- Corn Silage (The entire corn stalk chopped up into tiny pieces)
- Hay (Yummy grassy goodness)
- Distiller’s Grain (A by-product of ethanol production)
- Pellets (What our nutritionist describes as a multi-vitamin for cattle)
- Cracked Corn (Wet corn cracked into tiny pieces, for easier digestion)
This is what I would describe as an example of a beef cattle daily food menu. This menu can change depending on environment, what type of cattle you are feeding, what the cattle’s purpose is (milk production, breeding, food production). This is what I would describe as a menu for beef cattle that are raised for human consumption.
You will notice that antibiotics are no where on this daily menu…
Last night I ripped off my grocery list and the next “Food for Thought” on my list was that the FDA does not allow any animals into the food chain that have any traces of antibiotics in their systems above a very strict safety limit.
One of the questions I get asked a lot is “Why do you feed antibiotics?” And I can assure you we don’t, not the way that you are thinking.
Many assume that we feed antibiotics on a large scale or every day. And we don’t. As a matter of fact last summer I spent some one-on-one time with our beef nutritionist and had the chance to ask him the question that I get so much from consumers at various events.
“Are there any farmers out there that feed antibiotics every day in their feed regiment?” His response was simple- he didn’t know of any that did.
And then he further explained to me how that wouldn’t be a very good plan because of the repercussions of what that would mean- and also the cost! Ohhhh the cost to feed antibiotics every day…Eeeessh!
There are two situations in which you can see farmers giving antibiotics:
1. An animal is sick- we want to make it feel better. Plain and simple. We care about our livestock’s well being, so we work with our veterinarian’s recommendations to help our animals’ feel better.
2. Feeding antibiotics to a small group of cattle that are all sick or are all very, very new. At times you could buy cattle without knowing their background. To tell if an animal is sick daily monitoring is important. And if you buy cattle, we may not have access to records before that day. When you do this it is only for a couple of days and after the cattle are used to their new home, we move them on to a daily menu that is made just for them!
But, regardless of which way our animals sometimes receive antibiotics, we are doing this to try and keep them as healthy as possible.
Healthy Animals = Healthy Food