Farmer Feeds His Cows Candy When Corn Prices Skyrocket

Farmer Feeds His Cows Candy When Corn Prices Skyrocket

Justine E. Hausheer
Published: 08/22/2012


Candy: it’s not just for kids anymore. Photo credit: Jack Lyons / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Following the maxim “you are what you eat,” you might as well skip the hamburger and go right for the Skittles, M&Ms, and those sour gummy worms. Why? Because beef cattle from Mayfield, Kentucky are gorging on candy. That’s right, candy.

Beef cattle traditionally eat a sumptuous blend of corn, protein supplements, antibiotics, and often growth hormones. But some farmers are turning to cheaper alternatives to keep their cows fed as the deepening drought causes cornfields to wither and corn prices to rise.

Joseph Watson, owner of United Livestock Commodities in Mayfield, Kentucky, fattens up his herd of 1,400 cows with old candy. According to WPRI news, Watson buys discounted candy “not fit for store shelves” and then mixes it with “ethanol by-product” and “mineral nutrients.” Er... tasty?

“Just to be able to survive, we have to look for other sources of nutrition,” says Watson to WPRI. “It actually has a higher ratio of fat than just feeding them straight corn.”

WPRI’s story also features a video, where you can watch Waton’s herd chow down on heaps of ambiguous brown stuff mixed with colorful candy bits.


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