After which, the cows gave milkshakes

Apparently factory-reject Skittles are a popular feed for dairy cattle in Wisconsin:

Hundreds of thousands of red Skittles that spilled on a country road in Wisconsin led cops to discover that farmers have been feeding the candy to cows for years, CNN reported.

The sweet treats fell from a truck hauling them to a cattle ranch in Dodge County, and were frozen in place earlier this week, police told the station.

“There’s no little “S” on them, but you can definitely smell, it’s a distinct Skittles smell,” Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt told CNN affiliate WISN.

I suppose it’s a good thing the cows weren’t eating M&Ms.

But maybe it doesn’t matter:

John Waller, an animal science professor at the University of Tennessee, said Skittles are a legit meal to feed the animals.

“Think it’s a viable (diet),” Waller told Live Science. “It keeps fat material from going out in the landfill, and it’s a good way to get nutrients in these cattle. The alternative would be to put (the candy) in a landfill somewhere.”

Now I wonder how their teeth are faring.


  1. fillyjonk »

    23 January 2017 · 7:12 pm

    The grad school I attended – back when they had a full uni farm with cattle and all* – used to collect food waste and stuff like napkins (they used unbleached ones and had signs up explaining why). They’d boil the lot up and feed it to the cattle. Who seemed to do just fine. (Cattle are one of the relatively-few animals that can digest and use cellulose, which is why they are often pastured on land too-marginal for crops humans can eat but that will grow grass).

    * My parents lived not very far from the uni farm; on days when the wind was right you could smell the cows, faintly. Some people complained; it never bothered me – there are far worse things to smell than a little ruminant manure.

  2. CGHill »

    3 February 2017 · 5:29 pm

    An explanation has been proffered, and it’s dull, so it’s probably correct:

    [I]t’s a typical big-company miscommunication: the defective candy ended up in the hands of a farmer because of a misunderstanding between a trash vendor and a subcontractor at the factory. The AP wasn’t able to reach the purported farmer on the phone, and Mars couldn’t say whether anyone at the factory had authorized handing the Skittles over to a subcontractor to be made into cattle feed.

    It’s time I had a 3 Musketeers.

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