What Do Farm Animals Eat?

Farm animals consume a wide variety of items, ranging from grasses and hay to wheat, cereal and cereal products, by products from brewing and food production processes, root crops and special animal feed. Farm animals have diverse diets with some like goats, horses and cattle classifying as vegetarians and deriving most of their nutrition from foraging materials. These animals consume primarily grasses, grains, wheat and maize, along with root crops and sometimes supplemental feed.

In addition to horses and livestock, some farmers feed their poultry grass and feed too. This is particularly true for free-range poultry, which obtain nutrition by feeding on the vegetation growing in fields and pastures. Some poultry, especially those raised in houses and on commercial farms, consume cereal grains, which sometimes comes fortified with minerals and supplements. Farmers sometimes feed goats and sheep cereal products too. However, they might supplement these animals' winter diets with root vegetables, such as turnips and beets, ensuring they receive adequate calories and nutrition. Cattle often receive root vegetables in the winter months too, along with kale, barley and other crops. Pigs, in contrast, consume diverse food items, including vegetables and meat. They receive fodder created from byproducts of human food processing and sometimes consume old, expired human food too. Farmers might feed their pigs primary meals of wheat or soy, with dried whey adding protein and sugar. Some farmers even feed their pigs chocolate, considered a safe and nutritionally equivalent food for whey.