List of 12 Fruits Cows Can Eat as Treats and Snacks

A cow is a herbivore. It eats grass, hay, and other green plants. Cows are not able to digest fruits and vegetables. However, some fruits are safe for cows to eat in small amounts. This is because the fiber content of these fruits helps the cow to digest them better than other foods.

Most foods that cows eat are good sources of protein which is used as the bodybuilding nutrient for cows and helps them with the production of high-quality milk. Other foods provide cows with minerals that are useful in the production of milk and the building of muscle.

On occasion though, cows love a good snack. They’ll eat just about anything but the sweet taste of in-season fruit will make them look forward to your visits to the pasture. Cows can eat dehydrated or fresh fruits, ripe, cooked, or green.

What Can You Feed Cows As A Treat

cows eating fruits

Fruits that cows can eat are very important for the health of your cow. They can be either sliced, whole, or with peels. Some common fruits that cows eat include watermelon, bananas, apples, and others you are about to know. There are many types of fruits that you can feed to your cow and some of them are listed below:

#1. Watermelon

Cows can eat all parts of a watermelon including the rind, flesh, and seeds. Most cows LOVE watermelon. You can feed it in a variety of ways including straight from the garden, chilled, or even frozen on very hot days.

Watermelon provides the cow with nutrients such as Vitamins A, B6, and C as well as Potassium. Its water content is high and helps in getting more fluids to the cow which is especially important during hot summer weather.

#2. Banana

Bananas are a kind of fruit that is a great source of potassium and are economical hence highly recommended fruit for cows. Bananas usually contain large amounts of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 and high amounts of minerals such as potassium and magnesium.

Bananas provide a real boost to the immune system of the calves. Bananas are safe for cows to eat. Cows can eat cooked, green dehydrated, ripe, or fresh bananas. They can eat them whole or sliced and with or without peels.

Be sure to check out our post on feeding cows bananas which includes ideas for using them as bait/encouragement to get cows to move into a new area.

#3. Apples

Apples are safe to feed to cows and are rich in vitamin B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, and potassium. Apples fed to cows should be regulated and feeding of too many apples should be avoided because they may cause bloating or choking.

Usually, cows are fed on fallen apples and sometimes the half-fermented apples to reduce the risk of a bloated stomach. The apples can either be mashed or broken into small pieces for best feeding. Feeding your cows fermented apples aids proper digestion and regulates stomach pH.

#4. Carrots

Carrots can be a great treat for cows, but be sure to wash and store the carrots for at least two weeks before feeding them to your cows. This will be after they have been harvested, washed, and stored for an approximation of two weeks. Along with feeding moderation, this will help limit the risk of scouring (or diarrhea) from the water and fiber content.

Carrots are great for a cow’s diet since they contain butter oil, a fat-soluble antioxidant source that provides essential beta-carotene. Carrots are also an excellent source of fiber and protein, and they are rich in potassium, calcium, and iron. Carrots also provide vitamins that support healthy development in cows including Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin A.

Remember to feed carrots to your cows at ground level. Cows are predisposed to choking, and the carrots’ shape and texture can make them difficult to chew and swallow properly if fed differently.

#5. Oranges

Oranges make a great snack for cows! They love these sweet, tasty treats, and oranges happen to be extremely rich in vitamins and nutrients. Oranges also contain large amounts of Vitamin C and are a source of thiamine, potassium, and folate.

Feeding cows oranges helps integrate fiber into their diet while also supporting proper antimicrobial growth in their digestive tract. Orange peels contain essential oils, such as d-limonene, that support healthy digestion and kill off harmful bacteria.

#6. Pineapples

Cows love pineapple and can eat the entire fruit…including the top and right down through the rind. Pineapples have a high sugar content and should be fed to cows in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Make sure to always use fresh pineapple – canned pineapple contains too many processed and added sugars.

Pineapples also help boost a cow’s immune system. They have high levels of Vitamin C and manganese to support health. Pineapples also have a good fiber content to help healthy digestion.

#7. Kiwi fruit

Are cows eating kiwis? Absolutely! Cows can benefit from the nutrients in kiwi fruit when eaten in moderation and when the fruit is not overripened. Cows can become very sick if eating overripe kiwi (where the sugars do not break down right) or that is not stored properly.

Kiwi naturally include Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Potassium, and folate…all of which support healthy growth and development in animals. Just be sure to mix the kiwis with other feed on the ground to prevent digestive and choking risks. Their small size can make them difficult for cows to chew properly.

#8. Strawberries

Strawberries are safe for cows to eat, and farmers often feed cows leftover strawberries to reduce waste. Like many fruits, strawberries have a high sugar content, so they should be given to cows in moderation.

Strawberries are a good source of Vitamin C and manganese and even contain traces of Vitamin B9 and potassium. They are also rich in antioxidants not found in hay or other traditional feed, and this can help support a cow’s immune system.

#9. Grapefruits

Cows can eat grapefruits and are often fed fallen grapefruits that are easier to digest. Grapefruits provide cows with small amounts of proteins, phosphorous, and calcium. Like with other citrus fruits, cows can gain benefits from Vitamin C in grapefruit.

#10. Pumpkins

Leftover or broken pumpkins? You can feed them to your cows! Cows can usually figure out how to break into pumpkins on their own, and it is safe for them to eat the entire vegetable.

Pumpkins include a balance of high water content and fiber that help them become more easily digested. They are also a decent source of protein and supplement for cows that eat mainly on dry hay or feed. Pumpkins also provide valuable Vitamin A, E, and folate to support healthy vision and bone growth.

#11. Tomatoes

Tomatoes can be safe for cows but should be carefully selected and provided to ensure the correct ripeness. Unripe tomatoes can be toxic to cows since they contain tomatine, which can cause diarrhea and inflammation.

Tomatoes are high in Vitamins A, B1, B5, K, and C, but they have low amounts of calcium. Tomatoes should be incorporated as part of a more balanced diet if used in cow feed.

#12. Pears

Cows can eat pears that are either fresh or dried. Pears have a high moisture content, so be sure to balance the rest of their diet with dry feed and monitor how much they eat. If cows eat too much food with a lot of water, they will not have the hunger (or the stomach room) to eat other foods and balance their diet. Pears can also overripen and turn bad quickly, so be sure that you only feed pears that are not moldy to your cows.

Final thoughts,

One of the most important things that your cow will need is fruits and vegetables. This is because fruits and vegetables contain many nutrients that are essential for good health including vitamins A and C, folate (folic acid), potassium, and more.

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