Farmers Serving Candy to Their Cows

As Care2 has recently reported, the current drought has made it difficult for United States farmers to feed their livestock. Some farmers, however, appear to be borrowing a page from Marie Antoinette – who supposedly said of her breadless populace, “Let them eat cake” – by offering their hungry cattle a sweet alternative: let them eat candy.

No, really. A handful of farmers have resorted to feeding their cows candy. As Kentucky rancher Joseph Watson explains to WPSD, he has made sugary treats the main meal for the nearly 1,500 cattle on his farm, Mayfield’s United Livestock Commodities. “Just to be able to survive, we have to look at other sources for nutrition,” Watson said.

Though Watson has previously used corn to feed his cattle, with the drought affecting 88% of the country’s corn crop, the price of corn has soared, making it too expensive to use as his cows’ main source of food.

Since Watson’s cattle are slaughtered for meat, fattening his livestock up is a top priority. Unsurprisingly, candy has proven to be a good way to keep the cows’ weight up. Hey, it almost worked for the witch in Hansel and Gretel.

“The ration is balanced to have not too much fat in it,” said Watson, who combines ethanol and a mineral nutrient with the candy for extra sustenance. “It’s got all the right nutrition for them,” he adds, sounding not unlike a child trying to convince his parent to let him have candy for dinner.

Watson claims that he has yet to see his cattle suffer any health problems as the result of their new diet. Then again, the long-term health consequences are probably not accounted for as the cattle are designated for slaughter. There is no word on whether the cows have started to produce chocolate milk.

Watson admits that his friend suggested feeding the cattle candy as a joke, but then he found the solution to be cost-efficient. Watson is able to purchase discarded candy that has been deemed unsellable to humans for one reason or another at cheap rates. For now, Watson intends to continuing feeding his cattle candy until the price of corn drops.

Those poor, fat cows.

Related Stories:

No Feed! Ranchers Face Drought Disaster

Drought Raises Beef, Poultry Prices: Time to Go Meatless?

U.S. in Worst Drought Since 1956

Photo Credit: Stuart Heath

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Jenry Fal
Jenry Fal1 years ago

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Jenry Fal
Jenry Fal1 years ago

Provided blogs and articles looking very supportive for us.
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Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Connie T.
con t.2 years ago

Am tempted to say "what a sweet idea" (sorry!) - but in fact it's kinda stupid.

Valentina R.
Valentina R.2 years ago

Are they insane?

Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton3 years ago

I Love Cows They are Beautiful animals, The way they are treated in Slauter houses is against God!!

Colleen D.

The drought might just be a good thing. Get a lot of farmers who shouldn't be in farming OUT.

Who cares if the cows are starving? Feed them candy to prolong their suffering just so some greedy hack can get a little more when he takes them to slaughter? They die a painful death at the slaughterhouse.... why not just let them die now instead? I'd like someone to explain to me how a cow, a ruminant with 4 stomachs is able to even digest candy? Talk about animal abuse!

Why doesn't anyone want to let them just starve? It's not to relieve pain or cruelty, because every day of an animal bred for human consumption is filled with cruelty... and all to end up with a horrific painful death at a slaughterhouse! So why not just let them die?

Money, money, money, money, money, money. Did I mention greed and a complete lack of regard for the sentience of animals?

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle3 years ago

bizarre and weird

marc horton
marc horton3 years ago

these comments and the shallow disregard for these animals is hard to take!! holy f man,candy is not in a cow's diet, this watson guy should get out of the business if he can not afford to feed his cattle, people should be extra prepared if and when a drought may occur i think.

Waltraud U.
Waltraud U.3 years ago

cows really love apples - so they like sweets too.
our regional cows have an appletree nearby touch the trees for catching falling apples !
and then they are really funny and start to run around like a dog having its 5 crazy minutes.