Can Cows Eat Oranges? Precautions and Benefits

Can Cows Eat Oranges

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Winter is here so are the Oranges. We are already craving a good winter sun, oranges, and hot chocolate. In a few weeks, oranges would be holding most shelves in the farmer’s market.

We would begin snacking on oranges and our pets and domestic animals would be noticed demanding the same fruits and vegetables as well.

Holding other animals from eating oranges can be easy however managing cows might get hard.

It appears that cows have some appreciation for oranges as they get stubborn seeing this heavenly delicious fruit being served.

No human or animal deserves to remain unserved, so it’s fair to think can cows eat oranges? Does that mean oranges are safe for the cows? It’s time to find out.

Can Cows Eat Oranges?

Yes, cows can eat oranges, It is believed that cows and other farm animals can not eat oranges and other citrus fruits.

However, the reality is quite the opposite; cows can eat oranges. Oranges would not make a healthy meal but there might not be any better treat than Oranges.

Do Cows Like Oranges?

Yes, cows like snacking on oranges. Cows love this winter fruit to the point that they would not stop asking for more.

And then there is no legitimate reason to not like oranges. So why would they hate this heavenly delicious fruit get hated anyway?

As it is now known that this poor farm animal can eat oranges and they do have some appreciation for this fruit as well.

There is no legitimate reason not to consider orange this winter. Grass and grains are the only food cows can eat, process, and digest without any issues.

Fruits and vegetables can only be fed as a treat and there are a few things you have to be careful with.

Should oranges be Peeled or unpeeled?

Both peeled and unpeeled oranges are safe for the cows. However, if we look at oranges the whole other way, cows prefer eating unpeeled oranges.

The orange peels that we can not imagine eating are more beloved to cows than the orange flesh.

Since treats should be something the animal thoroughly enjoys eating, we recommend you feed unpeeled oranges instead.

Are Orange Seeds Safe for Cows?

Yes, so far the orange seeds have not caused any serious issues. Cows have been eating them with orange flesh since the beginning of time. Since the seeds have not created any issues, they are deemed safe.

What’s the Right Way of Feeding Oranges?

Frankly, oranges should be fed the same way as we are feeding the other fruits and vegetables; in moderation. However, here is what you still need to be careful with;

  • Oranges can be a healthy treat, not a meal. That’s what you should not forget at all. As per the experts, feeding only three or four oranges once or twice a week is healthy.
  • It is no secret that the unpeeled oranges are more nutritious and healthy. So, prefer feeding unpeeled oranges also because they are more appreciated.
  • Oranges are one hell of a forgiving treat. There is no issue in feeding unchopped oranges at all.
  • Most livestock farmers recommend feeding unchopped oranges for various health reasons.
  • What must not be forgotten is that oranges must be thoroughly washed. It is advised to rinse off the chemicals that are sprayed to boost production.

Livestock keepers can have concerns about this and every other citrus fruit out there. It’s quite fair to get concerned.

If we go on finding reasons why we should start feeding oranges as a treat, we would surely end up finding millions of reasons. The two legitimate ones are;

  • To satisfy the taste buds
  • For the sake of nutrients

Yes, oranges are fed for the sake of nutrients as well. This citrus fruit is enriched in several crucial vitamins and minerals that cows need to live a balanced life.

What Nutrients Do Oranges Have?

We all think of oranges as a great source of vitamin C however it is a great source of several other vitamins and minerals as well. The other vitamins and minerals oranges have are;


If the cows are surviving on a grain-based diet, they do not need anything else to fulfill their calcium requirements.

Calcium is needed in an adequate amount for skeletal tissue, smooth muscle, and nerve function.

However, in the transition period, the requirements increase by 4 to 10 times. Feeding oranges in the transition period would be super helpful.

In the transition period, feeding oranges as a source of calcium will play an important part in developing a calf, producing colostrum, and inducing milk production.


Potassium is another crucial nutrient that is needed for several important functions; milk production, better reproductive performance, and immune function.


Protein is demanded more or less for the same reasons as potassium; healthy growth, reproduction, and milk production.


Iron is a crucial mineral for grazing and non-grazing cows. Iron is required for the formation of hemoglobin, weight gain, and boosting immunity.

Iron deficiency is common in non-grazing cows and it can only be fulfilled by feeding iron-rich grains, fruits, and vegetables. What can be a better source of iron than oranges?


It is no secret that cattle lose magnesium in feces, urine, and milk. So, they need magnesium more than anything else. Feeding watermelon to cows as an alternative.

If a fruit or vegetable is fulfilling a part of an animal’s total need then what’s the harm?


Phosphorus is known for helping cows with bone and teeth formation. Moreover, it has also got the reputation of increasing fertility, calving rates, and calf growth rate.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is not demanded in huge amounts however inadequate intake would also lead to several health issues. Feed carrots to cows as an alternative.

It improves growth and protects the structural integrity of the cells of the immune system.


In brief, yes cows can eat oranges. Both peeled and unpeeled oranges are super healthy. However, cows prefer unpeeled onions. Oranges would make a highly nutritional treat as it contains vitamin C, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and protein in impressive amounts.


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