Food Industry by-product Feeds

Cattle are animals that are classified as ruminates because they have a four-chambered stomach that allows them to ferment their food in order to digest it. Inside the stomach there are bacteria which help to break down the food they eat in a way that human stomachs are not able to do, and for this reason, cattle are able to eat foods humans cannot, such as grass and silage, and produce a product humans can eat.

The major portion of the Pennsylvania Farm show that we as National Beef Ambassadors were able to interact with consumers centered on different feed samples. Not only do cattle eat traditional cattle feeds, such as silage, corn, barley, and hay, producers are also able to feed their cattle non-traditional feeds, or by-products of the food industry, as a part of their daily diet.


This easily digestible food, potato as a cattle co-feed can include the potato peels, reject chips, or leftover snacks at the bottom of the barrel.


corn distiller

Corn Distillers are the residue after conversion of the starch in the grain to ethanol or alcohol, they are also high in protein.



Candy meal can consist of chocolate coco and some Hershey candy bars and chrushed M&M’s; high in sugar and fat.



High in starch, pasta is available from pasta plants as straight pasta or as a pasta blend.

cotton seed[1]

Cotton seed halls are a by-product of the cotton industry. This feed is high in oils and fiber.


Beet Pulp is a residue of the sugar beet industry and is fed as a high energy source for beef cattle.

Using these alternative feeds can help cattle reach the proper amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals cattle need in their diet. Just like humans need a complete and nutritious diet, the same goes for cattle so they remain healthy and productive. Cattle eat a TMR, or Total Mixed Ration, to ensure they receive all these nutrients. Although they can consume food by-products, they are given these in small percentages; therefore the majority of their diet still consists of silage, corn, and hay.

mixed ration

An example of a TMR which includes non traditional feed stuffs along with traditional feeds, silage still being the main food source.

Have a great week!

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