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News 266 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Australian cows go well on ice cream

The cows on Mr Ross Sheppard's Irrewillipe dairy farm in Victoria , Australia are fed sweets and ice cream. By feeding these excess and sub-standard products from confectionery manufacturers, the Aussie farmer boosts the energy content of the brewer's grain he uses for stock feed.

In an interview Mr Sheppard said "The cows are fed it at the after­noon milking and race up here looking for it. When I first suggested using these by-products most of my neighbours thought I was crazy, but my local vet and an animal nutritionist said it was OK so I went ahead. I previously supplement the cows feed with citrus fruit and potato waste, but the drought has made that scarce so I switched to ice cream and sweets.

Little drunk
They love it but I think it makes them appear a little drunk and I was told it was the essences in the ice cream fermenting in the storage tank and it wouldn't do them any harm as long as they didn't get too much. I have had the milk tested since the change in diet and it has not affected the quality at all.”

Chocolate is favorite
Mr Sheppard's feed supplier regularly sends waste ice cream to beef feedlots and piggeries, but this is the only dairy herd to receive the ice cream, and Mr Sheppard has a special 25,000 lt tank to store his truck­loads of ice cream. Cows currently are fed 2 lt of ice cream daily, apparently with chocolate the preferred flavour!

Related article:
Adding value to co-products

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