Note to self. Never talk to a farmer about grass feeding

MsPony

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Wifezilla said:
I think its gross how fish food is mainly wheat, corn and soy. And how bird pellets are mainly corn and soy!! As healthy as the idea of pellets are, especially since zoos feed that same brand, I stick with seed.
I have started offering my quail seeds. They prefer them to the game bird feed.
I love the Volkman seed line!! They have a western dove and quail one you could try :)
 

Buster

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There is nothing wrong with grain as long as it is used in moderation, especially for animals that aren't herbivores.

The problem with factory farmed beef is not that they are finished on grain, but how. It is a system designed to push animals to grow as big as possible as fast as possible for as little money as possible.

The beasties are given growth hormone implants at a young age, run on grass for a year or two, then stuck in a CAFO and fed nothing but grain until their systems are about the collapse, all the way to the limit, then butchered.

Dairy factories are even worse, as those cattle rarely see the light of day. No green pastures for them, once they reach milking age. There are still mom and pop operations that do it the old way, running them on grass all day until milking time then give a scoop or two of feed while they are being milked. Factories lock them up in tiny pens not even big enough for them to turn around, then exercise them a couple times a day by hooking them up to a motorized chain system.

Chickens are another matter. They can thrive on grain. They are omnivores, after all, and not herbivores like cattle. The problem comes from factories feeding them ONLY grain, when they are built to eat greens and critters, too.
 

FarmerDenise

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Wild cats and dogs do eat grain, just not in raw form. When they kill birds and mice and other critters that eat grain, the dog and cat will eat the stomach and it contents. So they actually eat predigested grain or partially digested grain. I would think that fermented grains would come close.
I watch my goats and they eat the seeds of grasses and weeds. the chickens also love the seeds they find in the pasture. Csttle also eat seeds.
I think the problem is, as has been stated, how the grain is fed to the exclusion to everything else and probably also what kind of grain.
A cow will gladly munch her way through a corn field, but she would eat the corn, the cob and all the green stuff at the same time. When she would come to an apple tree, she would eat the apples, with the seeds and the leaves of the tree, she would move on to the grasses, eating the tops of grain as well as the leaf and stem.

The same goes for the chickens and goats. They don't just eat grain, nor do they eat just one kind of grain or seed day in and day out. They are opportunists.

A varied diet is a healthy diet. It is ok to occasionally eat just one thing, because that is what's available, but on the whole, most of us and the critters need a variety to meet our nutritional needs.
 

Beekissed

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Wild cats and dogs do eat grain, just not in raw form.
Foxes love eating new corn right off the stalk...as do my dogs. My cat also enjoys new sweet corn if I give him his own ear. I had to build a fence around my garden primarily to keep my dog, Jake, out of it....he would remove whole corn stalks and eat the corn like it were candy. He ate my potatoes, my rhubarb and stole my tomatoes. Clearly this animal thrived on and craved variety in his diet.

Jake also eats more apples than any human I've ever seen. I timed him one day and he ate an apple about every minute.

My dogs love veggies and fruits and they strip my grapes from the vine. Supposedly these are toxic to dogs but they seem to not have any effect on mine.

These dogs get fed plenty every day and are by no means starving. They just enjoy foraging a variety of foods.

Imagine how many they would forage if they were in the wild? Seeds, berries and roots would be every day fair as wild dogs do not always make a kill. Depending on territory and available game, they may only eat meat every third day, if they have a successful hunt. Some go longer.

I agree that it is not necessarily the grains being fed to these cattle but the amount and frequency that matters.
 

Wifezilla

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Wild cats and dogs do eat grain, just not in raw form. When they kill birds and mice and other critters that eat grain, the dog and cat will eat the stomach and it contents.
"Myth: WOLVES INGEST THE STOMACH CONTENTS OF THEIR PREY.

This claim is repeated over and over as evidence that wolves and therefore dogs are omnivores. However, this assumption is just that--an assumption. It is not supported by the evidence available to us, and is therefore false!

Wolves do NOT eat the stomach contents of their prey. Only if the prey is small enough (like the size of a rabbit) will they eat the stomach contents, which just happen to get consumed along with the entire animal. Otherwise, wolves will shake out the stomach contents of their large herbivorous prey before sometimes eating the stomach wall. The following quotations are taken from L. David Mech's 2003 book Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. Mech (and the others who contributed to this book) is considered the world's leading wolf biologist, and this book is a compilation of 350 collective years of research, experiments, and careful field observations. These quotes are taken from chapter 4, The Wolf as a Carnivore.
"Wolves usually tear into the body cavity of large prey and...consume the larger internal organs, such as lungs, heart, and liver. The large rumen [, which is one of the main stomach chambers in large ruminant herbivores,]...is usually punctured during removal and its contents spilled. The vegetation in the intestinal tract is of no interest to the wolves, but the stomach lining and intestinal wall are consumed, and their contents further strewn about the kill site." (pg.123, emphasis added)

"To grow and maintain their own bodies, wolves need to ingest all the major parts of their herbivorous prey, except the plants in the digestive system." (pg.124, emphasis added).

This next quote can be found on the Hunting and Meals page at Kerwood Wildlife Education Center.
"The wolf's diet consists mostly of muscle meat and fatty tissue from various animals. Heart, lung, liver, and other internal organs are eaten. Bones are crushed to get at the marrow, and bone fragments are eaten as well. Even hair and skin are sometimes consumed. The only part consistently ignored is the stomach and its contents. Although some vegetable matter is taken separately, particularly berries, Canis lupus doesn't seem to digest them very well."

From the mouths of the wolf experts themselves, who have observed countless numbers of kills: wolves do NOT eat the stomach contents of their large prey, and are carnivorous animals. Additionally, Neville Buck from the Howletts and Port Lympne Zoological Parks in Kent, England, notes that virtually no small carnivore (which includes varieties of cats, wolves, wild dogs) eat the intestinal contents of their large prey. The contents are spilled in the enclosures and are often rolled in by the animals, but very little is eaten (if any is eaten at all). His observations can be found in Appendix B of Raw Meaty Bones."

As for the berries, we had an Irish Setter that LOVED blackberries. It was hilarious watching her carefully stick her nose in the brush and grab them with her teeth :D
 

MsPony

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While were on this subject, my boss was telling me that more recently scientists were saying that dog and wolf can't be compared. Domestic dog branched off and became a scavenger vs hunter like a wolf. Now if you think about it, it makes sense, as a art history minor I'm always seeing dogs portrayed in cities amidst the 16th/17th/etc centuries. To me, they did become more of a city scavenger then out in the wild. Of course there were dogs that lived in the country thay caight their own prey.

Now training wise, agree with the wolf pack mentality and treating my puppy as if he were a wolf puppy. Which is where I'm getting confused on this whole wolf/domestic canine thing.

I need to go actually look this up, but any thoughts?

(Oh and my barn cat and dogs LOVE the grain, PGR, and I am happy to give it to them too. But just a handful)
 

Wifezilla

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Dogs and wolves can interbreed and their offspring are fertile. Not different enough to even consider them a branch off.
 

MsPony

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Well yes, I've had hybrids my entire life lol.

I'm talking about canine domestica, and the hundreds (thousands?) Of breeds in it. Personally, I don't see how there is ANY similarity between a chihuahua and wolf. None, not even mental. I see more similarity between my american labrador (lab x bloodhound) then a paillion (sp?)
 

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