Animals

Roadside Skittles Spill Shows Everyone That We’re Feeding Cows Candy

And it's not even that unusual a practice.

<p>Thinkstock</p>

Dodge County, Wisc. road crews got an interesting surprise when news came that there had been a spill on County Highway S. An oil spill? Nope. Chemicals oozing from an overturned semi? Nope. It was Skittles. Thousands upon thousands of Skittles candies.

The road was littered with the multi-colored treats, which, to no surprise of anyone who enjoys them, provided a helpful bit of traction on the icy roads.

For a time, the source of the Skittles remained a mystery - whether or a prank or a serious candy crisis, no one could be sure.

In time, though, the truth emerged. According to CNN, the candy belonged to a farming concern that was planning to feed the sweets to its cows.

We'll pause while you digest that information. After you do, though, here's another sweet nugget: The practice is not all that unusual, and it's not as weird as it sounds.

It might not be a well known fact, but for many years cattle have been getting their carbs from "rejects" set aside by bakeries and candy makers. As CNN noted in a 2012 piece, when the price of corn is on the rise, the cheap treats become even more appealing to farm concerns.

Should we worry for the health of the cows? Not so much, it seems. An animal nutritionist told Live Science in 2012 that as long as the cows are getting the right ratio of carbs, protein, vitamins and minerals it does not matter if it's coming from corn or candy.

"I think it's a viable [diet]," the nutritionist 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."

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