The sustenance of quality feed for livestock is a common challenge among farmers worldwide. This problems is pronounced during dry periods when farmers are forced to spend up to 60% of overall cost of production on feed. Most farmers are not able to meet the financial requirements necessary for constant supply of quality feed. Consequentially, animal health is compromised and so is their productivity as well as profitability. To counter feed related challenges, a number of farmers are using celery in livestock dietary plans. Results indicate that cows can eat celery without experiencing any negative effects health wise. However, as with all other types of feed, it is of the utmost importance to have an understanding on nutritional value so as to ensure quality dietary plans.

Celery Nutritional Value

Celery is known for its superior ability to retain nutrients even after steaming. As such, farmers are able to sustain animals with the use of celery waste. This benefit can never be undermined as it allows farmers to cut costs instead of investing on celery farming for the sole purpose of feed. Also, cows can eat celery leaves as they have similar nutritional composition to the vegetable. Celery is a rich source of nutrients and minerals. It has Vitamin K, Vitamin B2, C, A and B6. It also contains potassium and manganese. Celery is an excellent source of fibre. To add on, it is palatable and so cows can readily consume the vegetable. It is highly famed for its superior health and productivity abilities. However, despite these commendable benefits, cows can feed on celery provided it is used as supplementary feed. It is not advisable to use the vegetable as a main standalone ingredient. This is because celery is naturally a low source of carbohydrates and fat. Celery is composed of mostly water with its value adding up to approximately 95%. As such, when providing celery to cows, make sure to pair it with feed that is rich in lacking minerals.

Celery for Physical Development

Cows can feed on celery without experiencing adverse effects on growth. As a matter of fact, it has been proven that celery allows for a healthier immune system and so animals are provided with the opportunity to grow and develop. This is most important for calves that are still growing and so require healthy feed to reach full body weight. Celery leaves contain an estimated crude protein value of 21%. Depending on the farming procedure among other factors, the value of crude protein can be up to 27%. Crude protein found in celery leaves is of the essence in growth, maintenance, reproduction as well as production. As such, cows can eat celery in order to improve on their overall performance. A diet lacking in crude protein is known to limit animal growth and increase the risk of infectious as well as metabolic diseases. In lactating livestock, calves are born small and the milk produced is of low quality. Keep in mind that celery should be provided with feed rich in carbohydrates among other nutrients. Cows that are provided with dietary plans deficient in fibre lack sufficient energy to carryout daily functions. They therefore weigh less and are characterised by low productivity which directly translated to less profits.

Milk Production

Lactating cows can feed on celery in order to acquire nutrients necessary for milk production. Studies reveal that cows produce approximately half of their total milk yield during the first 100 days of lactation. Furthermore, lactating cows are known to lose weight due to withdrawal of body reserves. For this reason, it is of the essence to provide a nutritious feed during the early days of lactation. A balanced diet allows livestock to maintain weight and energy for improved production. Proteins are of the essence in lactating cows as they allow for the production of milk with a higher nutritional value. To add on, celery plays an important role in keeping animals hydrated especially during dry seasons or in arid areas; lactating cows are therefore able to achieve increased yields even during this period. None the less, note that these benefits are only applicable when proper supplementary feed is provided otherwise cows would lack energy needed for milk production.

Health Maintenance

Celery is highly famed for its health benefits. It contains nutrients and minerals including calcium, potassium and manganese among others. These are of the utmost importance in blood synthesis, hormone structure, normal reproduction, vitamin synthesis, enzyme formation as well as immune system integrity. In fact, dietary plans lacking in trace elements can cause health related issues that can put the entire agricultural venture at risk. According to research, a deficiency in trace elements lead to reduced reproductive performance and impaired health over time. Cows can eat celery in order to protect themselves from disease and infection. Celery contains anti-inflammatory compounds that help to protect animals from infection.  Livestock provided with celery in their dietary plans often show more resistance to diseases and so become highly productive.

Celery is rich in phytonutrient antioxidants including phenolic acids, flavones like luteolin, flavonols like quercetin and kaempferol, dihydrostilbenods, photosterols and furanocoumarins. It can thus be used to control oxidation. Most farmers can attest to experiencing oxidation and so actively seek for natural means to prevent this problem. This comes after the ban of antibiotics as they are said to have long term negative effects on both human and animal life. Cows can feed on celery which offers them natural protection from oxidative stress. As such, farmers are able to guarantee quality yields that command a higher market price. Farmers are advised not to provide livestock with excess celery feed as it can have adverse effects on health.

Hydration

Cows can eat celery to keep hydrated. This practise is very handy in arid areas. Celery is said to contain approximately 95% water and so can be used as a source of water. Animals with dietary plans consisting of celery are able to last for prolonged periods before being thirsty. An insufficient water supply is detrimental to animals. In severe cases, death can occur. Though rarely experience, farmers in drought areas can experience this problem. Various research studies concur; an insufficient supply of water is detrimental to productivity and places animals at risk of poor health thus exposing them to diseases and parasites. Note that although celery can be used to keep cows hydrated, a fresh water source should be availed at all times.