I got to know a farmer today who rears cattle in a small farm in Austria. I asked him what they were fed and he told me that he partly feeds them the whole corn plant! I guess I didn't expect that at all. I was under the impression they were all grass fed.
Well technically speaking corn [plant] is a grass :-P
even if corn aka maize is on it?
Originally Posted by Fatkid
Grass makes seeds.
What do you think elk and deer eat in the fall? They don't spit out the heads. They search them out, and nip them off and then, ONLY then, do they move on to the (tough) stalks.
Last edited by Eklecktika; 09-29-2010 at 02:25 PM.
Reason: spelling error
Whether the seed [corn/maize] is on the plant the plant is still technically a grass... the seed/corn/maize is technically a grain/cereal which is the seed from a plant that is classified as a grass (as far as my knowledge goes)... ... ... I originally was being facetious... but I guess there is a point here :-P ...
as far as 'Primality' goes... I would say it depends on how much of the bovines diet is made up of 'random' grain... if they are feed whole corn plants and each one is brimming and ready for harvest... it is probably more grain than you want... if the corn plants that they are fed are post harvest... they might have some corn on them here or there but overall probably not horrible... granted... this is just my guestimation I really have no idea... but I cannot imagine a cow eats one grain of corn and is all of a sudden horrible for us... give the cow 80/20 too!...(? :-P )
The point is to be primal.
Wild critters do NOT eat JUST grass year round. In the fall, when the plants set seed, they eat the seed. It's high in energy and allows them to put weight on for the winter. Especially in the prairie regions, grasses head out, the grazing animals eat them-whether they are goats, deer, moose, Its what they DO.
Insisting on 100% grassfed meat is actually rather UNnatural...even wild game harvested in the fall will have had SOME grain-naturally sourced. Do you think Grok had grass paddocks in which to raise his meat year-round?
The point being, this "whole corn plant" is not the corn that wild animals would have found in their daily wanderings.
First, this is corn bred by humans to have big fat starch kernels and not as much protein in the heads.
Second, the time when animals wandering on their own would find full-grown heads of corn would be very limited. Mostly, if they wandered and grazed, they'd find young plants and nibble them off. They'd prefer the fresh forage, and they'd have a wide variety of plants to graze on.
Third, this "whole corn" is raised as a monoculture, possibly using big equipment (though probably not as big in Austria as in the U.S.) It might also have been raised using synthetic fertilizers, since corn is a heavy feeder. They couldn't grow it year after year without fertilizing, and while one hoped they might use the bull and cow manure, they possibly don't. It's probably raised in rows in a field, left to mature and dry, then is harvested, chopped up, and brought to the bulls.
And finally, corn (maize) is American while presumably these bulls are not.
If you're interested in how to raise cattle in a more natural (but still practical) way, I can recommend "Salad Bar Beef" by Joel Salatin. Lots of neat ideas, lots of happy animals, soil growing deeper and richer, delicious meat, natural disease and parasite control, it certainly makes sense.
Maranne, have you come across the videos made about Sepp Holzer? He farms in a Permaculture way which is remarkable. Great fun. Try You-Tube, and search "Sepp Holzer". I suppose there might be a version in German.
P.S. "Grass fed" is really inaccurate. Forage should be a great variety of plants, not just grasses, certainly not just one type of grass. "Pasture-raised" might be more accurate, but still does not define the difference between a good pasture and just any old grassy field.
Thanks for your replies!
I will look Sepp up! He is from Salzburg which is not far from me.