Cow Cake

Have your cake and eat it too! What kind of cake comes to mind? I like the basics (white cake with marshmallow frosting, chocolate cake with coconut frosting, lemon cake with cooked lemon pudding for frosting, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting).

Yummo, I just realized that I am very hungry for cake. This is probably not the picture that came to your mind when I mentioned cake. This is cow cake.

Cows are born with rumen full of bacteria that digest cellulose (which is undigestable to humans). Cellulose is found in hay, grass, and winter range (the dead grass left in the pasture after a frost).

Our cows eat mostly winter range in the winter. The problem with winter range is it is lacking protein and some energy. So high energy, high protein feeds are pressurized into a hard, round “cube”. TaaDaa- cow cake!

The cows need the high protein cake in the winter, because they are also growing a baby inside. Most cows will eat 30 pounds of winter range and 2-4 pounds of cake every day.

Feed has been very expensive this year because of the drought hitting the Midwest. Cake is usually $180 per ton, but now is over $400 per ton. Hard on the pocket book. So this year, we will keep the crappy feed pickup (not buying a newer one) and instead buy feed for the cows.

The cake is delivered in the“caker” or a metal box with a conveyor belt that is mounted to the back of the feed pickup. Our feed pickup has a siren that calls in the cows. The cows come a running when they hear that waling siren!

A button is pushed inside the pickup that starts up the conveyor belt. Cake is dribbled onto the frozen tundra. The 5 second rule doesn’t apply to cows. They don’t mind eating cake off of the ground.

If the cows think you have cake, some will come right up to you. Sorry cows- ReeRee just has a blue ball. No cake this time.

Cows can have their cake and eat it too!

Categories: Ranching in the Sandhills | Leave a comment

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