Sheep and goats are the most integral part of farms. Raising them is quite less problematic than any other livestock. Sheep are adored for various reasons but mostly for the ability to put up with any weather.
If you are researching and reading this with an absolute interest there are some solid chances that you have either just bought them or have been raising them at your farm for quite some time.
Sheep are easier to keep as they demand nothing extra other than good food and a healthier lifestyle. Like other livestock, besides the regular feed, they do require fruits and vegetables once in a while to live a healthy life.
The list of fruits and vegetables that are considered healthier for grazing animals like sheep is crowded as only a few fruits and vegetables are restricted from feeding.
Winter is about to fly away, you might have extracted the benefits from the winter fruits and now it’s time to find out which summer fruit is beneficial. So, before half of the grapes season passes away, you can get maximum nutritional benefits from it.
Today in this resource we will discuss the benefits and risks ( if any) of grapes but before we move forward let me answer the first question that is appearing in your mind right now.
Can sheep eat grapes?
Can sheep eat grapes? Yes! Sheep can eat grapes. Grapes don’t cause any harm if fed in the right manner. They are in fact healthier and super beneficial for the sheep in many ways. Not allowing sheep to eat a handful of grapes means you are depriving them off of a healthy snack.
Do sheep like grapes?
Yes! Absolutely, how can any mammal hate grapes? Grapes, tomatoes, green beans, and cucumbers are sheep’s most favorite afternoon snack. Sheep love grapes to the point that they don’t even leave their leaves.
How to add grapes to sheep diet?
Grapes are safer and healthier only when they are given to eat in the right manner otherwise they can cause a sore throat and in serious conditions, choking. The rules of feeding grapes are;
- Add gradually; Never add anything(fruit or vegetable) to the goats or sheep’s diet suddenly. Introduce it in a small quantity, wait for at least 24 hours, and see how sheep react. For two to three weeks, feed a handful of grapes once a week, and after the said period consider feeding grapes as an afternoon snack twice a week.
- Feed-in moderation; You might have noticed I keep on repeating “Feed-in moderation” in most of my articles, the reason is excess of everything is bad. Fruits and vegetables can only be given as a snack, not a meal. So, a handful of grapes is enough to please them.
- Choose full ripe grapes; Pick fully ripe fruit the other ones are just too sore for such animals and it might make the sheep done with grapes for life.
- Do not forget to wash them first; Sheep and goats are pretty sensitive in the stomach; they can not digest the chemicals sprayed on them. Wash them thoroughly before feeding so that the chemicals don’t trouble them.
- Chop them into pieces; Grapes can be fed chopped or unchopped as the size of the grapes doesn’t cause any trouble but it’s better if one tries to feed them chopped into smaller easier-to-chew pieces.
If the livestock keepers follow these rules of feeding fruits and vegetables, nothing can cause trouble. Now you know, that grapes are beneficial for sheep in all senses, let’s have a look at what they do for the sheep’s body.
Health benefits associated with grapes for sheep
Research gate quoted that grapes boost immunity in animals and humans. Here are some vitamins from grapes.
Grapes contain a balanced amount of vitamin K that is essential for blood clotting and stronger bones. Vitamin K deficiency is common in sheep and it leads to poor bone development and excessive bleeding on the wound. Grapes, therefore, fulfills a part of the total vitamin K needs.
Vitamin C plays an important role in developing and repairing the connective tissues of the sheep’s body. Moreover, It is needed for strengthening the immune system and building stronger teeth and bones.
Fiber is found in plant-based fruits and vegetables like grapes. Sheep require a pound of fiber every day If the requirement is not fulfilled then it tries to eat other sheep’s wool, which is not healthy. It assists in cleaning the digestive system and maintaining a healthy weight.
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy. It fuels the important functions of the sheep’s body. The traditional sheep food doesn’t contain many carbohydrates so the livestock keepers have to fulfill this need from such fruits, vegetables, and grains. So if a fruit brings down the need to have an expensive carbohydrate-rich food then what’s the harm?
Grapes have potassium content. It is an essential mineral that helps the sheep’s body to work properly. It is needed to not let any function retire early.
It is healthy to add protein-rich food to the sheep’s food as the regular food is not enough to meet the requirements. When protein levels fall below the desired level it becomes impossible for the sheep to maintain a healthy weight. Deficiency of protein also leads to reduced growth rate and brings a lot of complications in delivery.
Copper is another rewarding element of grapes. It does not just aid in wool growth but is also good for red blood cells and the development of antibodies in sheep’s bodies.
Other vitamins and minerals
Thiamine, Riboflavin, and vitamin b6 are also present in grapes. Thiamine is the least-known part of grapes that plays an important role in the sheep’s heath. It is desired for carbohydrate metabolism and neural activity. Deficiency of thiamine includes staggering and off-balance, circling, etc.
Vitamin B6 is exceptionally crucial as it helps in building a stronger immune system and storing energy from food.
Grapes are not only delicious but they are packed with all the fundamental nutrients that can strengthen the immune system, increase milk production, and improve the quality of meat. Moreover, antioxidants that are present in grapes fight and prevent chronic disease. So, it wouldn’t be wrong to say grapes are a smart choice.
However msdvet manual pathogenicity of grapes in different animals explained to understand feeding.
Other Treats for sheep
You can add different treats in sheep feed. Grapes are beneficial for immunity but you can feed mango, pears and apples to sheep.
Sheep can eat grapes as they are packed with all the necessary vitamins and minerals livestock need to maintain a healthy weight and live a balanced life.
Grapes should be washed thoroughly before feeding, to extract all the goodness of this rewarding fruit. Grapes contain various vitamins and minerals but the significant ones are, fibre, potassium, protein, copper, vitamin C, K, and Carbohydrates, etc.
All these above-mentioned nutrients are essential for the body to work as per the livestock keeper’s expectations.
In the end, I would suggest doing a test by giving two-three grapes and see if the sheep likes it or not. If they don’t seem to enjoy them, find a better alternative.
- Raisins and Grapes Pathogenesis in animals
Shumaila Ejaz is a passionate farming writer. She has done her basic farming and animal care course from Agriculture university. Shumaila serving as animal care consultant in the area. Relevant to farm desire is research in poultry and livestock. Agriculture and animal farming is a vast field, suggestions should be appreciated.