From the above site:
New term you need to know: “by-product feedstuffs”
Fresh pasture and dried grasses are the natural diet of all ruminant animals. In factory farms, animals are switched to an unnatural diet based on corn and soy. But corn and soy are not the only ingredients in their “balanced rations.” Many large-scale dairy farmers and feedlot operators save money by feeding the cows “by-product feedstuffs” as well. In general, this means waste products from the manufacture of human food. In particular, it can mean sterilized city garbage, candy, bubble gum, floor sweepings from plants that manufacture animal food, bakery, potato wastes or a scientific blend of pasta and candy.
Here are some of the “by-product feedstuffs commonly used in dairy cattle diets in the Upper Midwest.”*
Candy. Candy products are available through a number of distributors and sometimes directly from smaller plants… They are sometimes fed in their wrappers…. Candies, such as cull gummy bears, lemon drops or gum drops are high in sugar content.
Bakery Wastes. Stale bread and other pastry products from stores or bakeries can be fed to dairy cattle in limited amounts. These products are sometimes fed as received without drying or even removal of the wrappers.
Potato Waste is available in potato processing areas, and includes cull potatoes, French fries and potato chips. Cull fresh potatoes that are not frozen, rotten, or sprouted can be fed to cows either whole or chopped. Potato waste straight from a processing plant may contain varying amounts of inedible or rotten potatoes. French fries and chips contain fats or oils from frying operations.
Starch. Unheated starch is available from some candy manufacturers and sometimes may contain pieces of candy.
Pasta is available from pasta plants and some ingredient distributors as straight pasta or in blends with other ingredients, such as candy.
*This list is excerpted from “By-Product Feedstuffs in Dairy Cattle Diets in the Upper Midwest,” published in 2008 by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Feedlot diets are a recipe for animal discomfort and disease
Consumers are beginning to realize that taking ruminants off their natural diet of pasture and fattening them on grain or other feedstuff diminishes the nutritional value of the meat and milk. But what does a feedlot diet do to the health and well-being of the animals?
1) The first negative consequence of a feedlot diet is a condition called "acidosis." During the normal digestive process, bacteria in the rumen of cattle, bison, or sheep produce a variety of acids. When animals are kept on pasture, they produce copious amounts of saliva that neutralize the acidity. A feedlot diet is low in roughage, so the animals do not ruminate as long nor produce as much saliva. The net result is "acid indigestion."
2) Over time, acidosis can lead to a condition called "rumenitis," which is an inflammation of the wall of the rumen. The inflammation is caused by too much acid and too little roughage. Eventually, the wall of the rumen becomes ulcerated and no longer absorbs nutrients as efficiently.
3) Liver abscesses are a direct consequence of rumenitis. As the rumen wall becomes ulcerated, bacteria are able to pass through the walls and enter the bloodstream. Ultimately, the bacteria are transported to the liver where they cause abscesses. From 15 to 30 percent of feedlot cattle have liver abscesses.
4) Bloat is a fourth consequence of a feedlot diet. All ruminants produce gas as a by-product of digestion. When they are on pasture, they belch up the gas without any difficulty. When they are switched to an artificial diet of grain, the gasses can become trapped by a dense mat of foam. In serious cases of bloat, the rumen becomes so distended with gas that the animal is unable to breathe and dies from asphyxiation.
5) Feedlot polio is yet another direct consequence of switching animals from pasture to grain. When the rumen becomes too acidic, an enzyme called "thiaminase" is produced which destroys thiamin or vitamin B-1. The lack of vitamin B-1 starves the brain of energy and creates paralysis. Cattle that are suffering from feedlot polio are referred to as "brainers."
Typically, feedlot managers try to manage these grain-caused problems with a medicine chest of drugs, including ionophores (to buffer acidity) and antibiotics (to reduce liver abscesses). A more sensible and humane approach is to feed animals their natural diet of pasture, to which they are superbly adapted.
And now—pot scrubbers!
In the "what will they think of next" category, feedlot nutritionists have been experimenting with substituting kitchen pot scrubbers for hay. Feedlot cattle need some roughage in their diet in addition to the grain concentrate or they will become sick and gain weight more slowly. But why bring in all that bulky hay, reasoned investigators, when pot scrubbers might do the trick? To test this novel idea, the scientists fed a group of steers a high-grain diet and then inserted either zero, four, or eight plastic scrubbers into each animal's rumen (stomach). The experiment appeared to work. "From day 113 to 152, steers provided with pot scrubbers had 16% greater average daily gain than those fed the 100% concentrate diet without pot scrubbers."
Wouldn't it be gratifying if the money spent on this questionable study had been spent on exploring the health benefits of raising animals on pasture?
(Loerch, S. C. (1991). "Efficacy of plastic pot scrubbers as a replacement for roughage in high- concentrate cattle diets." J Anim Sci 69(6): 2321-8.)
Sickness rampant in feedlots
In a 1999 study, Oklahoma State University researchers scrutinized the health of 222 calves that were raised in South Dakota and then shipped to Kansas to be fattened in a typical feedlot. The main focus of the study was a common feedlot disease called bovine respiratory disease or BRD. During the 150-day stay at the feedlot, half of the cattle were treated for BRD, some of them more than once. Even more troubling, examination of the animals at slaughter revealed that 37 percent of the animals that had not been treated for BRD had lung lesions characteristic of the disease. In total, 87 percent of the cattle had been either treated for BRD or had suffered from the disease and escaped diagnosis.
(Gardner, B.A., et al, "Health of Finishing Steers: Effects on Performance, Carcass Traits, and Meat Tenderness." J. Animal Science, 1999. 77:3168-75.)
A novel way to recycle your phone books
Animal researchers have discovered an efficient way to recycle paper: feed it to cows! In a dubious feeding experiment, scientists ground up telephone books, glossy magazines, computer cards, computer printout sheets, newspapers, cardboard boxes, feed sacks, brown bags, and coasters. Then they soaked the paper in whey to make a sort of paper mache. "Based on in vitro digestibilities," they reported in the Journal of Dairy Science, "we conclude that it is possible to recycle selected paper/whey combinations through ruminants."
Possible, yes. But desirable??
(Becker, B. A., J. R. Campbell, et al. "Paper and whey as a feedstuff for ruminants." J Dairy Sci 58(11): 1677-81.)