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Confectionery feed

After hundreds of red Skittles, produced by confectionery giant Mars, fell off a truck in the US last week, questions have been raised about what they were intended to be used for.

The incident, which happened in Dodge County, Wisconsin, was confirmed by Dodge Country Sheriff’s Office. “Due to it raining at the time, the box got wet and gave way allowing the Skittles to spill out on the roadway,” it said.

However, it added that the Skittles were intended to be feed for cattle as they “did not make the cut for packaging at the company”.

Mars is reportedly investigating the incident, but local news reports say that while the company sells unused products to animal feed, the plant in Yorkville, Illinois, where the red Skittles were produced, does not. Mars adds that the products could not be finished – they were missing the letter S – because of a power outage at the factory and they were intended to be destroyed, according to reports.

While the thought of cows eating Skittles is rather strange, it seems that feeding candy or sugar to cattle is not unusual. In fact, food byproducts are broken down and mixed with regular cattle feed such as corn. This is said to provide a good source or carbohydrates and yield savings for farmers as the price of corn rises. In addition, sugar is said to help dairy cows digest food products.

So confectionery could continue to help farmers in the fight to offset increases in raw materials used for cattle feed. But although the truck was full of red Skittles, the burning question I have is which colour do cows actually prefer?

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