Joan new shot 1Many blogs have recipes on them.  I would like to share with you the recipe for cow pie.
A cow pie is a combination of ingredients according to available feedstuffs and the needs of the recipient.  I will share with you two of our recipes.
The first recipe is designed for growing bodies.  The ingredients are measured in pounds according to a percentage.  The recipe is called a ration when feeding livestock.  Our growing ration utilizes an ethanol by-product, wet distillers grain, called Synergy.  The ration also includes corn silage, a supplement and ground alfalfa hay.  The percentages of each ingredient can be seen in this picture.growing ration
The second recipe will be for the finishing steer.  This steer has had time to grow his frame so that now he can put on more muscle.  This phase often lasts around 180 days in a feedlot.  In this recipe we include the wet distillers grain.  The ground hay in this ration is usually made from crop residue like soybean straw and corn stalks instead of alfalfa.  Hay is a term that often refers to the roughage used.    Corn and a supplement to balance needed vitamins/minerals are the other two ingredients.  Here is the percentage picture of a finishing ration.finishing ration
Once the ration has been formulated it is loaded into a feed truck with a mixer that blends it all together just like our kitchen mixers do with cookie dough.loading feed
The ration is distributed to the pen using a scale on the feed truck  for precise and timely distribution.  The feed is digested throughout an amazing system God put into the beef animal allowing the making of a cow pie.cow pie
Now, what to do with the cow pie?  We use them for fertilizer on our crops.  I learned as a child the value of cow manure.  When I was growing up we had a neighbor that would get a few pickup loads of manure on his garden every fall.  His garden in the summer always looked like it should be on a magazine cover.
The pioneers used cow pies for fuel. Trees were scarce so they used dry grass and manure to make heat for baking and keeping warm.    We are expecting a winter storm today so perhaps I should save a few of these just in case the lights go out and Steve still wants supper tonight!

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