Myth: Feeding Cattle Corn Is Unnatural


Feeding corn to cattle is natural. Some people mistakenly believe that corn or grain-fed cattle never eat grass. That's just not true. Nearly all cattle eat grass for most of their lives. Some cattle have their diets enhanced with corn and grain for the last few months of their lives. This is typically done in feedlots, but may happen on ranches, too.

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Cattle enjoy corn and benefit from its nutrition. While some proponents of grass feeding only claim that cattle should not eat corn, they neglect to mention that corn is the seed of a grass. When placed in a pen with a choice of consuming grass or a corn or grain based feed, cattle will always choose to consume corn.

Remember, also, that when cattle are "finished" in feedlots, their diets are carefully supervised and monitored by expert bovine nutritionists to ensure that they are completely balanced, which maximizes health and growth. Cattle raised on pasture alone consume what they choose and these diets are more difficult to control and can be nutritionally less complete for the animal.