Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.
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Wednesday, November 30 2016 2:57 PM

Making Casseroles for Cattle

As winter draws near, temperatures drop and snow will blanket the dormant grass.  When Mother Nature stops giving for the season, our cattle begin to look at the feed truck with the same enthusiasm as my children excitedly greet hot chocolate after a fun snowball fight!  Harvest allows us to prepare for this time of year as we have corn, silage, and hay in storage ready to feed the animals.  The stored feed enables us to make casseroles for cattle during the cold blustery winter months.

Blizzards and snow drifts bring back childhood memories of snow forts, sledding, and also cold toes from helping dad do chores. Snow days meant making sure the cows had breakfast before having fun in the winter wonderland of Minnesota.  Looking back, I miss the sledding but not the cold toes!

Winter  Winter Kids

Our ILS families also put cattle chores ahead of the snow ball fights and sledding fun.  Making sure that our animals have constant access to unfrozen water and nutritious feed provides our priority for wintertime.  Each morning at the feed yards, our crew arrives at 6:00 to start preparing food for the cattle. Once the feed mill, think restaurant, comes on for the day -- it makes warm steam flaked corn. Yes, similar to the corn flakes you have for breakfast! Our cattle receive 3 meals a day – regardless of sunshine or snow.

So, what is a cattle casserole?

Just like at a restaurant, we have a menu set up for the day. Our animals receive 1 of 5 different casserole recipes depending on their age and size!  Our first ingredient is steam flaked corn, followed by hay, silage, wet distiller’s grain and vitamins and minerals.  Our ruminant nutritionist, think cattle dietician, determines which blend of feed each pen of cattle receives based on their specific nutritional needs.

A giant mixing box, think kitchen-aid mixer, combines the ingredients blending them for about three minutes.  Just like when you prepare a casserole, you want to make sure that you follow the recipe and all ingredients are uniformly mixed.  A good mixture ensures that each bite of the casserole contains the same nutrient packed great taste.

Cattle Casserole  

The first casserole is done mixing around 6:30 am and breakfast is delivered!

  

We follow the same routine for each of the three meals that our cattle receive daily.  Cattle are creatures of habit so it is our job to make sure that they have fresh, nutritious feed when they need it.  Fall harvest provides the most important time of year for our farms as the stored crops ensure that we can continue to care for our animals during the cold winter months.  In this way, we honor the land by giving true purpose to nature’s bounty.

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Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.

Innovative Livestock Services

2006 Broadway Avenue
Great Bend, KS 67530

(620) 793-9200

4805 Vue du Lac
Manhattan, KS 66503

(785) 587-9700

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