Sunday, April 27, 2008

What Cows Eat

Cows eat grass, hay, and sometimes grain. Don't feed your cows apples, thinking that because horses eat apples, cows do too. Apples cause bloat in cows, which causes the stomach to swell and makes it hard for the cows to breath. Cows can die from bloat. If a cow or calf starts foaming at the mouth and nostrils, it can be from bloat. Call the vet immediately.

I've fed my cows apples once in awhile over the last couple of years, foolishly. Last night our calf Daisy started foaming at the mouth. I called the vet - and by the time he got here, she was breathing in a less shallow, quick way. Poor little Daisy did fine - after several large burbs and some anti-inflammatories and Pepto from the vet she seems back to normal today. But what a scare. Daisy is my little calf - the one whose mother is at Someday Farm. She is like an orphan - since Giddy pushes her away and only is pleasant to her own calf Blue.

The vet was quite clear - don't feed cows leftover kitchen goodies just because chickens and hogs eat them. Cows don't eat cake like our chickens do. Just feed them grass, hay, and sometimes grain. And make sure if you feed them a little grain, it isn't old grain. Grain should not be more than a month old or mold can grow in it. Yikes.

6 comments:

Sue said...

I am so glad I found your blog !

I want to get cows someday just a few small Dexter cows because we have a small farm in Northern WI. Can you tell me specifically what cows eat

what types of grain. what types of grasses/hay it would be very helpful in planning our pasture for them. I

I currently raise pigs and chickens for meat and eggs and have a rather decent size vegetable garden with plans to expand next year with a friend who also has a large family.

Mary said...

Sue - I know what we planted in our field, a meadow mix from our feed store! I know it has Timothy - and alfalfa, but I'm not sure what other grasses or legumes are in there.

We also give them hay from the first or second cutting from our friend Hamilton Hayes.

We rarely give the cows any grain at all.

Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering about miniature cows. What are problems with them, what are the benefits, and how are they as pets versus farm animals? Thanks,
Sunni

Mary said...

the pros --

they eat less but produce more meat for their size than other cows.

the meat is unbelievably good plus you know how it was raised -- without hormone, chemicals, and bad food.

cons -

it is hard to have processed and then eat cows from a small family herd. we do it but it isn't easy.

they are a little more wild than regular cows I think -- so you have to give them a lot of time and train them to be able to use them for milking. start early!

Wonder Cow said...

Do cows eat grapefruit? I thought I heard somebody say that cows do, but I am not sure. Thanks!

lyn fils said...

WE ARE FENCING 10 ACRES FOR COWS AND I WOULD LIKE TO PLANT A RASPBERRY PATCH ALONG THE FENCE BY THE ROAD...KEEPS THE PUBLIC OUT ....AND GIVES ME RASPBERRIES...PROBLEM: I DONT KNOW IF COWS LIKE RASPBERRIES!!!! HOPE SOMEONE CAN ANSWER THIS ONE... ALSO WE LIVE IN NSB TOO...WHAT A SMALL WORLD!!