A livestock farmer has to worry about many things, but perhaps the number one concern is feeding the animals. It costs a lot to feed farm animals every day, so you might wonder if livestock farmers can grow their own animal feed. Find out the answer and more below.
Yes, Farmers Can (and Do) Grow Animal Feed
Animal feed is a huge expense for livestock farmers, as it takes a lot of food to ensure the animals are happy and healthy. One of the ways livestock farmers cut down on their feed expenses is by growing their own animal feed!
Many farmers grow several types of feed grain common in the US on their properties, so it makes practical and financial sense to put that grain, sorghum, or barley to use by feeding it to the livestock. Here’s why you should consider growing feed on your farm, whether you’re feeding cows, goats, chickens, or other livestock.
Why You Should Start Growing Animal Feed on Your Farm
The primary reason many farmers grow animal feed is that it’s a simple way to cut costs. While commercial animal meals are generally affordable, farmers can grow many crops and vegetables to feed their animals on a tight budget, like:
- Corn and sweet corn
Some livestock farmers feed their animals strictly organic feed, but not every farmer has the resources or time to grow and maintain that many crops. Growing just a few veggies or roots to mix with the feed will make it go further and give farmers greater long-term value.
Organic Feed Over Commercial Feed
Some farmers only feed their animals organic feed instead of commercial feed as a matter of principle. While commercial feed has many nutrients that animals need, the mass-produced feed can’t compare to the freshness and nutrition of organic feed.
Would you rather eat fresh corn or a can of corn? Animals feel the same way. Many livestock farmers attribute their animals’ happiness and health to their homemade organic feed.
Greater Supply Management
Having a stable and reliable supply of animal feed on the farm offers other advantages—farmers aren’t at the mercy of supply chains and delivery delays. Many livestock farmers growing animal feed enjoy the peace of mind it gives them. They don’t have to worry about when the next shipment will come or how much feed they have left.
By mixing commercial and organic feed, farmers can stretch their dollar further and stockpile feed for emergencies. Whether it’s for the animals’ health or the budget, organic feed on a livestock farm has plenty of advantages.