Cattle are feeding on packed foods amidst the Covid-19 crisis.
April 11, 2020
Due to the Covid-19 crisis, milk dairies in Bengaluru are facing a shortage of fodder to feed cows. They have been forced to feed them with untraditional feeds like Indi and Busa in excess.
About 15,486 dairy farms in major cities across Karnataka are facing such shortage because of the lockdown. Shekar, owner a of milk dairy said, “We have about 150 cows. Because of less availability of fodder, we feed animals with these packed feeds twice a day, in equal proportions. This yields more milk as the packed feeds are laced with nutrients.” A 50-kg sack costs between Rs.900 and Rs.1200, depending on its nutritional content.
The Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) says that such practices, if continued, will gradually cause deterioration of the cattle’s health.
K.S. Kumar, in-charge at KMF Mysore and Chamrajnagar region, said, “The ratio of natural and unnatural feed should be equal because the feeds are only to boost milk produce. It can’t be a replacement for fodder. They may make animals weak in a short span of time.”
If a cow adapts to these unnatural feeds, reverting to the fodder after lockdown will be difficult, he said.
Dr. S. Raju, a veterinarian, said, “The government should buy fodder from the villages nearby and supply to the cities. Packed foods affect the food cycle of cows and the nutritional value of their milk falls. Under animal welfare laws (the National Livestock Policy), during floods or other such emergencies, animals should be taken care of by the government.”
Dairy owners in the city have requested the government to provide fodder for cows at minimal prices.