Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkVegetarian & Vegan · 1 decade ago

How much food does a cow produce as opposed to the grain that is needed to feed and produce it? ?

Im writing a proposal for a research paper on vegetarianism and I want to include this stat, but don't have it anymore. (I will look it up for the actual paper, but this is just a proposal)

Also does anyone remember how much energy is lost in transference? the energy thing I think its called the trophic pyramid right?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    According to a respected ecologist at Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, "Each year an estimated 41 million tons of plant protein is fed to U.S. livestock to produce an estimated 7 million tons of animal protein for human consumption. About 26 million tons of the livestock feed comes from grains and 15 million tons from forage crops. For every kilogram of high-quality animal protein produced, livestock are fed nearly 6 kg of plant protein."

    So even considering only the grain crops, the animals were fed more than 3 times the human-edible grain than what their bodies produced in meat.

    University sources generalize that chickens need to eat 2 pounds of plant foods, to produce 1 pound of muscle (meat)..a 2:1 ratio.

    Pork (pigs' muscle) has a 3:1 ratio, and beef (cattle and cows' muscle) has a 6:1 ratio (see the link for their original sources).

    Lolz at the person who said water is plentiful!

    Even if it were recycled (eventually) - most of it would end up in the sea (or remain polluted with slurry/manure/pesticides/fertilisers and take lots of energy to clean), rather than in the massive aquifers it came from which the livestock industry and big corporations are draining (which took thousands of years to accumulate and they are being used too fast to replenish themselves).

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    When you say cow, do you mean milk or do you mean beef. Cows are for milking whereas beef comes from a heifer.

    Most bovine animals get there food from grazing. That will be supplemented with hay or silage and during winter they may get both. On top of that, cows, heifers and bullocks may be fed a concentrated supplement in their diet. I looked after cows for most of my early adult life. We never fed any of them on grain. What animals are fed on will depend on the country where they are being farmed, and what grazing is available.

    Your question relating to a cow and how much food does it produce. A good milking cow will produce up to 8 gallons of milk a day. That depends on the breed. Some give a lot of milk with a low butterfat content and others give less milk with a high butterfat content. As I said earlier, none of our dairy cows were fed on grain, just grass, hay or silage and a concentrated supplement known as cow cake.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    cattle that are raised for beef are only fed on natural grass pasture because of the cost of feeding livestock grains,ranchers cattle are sold by the pound so ranchers are not making any money off of raising beef cattle if they feed them expensive grain(most ranchers live just above poverty level).feedlots that buy the cattle from ranchers use grains in the "finishing"stages for beef so that they can put on weight in the shortest amount of time for resale to the processing plants(this is called on the hoof).processing plants sell by the carcass weight per pound and condition or in other-words the amount of fat that is covering the actual meat for shipping.most cattle when they are sold to the feedlots will gain an average of 300 pounds before being sold to the processing plants so if the rancher sells a 700 pound steer to a feedlot for $600 dollars(average price)and the feedlot can put 300 pounds on it in a month by feeding grain to it making it a 1000 pound steer and sell it to a processing plant for 1200 dollars,then the processing plant can sell the carcass and goods(hides,bones,hooves,organs) for 1500 dollars everyone but the rancher and farmer are making money.i am not even going to talk about how much money the grocery stores are making per pound (100% markup per pound)

    Source(s): 4th generation cowboy/rancher
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    To feed cows the Amazon rainforest is being destroyed at 53 sq km per day. This is to grow feed for it.

    It takes 4 kgs of grain to produce 1 kg of beef. And a lot of cow poo as well.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    It requires seven pounds of grain and twenty five Hundred gallons of water,for every pound of beef you put on your plate.

    Source(s): Food for a small planet by Francis Le PaeT. Iam not sure of the spelling of the authors name. Title of the book is correct.
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    You'll never get an accurate statistic because the food we feed cows and other feed animals is not food that people would eat anyways. It's stuff that is stale or old, or bad that they wouldn't be able to sell to people anyways. So no, despite what some people may tell you, if everyone stopped eating meat we would not suddenly have enough vegetables and grains to cure world hunger. That part is just a bunch of propaganda.

    The water part of it is correct, but water is plentiful and it's not like once you drink water it's forever gone. Sooner or later it comes back to the earth.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.