The availability of good quality forage is a major challenge during the dry season or in areas with low annual rainfall. Under such conditions, it is a common practice to purchase hay among other types of feed. However, with the continuous increase of livestock feed it is difficult to sustain these diets for prolonged periods. As such, farmers are actively seeking for easily available feed supplements that are just as nutritious and have no negative effective on health and production. Through experimental work, a number of farmers have established that cows can eat radishes. In fact, it is said that radishes play an important role in health sustenance as well as improved performance.

Nutritional Value

Radishes are quite nutritious and contain essential nutrients including energy, protein, dietary fibre and vitamins. They also contain minerals such as potassium, folate, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, copper, manganese and sodium. Due to their high nutritional value, cows can eat radishes for improved performance. The upside of using radishes as livestock feed is that not only are they nutritious but they are also readily available. Farmers growing radishes for human consumption or as cover crops can easily sustain well-balanced diets throughout the entire dry period. That being said, like most cow feedstuff, radishes are lacking in some of nutrients and minerals. While cows can eat radishes for performance enhancement, some types such as the Japanese radish are lacking in sufficient roughage. For this reason, it is advisable to provide complimentary supplements and additives where necessary.

Growth Enhancement

The performance of livestock is largely influenced by their dietary plans. Similar to humans, a poor diet causes a range of health related issues that adversely affect growth and development. Since the plant is rich in protein, cows can feed on radishes in order to absorb essential nutrients for growth, maintenance, reproduction as well as production. Studies reveal that diets lacking in protein eventually result in loss of body weight and increases the risk of infectious and metabolic diseases. To add on, cows can eat radishes in order to acquire calcium that is required for teeth and bone development. Without adequate calcium, cows are most likely to suffer from bone fractures and slow growth. Consequently, a heavy financial investment is needed which puts the overall agricultural venture at risk.

Milk Production

Dairy cows can feed on radishes in order to maintain increased milk production even during the dry periods. Since protein rich feeds are generally expensive, this is a popular practise among farmers in some parts of the world. Despite its roughage deficiency, radishes consist of a high composition of important nutrients necessary for production. A consequence of poor dietary plans with too little or imbalanced nutritional rations is a rapid drop in milk production including the birth of small calves. Note that just as insufficient protein and energy causes a number of challenges, excess rations are known to have a negative impact on milk production as well. Furthermore, radishes are a source of trace elements needed for the sustenance of long term milk production. The consequence of dietary plans lacking in trace minerals is reduced milk produced in the long run.


Health Sustenance

Since the performance of livestock is determined by their health, it is of the essence for farmers to make sure that animals are kept healthy. In order to achieve this, cows can eat radishes because they consist of trace elements that play a critical role in hormone structure, enzyme formation, normal reproduction, blood synthesis, vitamin synthesis and immune system integrity. The vitamins found in radishes also help to maintain the integrity of the immune system thereby protecting cows from diseases. Farmers should make sure to provide radishes with complementary feedstuff so as to reap these benefits. Failure to do so has negative effects on health which can adversely affect the success of the agricultural venture.

Control of Oxidation

One the biggest challenges faced by livestock farmers is oxidation. Studies reveal that numerous cases are recorded in every country throughout the year. Oxidative stress is known to affect the texture and smell of the meat.  As a means of controlling its occurrence, antibiotics are used by most farmers. However, this practise has been restricted in a number of countries hence the need for alternative control methods. Cows can eat radishes as they contain antioxidant compounds that fight free radicals responsible for the occurrence of oxidative stress. As a result, farmers are able to ensure good quality yields throughout the year.

Are Turnips Good For Cows?

Cows can eat radishes and other vegetables belonging to the Brassica family like turnips. Turnips are classified among the most nutritious food for humans. Fortunately, their nutritional benefits can be transferred to cattle through consumption. Turnips are a rich source of nutrients and mineral essential for the well-being of livestock. Since forage diets are lacking in sufficient nutrients, turnips provide an ideal supplement for the purpose of increased production. Turnips are loaded in fibre and vitamins, namely: K, A, C, B1, B3, B5, B6 and folate. They also consist of manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and copper. To add on, turnips are a good source of phosphorus and protein. Just as cows can feed on radishes for improved performance, they can be provided with turnips instead. The high nutritional value of turnips allows for health sustenance, reproduction as well as production. Care should however be taken not to provide them in excess as this may cause health related issues.

What Can I Plant For Cows?

Cows can feed on radishes, turnips and various other types of vegetables. With the constant price increases of livestock feed, farmers can grow vegetables for dietary supplements of cattle. Fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, bananas, apples, celery, tomatoes, carrots and zucchini are quite palatable to cows. Note that vegetables are only used as feed supplements and so should not be grown for replacement purposes. Among the mostly grown plants for cows are grain and cereal feedstuff. These constitutes a significant part of livestock diets. However, since the dietary system of ruminants is not meant for such feeds, it is important to provide them in limited quantities.