Yes, dairy cows are fed corn.  At least they were back in the day when, as a 
teenager, I was working on a family-run dairy farm.  They were sometimes fed 
dried corn ground into feed, and at other times they were fed silage made 
from whole young corn plants, chopped up and blown into a silo.  Stalks, 
leaves and young ears all together.  Of course they were also fed hay (dried 
grass), and also silage made from fresh grass.  Cows love silage, as it is 
somewhat fermented into ethanol and they get a bit of a buzz from it.  They 
receive limited amounts of it, needless to say.  Farmers frown on 1600 pound 
animals going on drunken sprees.

BTW, just in case some city slickers out there don't know this factoid, 
field corn is distinct from sweet corn, which humans consume directly.  
Field corn has to be subjected to an alkaline processing to be digestible by 
humans.  And it is the starch from field  corn that is sometimes fermented 
into ethanol for fuel (or corn whiskey).

I  think it is the case that beef cattle (castrated males) get a diet that 
is considerably richer in corn, however.  At least those that are fattened 
on feedlots.

Dairy cows generally get converted to steak and hamburger when their milking 
days are over.  This occurs at a considerably greater age than that at which 
beef cattle are slaughtered.  Her meat is still quite valuable, as she has 
had a "good" diet her entire life.

----Original Message Follows----
From: Michael H Goldhaber <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List              
<[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Why Milk Costs More Than Gas
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2007 17:50:46 -0700

Does anyone know: are dairy cows fed corn? My impression was that  beef cows 
are put in feed lots where they are fattened on corn, but  was unaware this 
held for dairy cows. Of course, assuming the latter  are fed grass and hay, 
the more acres devoted to ethanol corn, the  lessf or hay, etc.


On Jul 17, 2007, at 4:21 PM, Phil Gasper wrote:

>Howl by Nicholas von Hoffman
>Why Milk Costs More Than Gas
>[posted online on July 16, 2007]
>The other day milk was selling in a New England supermarket at  $4.79 a 
>gallon. Down the street, regular gasoline was going for  about $3.04 a 
>One of the factors driving up the cost of milk is the ethanol  stampede. 
>Ethanol, as we all have been taught to believe by now,  will bring us 
>"energy independence" and lessen global warming with  no change in the way 
>we live--unless we happen to be a small child  in a household with a 
>limited budget.
>Children from low-income families are either going to have to  accustom 
>themselves to drinking gasoline or learn to sing "No Milk  Today."
>American ethanol is made from corn, and the more corn we use to  feed our 
>cars, the more expensive is the corn left over for our  livestock. Ergo, 
>"No Milk Today."

Don't get caught with egg on your face. Play Chicktionary!