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CAFO Grass Fed Cow

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  • CAFO Grass Fed Cow

    I remember being young and having to cut the lawn. I don't like lawns, because all they do is get cut down. Better to be growing food in them!

    The clippings for us went to compost. This is actually potentially dangerous - if the pile is big enough and gets wet, the inside can begin to ferment and catch the outside on fire. Happened once, it was great. I always wondered why local farmers (and there were some, then) weren't going house to house gathering up clippings. I'd have given them away willingly, less work for me.

    It was also the way in the middle ages; later in the year one would mow with scythes grasses from meadows specifically set aside for this purpose (that's what separated Meadow from Pasture in medieval English parlance - Meadow doesn't get grazed). Several laws regarded regulation and use.

    So what I'm wondering is why we don't farm grass for CAFO operations. Grassy, meadow style stuff takes about negative amounts of work to maintain. You get several "crops" a year, even without spraying or fertilizing it.

    My guess is that it's not as energy dense, so they don't fatten / muscle up before slaughter as well. You can still pack them in there, though.

    Not that I support CAFO operations (egads no), but I'm still wondering why grass farming isn't a thing.

    M.

  • #2
    Money.

    As you said, grain-fed fattens far more quickly. Plus, you can raise much more soy/corn per acre than grass, in caloric density. Plus, you get a government subsidy for growing grain. And a lot of grain feed is actually just castoff materials from processed foods, so even cheaper still.

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    • #3
      The "grass" refered to in Grass-fed is not the grass grown as lawns. Lawns are usually a single grass (of various types) that is low in protein. The grass that animals should eat is better called 'pasture crop' and contains no 'lawn grass'.
      "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

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      • #4
        I know (these days); the bit on the lawn was idle wonder as a youth. What I'm wondering is why someone doesn't just "farm" a pasture. I guess money plays in. I wonder if there'll be an "in between" kind of grass fed, where they get the "pasture crop" and issue it as the diet in a CAFO operation.

        M.

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        • #5
          "farmed" pasture grass is generally known as hay. It is stored and fed when there is no live grass........

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          • #6
            There are lots of Grass Farmers out there.... in fact there is a publication called the Stockman Grass Farmer dedicated to that purpose. Great paper.
            That being said, it is faster to fatten a cow on corn than it is to fatten it on grass. You can get a cow just as fat on grass, but it takes longer, therefore costs the producer money.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by fuzzylogic View Post
              "farmed" pasture grass is generally known as hay. It is stored and fed when there is no live grass........
              Oh, right. And I knew that, too. I am derping.

              M.

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