Does anyone know?

Does anyone know why cattle eat gasifier charcoal/ashes?

I have had comments about having fat pretty cattle (one comment just this morning) but why are they eating the charcoal.

The first picture is yesterday where I just dumped the ashes.

Second picture is this morning with the charcoal gone.

Third picture is several spots where the charcoal has disappeared.

wayne the answer to why the cattle eat the char/ash is it is one of the best detoxifiers known

LLoyd, I agree. They sell (or used to sell) charcoal tablets for this very reason. Pepe

An alien spacecraft hovered over the piles and sucked them up for fuel :o) …

Hello All,

I just found this on Yahoo Answers:

grass believe it or not can really build of celulose in the stomach and this can really make him sick. burnt wood is like charcoal and cancel out and digest the grass easier. plus a cow eat almost any plants on the field some of it might’ve made it sick. so it’s eating the charcoal to cure his/her stomach ache. i hope this helped


high school science class, animal channel on tv

THEY are giving Animal Channel TV as a source so maybe it’s true.

Clay H.

Another reason may be they are after the minerals in the ashes/charcoal (they don’t burn up in the process of gassification). It’s not uncommon to see livestock eating dirt for the same reason; also, the salt blocks one puts out for cattle generally include various minerals, but may not have all the critters need. In our area one has to supplement with extra minerals that are missing in the soil.

I seen a show where some people in south america made charcoal to sell. The local monkeys would steal it and eat it. The explanation was,as Lloyd said detoxed and cured belly ake also this would let the monkeys eat more toxic vegies which has more nutrition in them. Or it could be aliens:)

I think it’s because cattle are dumb.haha my father in law’s are not the bightest and they have nothing else to do all day except check out a new pile of black stuff in the pasture.

I have caught my dog and the neighbors dog eating char a couple of times. I now know why. And the flies seem to love the hopper condensate. I am burning pine so I would guess it’s because of the sugar in the wood. I get a strong BBQ smoker smell when I refuel the gasifier. Sean

I have a burn pile in one of my mini pastures. I have burnt pine, hemlock, elm, walnut, cherry, and apple prunings/branches. There is a pile of ash and charcoal. My goats go straight to that pile every time its their first day in that pasture before they go to the choice clover, plantain, and other things they’ll gorge themselves on. I’ve come across the same thing in sheep and highland cattle. My Amish neighbors have horses that do the same thing. I think it spruces up the rumen. Can’t wait til I can try biochar.

I think its salt and minerals they used to lick my tires and mud flaps when i came in off the road.
i would have to move the truck for they can be distructive
and when i burn brush they would stir thru the ash pile almost before it would cool
plus i think animals are curious about anything new


I’d say it’s a mix of detox effects of the charcoal and the mineral value of the ash. Ash is almost pure calcium and potassium. Because ash is missing the negative ions of something like chloride to turn it to a neutral salt, ash and water mix to form lye which is the strongest alkali found in nature.

I know wild deer in my area have been confirmed to eat rotten apples (AKA hard cider), get drunk, and then eat charcoal to detox and supposedly avoid “hangovers”. Drunken deer are HILARIOUS to watch. It’s also funny to note that deer are smarter than 80% of the college kids here in Bellingham. : D

Chickens pick from the char-ash too. And yes, flies very much like the heat and smell of gasifiers. Unfortunately…


I think it is the wind which took away the charcoal because léger.en very same time he brings food to his meadow as the ashes are engraie. Cordially

Everything is made up of carbon and maybe they have an imbalance that needs the carbon? Or maybe they are adding Heat/Pressure to make Diamonds pop out! If that is the case what would the cow be called? Golden Goose is already taken…

Don’t give the cattle too much credit! As you know, they willingly eat pieces of wire and misc metal. They love anything plastic, especially the plastic on trailer wiring harnesses! I don’t think they are eating THOSE things because they know they are good for them. Chickens on the other hand, they seem to pick and choose pretty well … I’m just sayin’.

its amazing what cattle will eat… until i was 15 dad used to be forman of maintenance in a freezing works/abattoir and would pimp me out as a trades assistant on the weekends…

it always used to astonish me the undigestable rubbish that came off the cattle gut sorting tables…one particular animal had a 43kg (94lb!!!) ball of the plastic wrap that you cover round silage bales with in one of its stomach’s

so the fact that they eat charcoal doesn’t surprise me in the least…as to why they do it?..maybe thay are helpfully trying to pre-smoke the jerky they might be made into later?..its as good a reason as any hahaha

After I realized the cows were eating the ash and charcoal I checked to find they were out of salt (mineral blocks) I put out a couple of blocks and they seem proud to get it. They haven’t bothered the char piles in the last few days.

LMAO…they probably had some rude things to say about what those funny black salt lick blocks you put out tasted like…they will be happy that the normal ones are back