The general mistake people tend to make is to refer to all cattle as cows. Cows are adult female cattle while bulls are adult male cattle. Because cows are sources of meat and milk, they can be raised to either serve a personal or commercial purpose. They can serve as pets to some farm owners.
Therefore, it is necessary to know the purpose a cow will serve before purchasing one for use. A cow is a ruminant animal that has four stomachs which it uses to break down complex food it consumes. The major food cows consume is grass but can eat other foodstuffs like corn, dry hay, carrots, oranges and many more.
Can Cows Eat Apples
Yes, cows can eat apples. Cows can eat apples in moderation as part of their diet.
Apples are an excellent source of some nutrients needed by the cows to maintain a healthy diet. Nutrients like vitamin B6, potassium, thiamin, and riboflavin are all present in apples and provide varieties of benefits to the cow. Water retention, regulating blood pressure, aiding muscle contraction, and regulating sugar levels in the blood are some of the benefits of adding apples to a cow's diet.
How to properly give apples to a cow
Regardless of the species of animal, you are trying to feed, there are specific ways that they should be fed. This is important to ensure safety while they eat as well as ensuring the food does not lose its benefits. The best way to feed a cow apples is to mash or cut them into smaller pieces. This allows them to chew easily. Because cows don't have upper teeth, they tend to swallow the apple whole which can cause choking and can lead to serious injuries.
Misconception about fermented apples
Many people believe that fermented apples are bad for cows and can lead to serious health complications. On the contrary, fermented apples help balance the pH level in the digestive system of the cow by producing beneficial bacteria. Also, these bacteria help prevent diseases caused by acidosis of the cow stomach.
Other fruits cows can eat
Other than enjoying the taste of apples and the benefits it provides, other fruits can be fed to cows as well as the benefits they come with.
Berries are rich in varieties of nutrients that are required by a cow. Some of them are rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, and many more nutrients. These can help support their immune system, regulate blood pressure, and water retention, and aid bowel movement.
Examples of berries are strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
Citrus fruits are very nourishing for cows because it is consumed with the peel which has nutrients needed by the cow. They provide antimicrobial benefits in the gut of the cows. They also provide vitamins necessary for keeping the cow healthy.
Examples of citrus fruits are orange, grapefruit and lemon.
Watermelon is another food source that provides nourishment for the cow. It is cut into smaller pieces and is eaten with the back and seeds by cows.
Carrot is another good food source for cows and contains varieties of nutrients for nourishing the cows. They contain a fat-soluble antioxidant called butter oil that provides beta carotene.
Carrots are also rich in vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and K. They are good sources of dietary fibre for the cows as well as protein and other minerals like calcium, potassium, and iron.
Cows enjoy eating pineapples and are capable of consuming every part of the fruit. The pineapple is cut into smaller pieces and given to the cows but should be served minimally due to its high sugar content. Pineapples contain a high concentration of vitamin C and can help to improve the cow's immune system which in turn helps prevent diseases. It is also rich in dietary fibre.
The food you should never give a cow
Although many fruits have been proven to offer many health benefits for cows, some tend to cause serious health complications and even death if consumed by the animals.
Some of them are
Cows should never be given unripe tomatoes as they can be fatal to their health. The unripe tomatoes contain a substance called tomatine which caused inflammation and diarrhoea in cows.
Wild cherries are not suitable for consumption by cows because of the high concentration of cyanide present in them. Cyanide is a very toxic substance to cows and can cause serious complications and even death.
Apricots are also not suitable for consumption by cows because of the high concentration of cyanide present in their leaves, branches and pits. If consumed by cows, it can lead to severe complications and death.
How to care for a cow
It is necessary to care for the animals you're keeping as pets or for commercial purposes. This is to ensure animal safety as well as keep its products safe for consumption.
The most important thing to do while caring for a cow is to keep them clean. You must always keep your cow and their surroundings clean. You can do this by:
- Removing mud and faecal matter from the floor of their surroundings.
- Wash their hoof to remove dirt stuck in there to prevent rot and thrush.
Another way to care for a cow is to provide proper shelter for them. This ensures they are protected from harsh weather. Ultimately, providing proper shelter prevents illness caused by overexposure to a hot or cold atmosphere.
In addition, another way to care for a cow is to feed them properly and provide enough water. Cows need about two gallons of water to cater to their daily needs. Therefore it is important to provide water for them especially in extremely cold seasons where sources of water have frozen or in extremely hot seasons when the water sources have reduced significantly or in some cases have completely dried up. Also, their diet should contain all the necessary nutrients they require to be healthy.
Overindulgence in anything always comes with its consequences therefore, it is important to keep in mind the risk you're exposing the cow to when you add too much of a particular food to its diet.
Apples can be added to a cow's diet as it has so many benefits it offers, but they should be given in moderation.