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Carrots are soon going to hit the market, we would be seeing carrots everywhere in the farmer’s market. So before the question “whether your dairy cattle can eat carrots or not?” come to your mind we decided to answer it. We all know carrots fix several functions in the human body but what it does for the cattle is least-known. In this post, we would be shedding light on if this vegetable is safe for cattle? If it is, how it should be fed and how is it beneficial.
Can Cows Eat Carrots? Yes, this grazing animal can eat a few fruits and vegetables and carrots are one of them. Apples and carrots are often fed together, to satisfy the taste buds and supply all needed nutrients. Carrots would be extremely beneficial if one knows how to feed them.
Do Cows like Carrots?
Yes, cows are not that picky when it comes to treats but there are few fruits and vegetables that are believed to be cows’ favorite. The fruits and vegetables cows love receiving as a treat are apples, turnips, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, and Carrots for sure.
Cows have been eating carrots for ages
It’s not that a recent discovery or something has suddenly shed light on this nutritional powerhouse. The carrots are an important part of the said animal’s diet and the cows have been eating them since the beginning of time.
The carrots can be fed with or without any other fruit or vegetables
The livestock keepers sometimes go the extra mile to satisfy their beloved animal’s taste buds. Fruit and vegetable salads are one of those attempts. The carrots are 100% percent safe to be a part of fruit and vegetable salad but if the livestock keeper wants to go the other way, there is no harm.
Carrots are not usually fed for the sake of nutrients, there are some other reasons as well;
Carrots are even safer to feed than any other fruit or vegetable
As we all know carrots grow in the ground. As this rewarding vegetable stays in the ground, it hardly gets treated with pesticides and other chemical sprays. So, for this one solid reason Carrots and potatoes are considered the safest vegetables to be fed.
Carrots may be a source of several important vitamins and minerals, it is often picked as an option because the said vegetable is much safer than the other fruit and vegetable treat options.
Carrots have got the reputation of increasing the milk production
As per the research, Carrots contain a noticeable amount of carotene that stimulates milk production in cows. So, the other reason why cows are often spotted eating Carrots in the Carrot season is that it has got the reputation of increasing milk production.
Carrots improve the milk’s nutritional value
Carrots do not just increase the milk production, it happens to improve the nutritional value as well. To determine whether it’s a myth or carrots “actually” improves the nutritional content an experiment was conducted.
Two groups were made, one group of cows ate 7 kgs carrots per day, whereas the other one strictly kept on a typical cow diet. A week later, results came out. The group that ate carrots with the regular feed had more protein, vitamin C, fatty acids, retinol, BC, tocopherols, immunoglobulins, lysozyme in their milk. Read the relevant information Do Cows Have to Be Pregnant to Produce Milk?
What’s The Safest Way to Add Carrots to the Cow’s Diet?
Though carrots and potatoes are considered the safest vegetables to be fed, still you need to be careful with their health’s sake. Here are some valuable tips;
- Feed-in moderation: We can not emphasize enough the importance of the “Feed-in Moderation rule”. Even if the vegetable is safe, allow them to graze first. Let them fill their stomach up with the typical food; hay, grass, grains and oats, barley, etc. Do not add more than one or two kgs carrots to the cow’s diet.
- Try feeding fresh: Try not to let any rotten carrot go in the feeding trough, prefer fresh carrots than the stored one.
- Feed carrots thoroughly washed: You need to be as careful about the cows’ feed as you are about your diet. Wash the carrots thoroughly to not let the dirt and the chemicals bring down the vegetable’s nutritional value.
Other treats for cows
Cows love to eat watermelon, pumpkin, and apples. These are some limited you can add any fruit or vegetable as a treat for your cow.
Read a quick guide on Can Cows Eat Apples?
What Vitamins and Minerals do Carrots Have?
According to Food and Agriculture organization, Carrots are a natural source of potassium, biotin, protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, C, and minerals for cows. All these vitamins and minerals are needed for health and wellness. Cows need them for;
- Biotin: Biotin is an important vitamin that is found in eggs, milk, bananas, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots, etc. This vital vitamin is needed by the milk-producing animals for the production of milk. Carrots contain a small amount of biotin but it is enough to boost milk production.
- Protein: Protein, a source of amino acid, is required for several purposes mainly for cell regeneration, development of body tissue, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, fur, skin, and heart health.
- Fiber: Fiber is an essential nutrient that dairy cows need in abundance. It may serve other animals differently, but it assists cows in maintaining rumen function, meeting the energy demands, and improving milk production.
- Iron: Iron is every living thing’s requirement, it improves the anemic condition, supports the poor immune system, transports oxygen to the parts of the body, and produces energy to perform routine duties.
- Magnesium: According to a recent study, Magnesium deficiency is common in cattle. The carrots contain a small amount of magnesium that can help in bringing down the medical supplement need. Other than that, the said macro-mineral mobilizes calcium, improves reproductive function, and smooth the birthing process.
- Vitamin A, C, and D: Vitamin A, C, and D are equally rewarding, Vitamin A is demanded for growth, healthy bone formation, tissue maintenance, vision, and a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is not demanded additionally as the cattle and other grazing animals are already consuming it through food. Carrots contain a small amount of vitamin C that is not believed to be harmful. Vitamin D typically assists in maintaining calcium phosphate, healthy bone formation, protects the cattle against microbial pathogens.
In brief, yes cows can eat carrots, it’s in fact extremely beneficial. Carrots can supply important nutrients, boost milk production, improve milk’s nutritional value without causing any harm.
- Magnesium Deficiency in Cattle
- Use of beta-carotene in animal nutrition and its effects
- Effects of a dietary supplement of β-carotene given during the dry period on milk production