1

votes

Do cows eat legumes?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 20, 2011 at 8:06 AM

I ask because there was a person selling what he claimed to be 100% grassfed meat and when i asked him what they ate he mentioned legumes. Are legumes bad for cows?

Medium avatar

(10557)

on August 21, 2011
at 01:23 PM

I come from an area where cows were fed pea hay and silage. There was no doubt a lot of pod-eating going on.

Medium avatar

(10557)

on August 21, 2011
at 01:18 PM

Most cows don't live in the wild. They're dumb enough to eat poisonous plants, so would not avoid nutritious clover and alfalfa. In the winter grass-fed cattle will be in a barn eating hay. Because of its high protein content alfalfa hay is one of the best (and most expensive) feeds.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on August 20, 2011
at 09:12 AM

Exactly, I think the confusion comes from assuming that legumes means soy, like the feed often used in "factory farm" raised beef, when it could very well mean alfalfa or clover.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on August 20, 2011
at 08:54 AM

However, they eat the entire plant before it goes to seed, so it's not what we usually think of as legumes in human food, where we're usually eating the seed or the pod and seed.

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3 Answers

6
34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on August 20, 2011
at 08:32 AM

Legumes include alfalfa and clover. Here is some info from the following link:

"Legumes can be a valuable part of a cattle feeding program. In fact, legumes can actually improve animal performance by encouraging intake, by providing greater feed efficiency and by fostering a better use of forage nitrogen content."

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex6516

Medium avatar

(10557)

on August 21, 2011
at 01:23 PM

I come from an area where cows were fed pea hay and silage. There was no doubt a lot of pod-eating going on.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on August 20, 2011
at 09:12 AM

Exactly, I think the confusion comes from assuming that legumes means soy, like the feed often used in "factory farm" raised beef, when it could very well mean alfalfa or clover.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on August 20, 2011
at 08:54 AM

However, they eat the entire plant before it goes to seed, so it's not what we usually think of as legumes in human food, where we're usually eating the seed or the pod and seed.

2
Ff37161b496b37a83d5f2b9d2ba2b876

on August 20, 2011
at 07:54 PM

A certain amount of legumes will most likely grow in any complex natural pastureland. That doesn't mean they are the kind that produce big fat seed pods like lima beans or soy. Like the previous poster said, alfalfa, clover and other legumes found in the wild are certainly healthy for grazing animals. If they weren't they would eat around them.

Medium avatar

(10557)

on August 21, 2011
at 01:18 PM

Most cows don't live in the wild. They're dumb enough to eat poisonous plants, so would not avoid nutritious clover and alfalfa. In the winter grass-fed cattle will be in a barn eating hay. Because of its high protein content alfalfa hay is one of the best (and most expensive) feeds.

1
79fc447191de75e7c178951594a43f13

(448)

on August 21, 2011
at 11:12 AM

Legumes such as clover are good eating for cattle. They are high in protein and magnesium.

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