Feeding whole corn?

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Texas PaPaw

Well-known member
Dec 12, 2005
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Central Texas
Susie David":1q7a14km said:
Awhile back I read an article from Iowa that basically stated that cows chew whole corn enough to be able to digest it. Our cows didn't read the article and were seeding the pasture with all that corn...went to cracked corn, much higher digestion rate. Finish the steers on it and suppliment the rest in cold weather...amount depends on temperature, of course they all get a evening ration to keep the rumen in shape for it and makes it easier to take muster. Dmc

Have supplemented with whole shelled corn in the past and have grazed cattle on corn stalk fields with the cattle gleaning the dropped ears. In all cases there appeared to be a lot of corn in the manure. This was several years ago and my memory seems to fade a little every day. My best recollection is there are approximately 1600 grains of corn in a pound. If that is correct then an animal consuming only 5lb/day would be eating approximately 8000 kernels/day. If a cow does not digest (passes thru) only 5% of the kernels that represents 400 kernels of corn. If the cow poops 10 times/ day this is 40 kernels per cow pie. Years ago after i did this math exercise, the waste did not seem so great.(no, i didn't count the kernels in the manure-just estimated) At that time it was cheaper to waste a little more corn than have it processed.

That said, the big feedlots would not process (flake, crack, grind) corn if it was not cost effective. I think it boils down to the cost of processing as to the value of processing corn. Probably not cost effective for lower volumes of usage.

Just my 2 cents worth of perspective.

Best wishes to all.


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