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Farmers are Feeding Their Cattles With Red Skittles -- WHY?

Jan 24, 2017 10:44 AM EST
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The fact that the truck contained red skittles only initially puzzled the police officers, but what caught them totally dumbfounded is that the fact the truck was on its way to local farms to be used as cattle feed.
(Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Apparently, cattle love skittles too. 

As reported by Science Alert, a truck full of red skittles had an accident at the Dodge County Highway in Wisconsin. The fact that the truck contained red skittles only initially puzzled the police officers, but what caught them totally dumbfounded is that the fact the truck was on its way to local farms to be used as cattle feed.

"The Skittles were confirmed to have fallen off the back of a truck," Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt reported on their Facebook page. "It is reported that the Skittles were intended to feed cattle, as they did not make the cut for packaging at the company. In the end, these Skittles are actually for the birds!"

While it seems weird, it is actually a common practice for many cattle farmers. As the corn became pricier in 2009, farmers looked for an alternative, CNN reported.

"It has been a practice going on for decades and is a very good way to for producers to reduce feed cost, and to provide less expensive food for consumers," said Ki Fanning, a livestock nutritionist with Great Plains Livestock Consulting, Inc. in Eagle, Neb told CNN.

The skittles is not actually fed on its own as it is usually mixed with other cow feeds. Guidelines say it should not be more than three percent of the total feed.

Animal Legal Defense Fund notes that candies are not the only things that can serve as an alternative for corn. Farmers may also use breakfast cereal, orange peels, dried fruit and taco shells.

Interestingly, Linda Kurtz, a corporate environmental manager at Mars previously told Associated Press that the Yorkville, Ill., plant where these Skittles reportedly came from doesn't sell any of its surplus candies for cattle feed.  Meanwhile, the spill was actually helpful as it improved the traction on the roads.

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