Every now and then molasses as a feed for dairy cows gets a great boost in certain districts. Usually a “full-of-pep” salesman starts the ball a⋅rolling in order that he may roll in orders. When this is the origin, the molasses is usually combined with other feeds. In not a few cases these other feeds have consisted very largely of oat hulls the molasses is usually combined with other feeds. In not a few cases these other feeds have consisted very largely of oat hulls the molasses being added merely to make the feed palatable enough that the cattle will eat it with avidity. There have also been a goodly number of splendid feed mixtures that have contained molasses but it necessary [sic] to examine very carefully any molasses feed offered for sale. The value of such feed is more easily determined now than a few years ago, as Federal legislation now requires that all feeds be sold under a guaranteed analysis. Cane sugar molasses, which, by the way, is the only kind of molasses that can be fed safely in large quantities, may be purchased in its pure form by the barrel. It contains 50 per cent of sugar and 12 per cent of gum. The sugar is equivalent in feeding value to the scratch of corn, and the gums are protein substances. From the standpoint of chemical analysis, molasses is about the equal ton for ton of corn. It has additional value however, in that, being very palatable, it can be used to make a dry ration tasty. It has a special value, therefore, on dairy farms where there is no silo and few roots.
We have frequently used it in feeding timothy hay and oat straw, diluting it to twice its bulk with water and sprinkling over the roughage. It has a disadvantage that the whole stable gets sticky and stable work may even become disagreeable.
Another disadvantage is that, when the molasses is removed or runs down, it takes the cows some time to get back to eating dry roughage without the molasses and in the meantime, there will be a decided shrinkage in the milk flow. Molasses is held in high favor by some showmen for preparing animals for the ring or sale. This is probably because of it palatability [sic] inducing large consumption of the feeding substances with which it is mingled. We would advise however, against feeding too large quantities to breeding animals as it is apt to lead steridity.
– Molasses for Mixing with the Feed, Guardian. February 24, 1923, p13.