3

votes

If cows eat grass what eats grains?

Answered on May 15, 2017
Created October 11, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Evolutionarily speaking what animals were supposed to eat grains? Cows ate grass but what ate the grain and did we eat it?

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on January 25, 2012
at 09:13 PM

google slavery go to its definition in wikipedia. go to the history of slavery. read how agriculture and slavery are one in the same.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 25, 2012
at 03:07 PM

I like your gold badge Matthew. I've notice that some members with over 10K points don't have one.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 25, 2012
at 02:41 PM

Everything is so colour coordinated, and those twee miceseses! PH needed some cuteness overload - seriously lacking in that category. (I'm ignoring the weevils.)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on January 25, 2012
at 12:27 PM

Modern agriculture hinged on slavery? Reference!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on January 25, 2012
at 12:18 PM

Not entirely true Chris, the wild ancestors of cereal grains do cover extensive fields in their native habitats.

7d01d86c539003eed77cf901bf037412

(1076)

on January 25, 2012
at 07:33 AM

But also, if a grazing animal doesn't chew too efficiently (and some of them don't) the seeds get crapped out again in some nice fertile dung. Not everything that gets eaten gets digested.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on January 25, 2012
at 02:27 AM

You also have to remember that there aren't naturally fields of grain to be eaten. Wheat, maize, barley, etc. would naturally have to fight alongside grasses, shrubs, trees, rocks, through drought and flood. Without agriculture, there's not naturally that much grain to be eaten.

5a506bcfafe352e8fe11ebac285aa3e4

on January 25, 2012
at 02:02 AM

Hmm, aren't cows girls, so you would be eyeing her and her don't want to be eaten either.

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on January 24, 2012
at 11:54 PM

currently 2 percent of humans grow all the food and that number is expected to fall to no humans as robots replace man in farming.our species no longer grows food for hunger. Corporations grow food for profeit. I have to agree that our species did all that.

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on January 24, 2012
at 11:00 PM

in the course of history man enslaved fist other humans and then other animals to do the work, modern man converts petroleum into food.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on January 24, 2012
at 10:57 PM

One way love, Danny, that's not healthy! ;)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on January 24, 2012
at 10:55 PM

Except that in the course of human history, we did do all of that! It is worth it.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 24, 2012
at 10:25 PM

Evolved defenses, or die fast enough that it doesn't matter to them...

Ab19df3ededa28f7bf7daeba8435b205

(1471)

on January 24, 2012
at 09:36 PM

fat humans :) (i say that cause I am am former grain eater)

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on January 24, 2012
at 09:24 PM

Of course cows want to be eaten, that's how domestication works! They love me those cows.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on January 24, 2012
at 09:21 PM

Nothing wants to get eat (aside from certain fruits). Heck, your local cow doesn't like the way you're eying him! Grains have defenses to being eaten for a reason. There most certainly are animals that have evolved to consume grains/seeds, and they also have evolved methods of dealing with these defenses.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:35 PM

They're at the top of the plant so they can more easily spread farther by wind.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6244)

on October 17, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Great pics with great answers! I have to say I don't think the wheat weevils are gluten-free - too cross-contaminated to eat them!

71af94295988d55cd3b8340e619729d0

(255)

on October 12, 2011
at 12:57 AM

Must...upvote...due to ADORABLE photos...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 11, 2011
at 11:05 PM

This site is lacking in cute pictures of harvest mice :)

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on October 11, 2011
at 07:50 PM

luv the pictures

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 11, 2011
at 06:04 PM

Wheat is weevil!

Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

(13635)

on October 11, 2011
at 03:27 PM

HA. I was thinking more like grasshoppers and locusts.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 11, 2011
at 03:20 PM

You are welcome to the wheat weevils. Not tempted myself :P

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on October 11, 2011
at 03:18 PM

Bingo. A moderate amount of grain fed to cattle is perfectly healthy. It's only when cattle are fed *primarily* grain do health issues start to crop up.

Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

(13635)

on October 11, 2011
at 03:07 PM

The irony is, I'll bet the insects are far more nutritious than the grains.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 11, 2011
at 02:57 PM

And this is why poultry naturally has a higher O6:O3 ratio than ruminants like grass fed cows do.

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14 Answers

38
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 11, 2011
at 02:57 PM

I suppose it depends what you mean by "supposed" too. Lots of animals have plants seeds including cereals as a natural part of their diet. These mainly consist of.

Large herbivores including cows

When cows eat grasses with seeds on the seeds go down along with the rest of the leaves.

Birds

There are lots of specialized seed eating birds.

if-cows-eat-grass-what-eats-grains? Source

Oh no, the Sparrows are stealing my wheat!

Rodents and other small mammals

Keeping rats and mice out of your grain store is always difficult.

if-cows-eat-grass-what-eats-grains? Source

Can't even trust the cute little harvest mice.

Insects

Many types of insect will happily destroy your grain harvests for you.

if-cows-eat-grass-what-eats-grains? Source

The wheat weevils will eat the wheat from the inside out.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 11, 2011
at 03:20 PM

You are welcome to the wheat weevils. Not tempted myself :P

Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

(13635)

on October 11, 2011
at 03:27 PM

HA. I was thinking more like grasshoppers and locusts.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 11, 2011
at 06:04 PM

Wheat is weevil!

Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

(13635)

on October 11, 2011
at 03:07 PM

The irony is, I'll bet the insects are far more nutritious than the grains.

71af94295988d55cd3b8340e619729d0

(255)

on October 12, 2011
at 12:57 AM

Must...upvote...due to ADORABLE photos...

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on October 11, 2011
at 07:50 PM

luv the pictures

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 11, 2011
at 11:05 PM

This site is lacking in cute pictures of harvest mice :)

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6244)

on October 17, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Great pics with great answers! I have to say I don't think the wheat weevils are gluten-free - too cross-contaminated to eat them!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 25, 2012
at 02:41 PM

Everything is so colour coordinated, and those twee miceseses! PH needed some cuteness overload - seriously lacking in that category. (I'm ignoring the weevils.)

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on January 25, 2012
at 02:27 AM

You also have to remember that there aren't naturally fields of grain to be eaten. Wheat, maize, barley, etc. would naturally have to fight alongside grasses, shrubs, trees, rocks, through drought and flood. Without agriculture, there's not naturally that much grain to be eaten.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 25, 2012
at 03:07 PM

I like your gold badge Matthew. I've notice that some members with over 10K points don't have one.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on January 25, 2012
at 12:18 PM

Not entirely true Chris, the wild ancestors of cereal grains do cover extensive fields in their native habitats.

9
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 11, 2011
at 02:48 PM

Cows do eat grains, just in season and as part of the grass. There is also evidence that Paleolithic humans gathered some grains as well. But in each case, grain consumption is low as a percentage of the diet and doesn't occur year-round.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on October 11, 2011
at 03:18 PM

Bingo. A moderate amount of grain fed to cattle is perfectly healthy. It's only when cattle are fed *primarily* grain do health issues start to crop up.

7d01d86c539003eed77cf901bf037412

(1076)

on January 25, 2012
at 07:33 AM

But also, if a grazing animal doesn't chew too efficiently (and some of them don't) the seeds get crapped out again in some nice fertile dung. Not everything that gets eaten gets digested.

5
8828d5922b47a0e2b82bde2232037746

(616)

on October 11, 2011
at 02:42 PM

Birds. I usually get a light to click on in folks heads when I tell them that grasses have their seeds at the top of the plant so that the birds can get to them easily.

4c9c4d3b6de06c4ac282e7e40ec5992f

(209)

on October 06, 2015
at 01:16 AM

Nice idea, but utterly wrong I'm afraid.

Grains don't have 'seeds' like fruit plants do. they have... wait for it... GRAINS. And they're at the top of the plant to get sunshine. 

seeds want to be eaten and pooed into nice warm fertiliser as food. While GRAINS have everything they need to survive - germ, endosperm, bran etc and ONLY need water. When you eat a grain it's DEAD. It can't reproduce and THIS is why the proteins in grains have anti-predation properties so animals DON'T eat them. Cows will by choice avoid grasses that have gone to grain for this reason and will never (unless they're staving) choose to eat grains such as wheat etc. 

 

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 11, 2011
at 02:57 PM

And this is why poultry naturally has a higher O6:O3 ratio than ruminants like grass fed cows do.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on January 07, 2012
at 01:35 PM

They're at the top of the plant so they can more easily spread farther by wind.

3
698db94d83dee10d6ada8cc0128d45fc

(1048)

on October 11, 2011
at 03:40 PM

In the spirit of the season Id like to point out that Scarecrows are aptly named :)

Usually found in wheat fields and other crop fields as a deterrent to typical crows or other aerial threats to the survival and successful harvest of a crop.

So there you have it, your major grain feeding animals are birds!

1
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 25, 2012
at 04:02 AM

Monsanto eats grains. But only if they've been treated with Round-up.

1
26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on January 24, 2012
at 11:56 PM

My mom eats grains.

1
D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on January 24, 2012
at 09:43 PM

Only (some) birds evolved to resist the toxic payload of seeds in general. Quite right, seeds aren't meant to be eaten at all - except for digestion "hardened" seeds of fruits, "designed" to pass through the gut.

Plants don't want us to eat their children!

1
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on January 24, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Why should anything be supposed to eat grains? Grains don't want to be eaten, isn't that the whole point?

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on January 24, 2012
at 09:24 PM

Of course cows want to be eaten, that's how domestication works! They love me those cows.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 24, 2012
at 10:25 PM

Evolved defenses, or die fast enough that it doesn't matter to them...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on January 24, 2012
at 10:57 PM

One way love, Danny, that's not healthy! ;)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on January 24, 2012
at 09:21 PM

Nothing wants to get eat (aside from certain fruits). Heck, your local cow doesn't like the way you're eying him! Grains have defenses to being eaten for a reason. There most certainly are animals that have evolved to consume grains/seeds, and they also have evolved methods of dealing with these defenses.

5a506bcfafe352e8fe11ebac285aa3e4

on January 25, 2012
at 02:02 AM

Hmm, aren't cows girls, so you would be eyeing her and her don't want to be eaten either.

0
4c9c4d3b6de06c4ac282e7e40ec5992f

on May 15, 2017
at 03:08 AM

Not quite right Mat_1

Grains and seeds are ENTIRELY different things. 
Seeds WANT to be eaten, (or at least they want the fruit they're encased in to be eaten) because then they're pooped out in a nice lump of fertiliser and voila, a new plant.

Grains DO NOT want to be eaten.
They have everything they need in the grain. The Germ, the endosperm, etc. It's a self-feeding system. So when a grain is EATEN, it's done for. Dead. Game over player 1. That's why grains have anti-predation proteins - mostly in the bran**, to make mammals who eat them ill, so they'll learn never to try eating them again.

 

cheers, 
Matt

(**and this is why, counter intuitively, white rice is less problematic than brown and wholegrain bread is a gut-bomb waiting to happen.) 

0
4c9c4d3b6de06c4ac282e7e40ec5992f

on October 06, 2015
at 01:19 AM

I don't think ANY mammal chooses to eat grains. They make cows fat and sick so imagine what they can do to US!

0
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on January 24, 2012
at 10:42 PM

i cant see or imagine a paleo hominid collecting grains, grinding them to a paste, gathering fire wood, then cooking grains. its just too much caloric work. i dont think you break even on the calories. creatures other than man like birds digest grains without the processing. Maybe if man had gizzards and multiple stomachs we would be vegetarians. it just didnt happen that way.

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on January 24, 2012
at 11:54 PM

currently 2 percent of humans grow all the food and that number is expected to fall to no humans as robots replace man in farming.our species no longer grows food for hunger. Corporations grow food for profeit. I have to agree that our species did all that.

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on January 25, 2012
at 09:13 PM

google slavery go to its definition in wikipedia. go to the history of slavery. read how agriculture and slavery are one in the same.

Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

(3125)

on January 24, 2012
at 11:00 PM

in the course of history man enslaved fist other humans and then other animals to do the work, modern man converts petroleum into food.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on January 25, 2012
at 12:27 PM

Modern agriculture hinged on slavery? Reference!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41767)

on January 24, 2012
at 10:55 PM

Except that in the course of human history, we did do all of that! It is worth it.

-2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:24 AM

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Finally Maintain momentum .This just shows how bad our secondary is. That and O-line has to be the focus in the offseason. The DB's have to play 7-8 yds off b/c they cannot cover and if they blitz, like so many people want, they are exposed badly. Lions better hope Delmas is healthy and can make a difference. We have no running game to slow other teams down either. But I refuse to trash a team three years from an ofer season and with a great nucleus of young players. IF they get trashed by NO I hope the sting stays with them next year and they don't give any games away.

-2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:24 AM

[b][i]Ehrhoff???s injury leaves void on back end[/i][/b]

Buffalo Sabres high-priced defenseman Christian Ehrhoff will be out for an extended period after he was injured in Friday night's 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

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-3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:22 AM

[b][i]Chargers??? linebacker Antwan Barnes has been ejected[/i][/b]

San Diego Chargers linebacker Antwan Barnes has been ejected against the Oakland Raiders following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

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He took off his helmet and was yelling back at officials on the field following his ejection. It was not immediately clear exactly why Barnes was ejected.

Shaun Phillips is expected to see more time at outside linebacker in his place.

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