Feeding Strategy

During the spring and summer months when the weather is warm, cows usually feed on pastures of green grass and drink water from ponds. This type of feeding is called grazing, and it is preferred by many farmers when possible because it is most natural and eliminates the cost of buying feed.

Cows grazing

Farmer feeding herd

However, during the winter months, the grass in the pastures dies and it is too cold for the cows to stay outside and graze. Therefore, the cows keep warm in barns and eat feed. In addition to hay, feed consists of a mixture of grains and silage. Some farmers make their own feed. Others buy a feed mix known as a Total Mixed Ration that consists of hay, corn , barley, field grasses, cotton seed, and bakery or grocery store by-products.

Moo Wonder icon Moo Wonders
  • A cow feeds up to eight times a day. This can add up to 90 lbs of food daily.
  • A cow drinks 30- 40 gallons of clean water each day. That is enough water to fill a bathtub.

If a cow drinks 5 gallons of water for every gallon of milk she produces, how many gallons of milk does she output per day? How many cups does this equal?

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