It is a comprehensive guide on cattle feeds. All aspects of cattle feed, their role, benefits and nature of feeds well for cattle are well discussed in the article.
Most often asked questions like Can cows eat watermelon? Can you feed watermelon to cattle? are answered in a quietly beautiful way and clarifying the nutritious importance of feeding watermelon to cows.
Great thing about this guide?
The great thing about this guide is that I am going to show you all the techniques of feeding watermelons to cows and improvement in the health of cattle.
In short, you will notice an improvement in the physical health of cows as well as meeting the nutrients needed with this cheap food source.
Let’s move to the article from the watermelon’s nutrition to its role in cow feed.
Can you feed watermelon to cows?
The surprising answer to that question is YES. In many pieces of research at scientific level and by local cattle farmers put their positive thoughts in feeding watermelons to cows due to its high nutritious value.
Watermelon is a round-shaped, a tasty vegetable that is loved by cows for its sweet taste and it is nutritious football that shows incredible impacts on cows body and production.
Why feeding watermelons to cows?
Watermelons are a rich source of energy, protein and vitamins. There is a bulk of nutrients in watermelons that positively impacts the physiological development of cows.
The presence of trace minerals in watermelons inspires the farmers to feed the melons to cows to improve milk production.
A Lot of minerals that are necessary for an optimum cow growth system are present in watermelons and it is a cheap source of those nutrients.
So, in order to acquire the nutrients, maintenance of health and productivity and the main benefit that “cows can eat watermelons”, pushes the farmers to add the watermelons in their feeds.
Are watermelons good for cows?
Many researchers of research institutes concluded that there is no negative influence observed on milk and meat quality by feeding watermelons to cows.
To see the truth in the researcher’s statement, I decided to check out the impacts on cows by adding watermelons in their feed schedule and I was shocked by noticing the rapid improvement in reproduction and physical development of cows.
So much improvement in the physical health of cows might be the reason for high water composition in this nutritious food. In this way, feeding watermelons keep hydrated the bodies for longer times especially in summer months.
But the main thing is to find the right amount of watermelons in the overall diet of a cow.
How much watermelons are fed to cows?
It is a known fact that watermelons are rich sources of nutrients and many trace minerals, but the nutrients composition of watermelons are not good enough for completely satisfying the nutritional requirements of cows.
The addition of watermelons in the existing diet plan – to get the full benefit of both form each source, is a quite perfect strategy.
Watermelons should be no more than 20% of overdiet of cows along with hay or grains feed.
Sometimes, farmers exceed the limits of watermelons and it negatively impacts the animal health and does not eat hay feed as its belly is already full with watery melons and ultimately, it results in a form of low productivity.
Impacts of feeding watermelons to cows
When cows eat watermelons, you think that it does help in meeting the hydration requirement of the cow’s body. However, the nutrition of outer hard covering shell and inner soft fleshy material shows quite positive impacts on:
1. Improving physical development of cows
Cows eat watermelons as enhancer food that improves physiological development.
Feeds with high crude fibre composition are considered to be best for cattle. Similarly, watermelons are rich in crude fibre and it makes them a valuable addition to the cattle feed.
The starch and sugar present in watermelons provide energy to cows during their development days. But keep noticing to protect the overfeeding of high sugar contents to cows as watermelons are high sugar food and it could lead towards damage to the health of cows.
2. High milk production
During various stages of production, a well sufficient and balanced diet is needed for lactating cows. After the birth of offspring, cows produce half of their milk in the first 100 days of lactation.
In these 100 days of lactation, by providing nutritious feed you can get maximum milk production.
Here comes the role of watermelons, eating watermelons not only increases the milk production as well improves the quality of milk as by higher mineral contents.
Carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins in watermelons help in build-up of health as well as a positive impact on milk production.
3. Maintains health of cows
The core of animal husbandry is the health of livestock. This statement has a great impact on the farming industry as health and productivity has a direct correlation. Cows with poor health issues are not very productive.
Watermelons play a role in improving and maintaining health issues by providing vitamins that boost up the immune system for enabling the system for an effective fight against diseases.
Watermelons are also used as antioxidants that have preventive effects on cows health as well as improving metabolism that ultimately increase milk and meat production.
By working as antioxidants, feeding the watermelons protects the animals from damages of oxidation like poor meat quality. Meat affected by oxidation has poor texture, taste, color and nutritional value.
4. Hydration of livestock
Cows can eat watermelons to keep their body hydrated all time, especially in warm seasons in arid areas. It keeps the animals fresh for prolonged times.
Farmers considered them as perennial water sources.
The well-hydrated body has many positive impacts on the body as increased milk production, the functioning of body and digestion of feed.
Cows affected with an uneven water supply can never produce milk at its full potential so watermelons are recommended as a source of water.
How the crude protein in watermelons is good for cows?
The crude protein present in watermelons provides good support to growth, reproduction, production and maintenance.
Crude protein is composed of:
- True protein
- Inorganic nitrogen salts
- Amino acids
- Other substances
Therefore, cows fed with watermelons have a greater difference than their counterparts. Increase in cow weight is the major factor of distinguishing them with other cows.
That influence on the weight of cows directly imparts the profitability value of cows.
Importance of crude protein can be truly seen by knowing the effects the crude protein deficiency symptoms on cows body as:
- Low milk production
- Loss of body weight
- Small calves at birth
- Lower protein contents in milk
- Fertility problems
- Increase vulnerability of metabolic and infectious diseases
How watermelons are a miracle food for lactating cows?
Watermelons have a great positive influence on lactating cow bodies. The main benefit of feeding watermelons to cows comes in the form of improved body weight.
The lactating cow loses much of its body weight at the beginning of lactation by the withdrawal of body reserves. It was observed in a research study that almost 66 kg of cow’s body mass was lost during the first three months of lactation.
So, feed with high nutritious watermelons would help a lot in maintaining health and body weight.
Care while feeding watermelons to cows
Here are few tips to follow for securing the cows from negative impacts of feeding watermelons to cows. They are as:
- Make sure that watermelons are free of any contamination or pest/disease.
- It should be free of pesticide application.
- A well ripened melon has more positive impact on cows health than feeding unripened fruit.
- Never add watermelons in feed more or less than 20% of the overall diet.
If you fail to adhere to any of these tips, it will result in poor productivity and a negative impact on the health of cows.
Other Treats For Cows
Watermelons are nutrient and mineral-rich feed sources that are liked by both humans and animals. It not only keeps the body hydrated by providing water to the body but also shows long term improvement in health and the body’s weight.
The most asked question in comments and many forums is well answered in this article. People often asked me “can cows eat watermelon” in the comment section so I decided to give you an informatic answer.
I hope you loved this guide ” can cows eat watermelon” Kindly share it with your colleagues and in case of any query, post a comment below in section.
Usman Aslam has done his degree in Agronomy and Animal breeding from the University of Agriculture. He is serving as livestock expert in local farms. Usman is an animal writer on-farm desire.His research work and few publications make him relevant to Farm desire.