.   I was reading the local paper, and I ran across an article about a local dairy farm that constructed an "anerobic digester" to produce power from the cow manure

Here's the quote from the photo gallery associated with that story: 

"The Werkhoven Dairy in Monroe, Wash. has 1,000 milking cows that produce milk for Darigold everyday. Recycling several products like beer and wine into the food for the cows is just one way the dairy has become a model of environmental sustainability"

Now wait just a second.  If you recycle food products back into animal feed, and feed it to animals, you're a "model of environmental sustainability"?!?!

 Let's review here: 

Feeding beer, wine, whey, and other stuff to dairy cows is a model of environmental sustainability. 

But feeding fruits and vegetables to pigs is "improper handling of solid waste"

Actual photo of fruits and veges we feed to the pigs, deemed "solid waste"

I think that the main difference between our operatoins is that the dairy farm receieved more than $1,000,000 (one million dollars) in grants and subsidies, and me, well, I'm not subsidized at all. 

That must be it.  If you get a million dollars, THEN you become a "model of environmental sustainability". 

I'll be waiting for my check. 


Kelly Johnson said...

Actually if you want to be really shocked read this article from the university of missouri about how to compost "chicken litter" before feeding it to your beef cattle. When I first heard of this I didnt really believe it till I found this article from an actual university.

Kelly Johnson said...

Back when Mad Cow disease was all the buzz they banned use of slaughter house materials in cattle feed so farmers looked around for another protein source. The turned to the commercial poultry houses. So you cant feed your pigs fresh fruits and vegetables but chicken s**t is just fine.