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Can cows eat chocolate? is the most asked question by cattle lovers. Chocolate, a product of a tree named theobroma cacao. The chocolate available in the market is made by fermenting, drying, roasting, and grounding cacao seeds. It has now become a necessary part of cakes, desserts, cookies, brownies, pudding, and mousse, etc.
Its consumption is incredibly increasing not in humans but in animals too as years are going by. It is extremely harmful to a few farm animals but for others, it is not.
Do cows love chocolate as much as humans do? Is it cruel to deprive them of such a heavenly snack? Is it safe for cows to have?
Let’s find out.
Can Cows Eat Chocolate?
Yes, COWS can eat chocolate. In fact, this has been in practice for years. And seem to enjoy it. Many Australian farmers have now shown their interest in adding chocolate to their cow’s diet because of their unrealistic results.
Unlike other animals, they can digest chocolate
There are few animals that find digesting chocolate a very hard nut to crack. They get sick and some even die but this case is different. For cows, it’s as easy as it is for humans. Thanks to their forgiving stomach. So, it does no harm to them.
How Can You Feed Chocolate Cows?
Things work well only when you do them the right way. The same is the case with chocolates. The right way to add chocolate to your cow’s diet is to mix it with something they regularly consume e.g. hay and silage.
It is advisable to introduce this heavenly snack only when your calves are at least 30 months old.
At this age, their stomach is ready to digest an essential chocolate ingredient called theobromine. Feeding calves below this age will bring more harm than good.
As soon as your calf turns 30 months old, it’s time to introduce chocolate to them. Start with a small amount of chocolate first.
Let their tummy get used to it. Gradually increase the quantity. Older cows should be fed chocolate more than younger ones.
But why chocolates?
It is not just fed because it makes the feed a little more delicious or that cows love it. To your surprise, chocolate helps in producing Wagyu beef.
This very reason made chocolate an essential element of cow feed in Australia. It makes their lunch very high-calorie food. And it would also not be wrong to say that it makes the beef taste better.
Last but not the least reason to feed chocolate to your cows
Cows love it like kids love candies and chocolate. They like it to the point they would run to snatch it from your hands. If their favorite food is bringing you tons of profit then why not?
Benefits of Feeding Chocolate to Cows
The main benefits attached to feeding chocolates are:
- It aids in producing Wagyu beef
This is everyone’s favorite Wagyu beef is a part of rich people’s diets as it is expensive. Chocolate-fed cows produce “the best” Wagyu beef. Chocolates were first fed back in 2012 to cut down the price of their feed and the noticeable difference in the quality of beef made it an essential part of everyday diet.
- It makes the beef taste better
Yes, it makes the beef even more delicious and juicy than the normal one. It gives a bit of nutty and chocolaty flavor to the beef.
- It promotes rich color
Chocolate aids in producing rich healthier-looking beef. Even a newbie can notice the difference. Feed tomatoes to cows as an alternative.
- It locks the flavor and tenderness
Marbled beef loses its flavor with time. Chocolate helps in locking the flavor. As cows grow old their beef no doubt becomes tasty but tenderness? Yes, it loses the tenderness as well. Surprisingly, Chocolate keeps these two qualities of good beef locked in.
Even though it’s been years still some people believe chocolate makes the milk chocolaty. It’s not true. Chocolate doesn’t affect the flavor and quality of cow’s milk. But it can decline its production.
How to Minimize the Negatives of Feeding Chocolate?
Well, there are not any negative effects. But to feed it right away or get maximum benefits chocolate should be mixed with some actual cow food. Waste bakery products can also be added to it to get rumen microbes, fiber, protein, and energy.
But, feed-in discipline!
Yes, feeding in moderation is the key to gathering only the good points attached to it. Rackless feeding reduces milk production, increases heart rate, respiration, sweating, and in some cases worse hyperexcitability.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can chocolate kill cows?
No, their stomach can digest chocolate easily. It is safe to give chocolate as a treat mixed with hay and cookies.
What made chocolate a necessary part of the cow’s diet in Australia?
The production of high-quality Wagyu beef actually made it an unavoidable practice in not only Australia but in some other parts of the world too. It also gives the beef a rich color and taste.
What are the side effects of feeding chocolates to cows?
You can only observe a few noticeable side effects if it is either not fed the right way or your cow has eaten way too much chocolate. The side effects are increased heartbeat, sweating, and a sudden decline in milk production.
What makes chocolate less harmful to cows when it is poisonous to other farm animals?
Cows are less sensitive as compared to dogs and goats etc. They die because they cannot digest this ingredient called theobromine. Like humans, cows can digest this essential part of chocolate to a great extent. This makes it different for cows to eat chocolate.
Other Treats For cow
Yes, you heard it right. Cows can eat chocolates. Chocolate helps in producing very expensive high-quality, rich in taste Wagyu beef. Chocolate mixed with the actual cow feed is the right way to feed chocolates to the cows. You can start feeding chocolates when the calves turn 30 months old. Cows love it and no negative effects are observed yet (If fed right). Are these three reasons not convincing enough to give chocolates as a sweet treat to your cows?