Cows eating a "Grass Based Diet"


fletchnd

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My wife, sister, brother-in-law and I have recently completed our Whole 30s. We are interested in purchasing and splitting "freezer" beef, where we purchase a large amount (1/4 cow ~ 110-120 lbs after butchering) from a local farmer. I know from his farm's website that the cows are humanely raised and pastured without growth hormones or antibiotics, but I found little information about their feed. I asked the farmer directly what the cows were fed, and he said the following: "Our cattle are fed a grass based diet and includes the whole corn plant, which obviously includes the cob as well."

The price for this beef is fantastic at $4.50 per lb for the 1/4 cow, but I wanted to find out if it is a problem that the cows are not 100% grass fed. What do you think?

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Cows in some parts of the country may need supplemental feed occasionally, so I would not worry about a little corn in the mix. But I would want to know that grass was by far the dominant feed. The farmer I get beef from likes to post pictures that highlight green grass and big fields (http://www.dgfarms.com/photos.html) . The grass is not green like this all year, but it is a good sign the cows are fed appropriately. The other thing is to know the farm is big enough for the number of cows raised there. If there is not enough pasture land to provide adequate grass and the farmer has to buy feed, that is a problem.

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Corn is a grass (from wiki: Botanically speaking grasses are members of the family Poaceae [grass] The taxonomy for "corn" (maize) is:Kingdom Plantae, class Liliopsida, order Poales, family Poaceae, genus Zea, species vary)

With that in mind, factor the green parts of the plant into the percentage of grass in the cows diet, and the kernels on the cob as the grain portion. There are other cereal grasses that are more nutrient dense for cows than corn, but it is suitable fodder, IMO.

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