Livestock feed currently accounts for approximately 60 to 70% of the overall cost of production. This is expected to increase in the next few years. As such, the agricultural community is under pressure to find alternative feed sources that are affordable and nutritional for sustainability purposes. A substantial amount of research has therefore been directed towards finding out if unconventional feed stuffs can be used to meet the dietary needs of livestock, particularly whether goats can feed on cucumber. The results recorded are remarkable; it is stated that goats can feed on cucumber without adversely impacting on maintenance, reproduction and production.

Nutritional Value

The nutritional value of supplementary feed is of the utmost importance in the development of a proper feeding strategy. Cucumber is highly nutritious therefore can be used in goat dietary plans.  Goats can feed on cucumber which is a rich source of minerals including manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, potassium and phosphorous,considered as the most important mineral. Cucumber also contains fibre, vitamins A, C and K among other minerals. Goats can eat cucumber in order to acquire necessary minerals and nutrients for daily sustenance.  According to various research studies, cucumber supplements play an important role in maintaining healthy livestock. Goats are provided with some form of protection against diseases thereby allowing for increased productivity. Additionally, the minerals found in cucumber help to protect goats from oxidation. An important point to note is that cucumber cannot be used to replace staple feed. Instead, it should be given as a feed supplement that is accompanied by a source rich in lacking nutrients.

Physical Development

Goats can feed on cucumber for physiological development. Young goats require feed with a higher nutritional value for growth purposes. Cucumber provides the nutrients necessary for teeth, bone as well as muscle development. Lack of sufficient nutrients hinders proper and timely development of livestock. According to research, nutritional deficiency causes decreased dry matter intake, poor growth, unthrifty appearance, osteodystrophy and lameness.  Goats can also eat cucumber which is a rich source of roughage and water for digestive purposes. This allows for increased nutrient absorption thereby giving livestock the opportunity to reach full potential. The crude fibre found in cucumber is of the essence in the proper functioning of the rumen. Cucumber also contains trace minerals that are needed for growth, maintenance as well as production. Goat dietary plans lacking in cucumber have been proven to be among the leading causes of growth related issues including bone breakage and reduced performance. Keep in mind that goats can eat cucumber only in limited quantities as it can potentially be detrimental to the physiological development of livestock.

Milk Production

Lactating goats have dietary plans that demand a heavy nutritional investment. They need an adequate and consistent supply of nutrients for quality milk production. Goats can eat cucumber as a means to make sure that they are provided with sufficient nutrients for production. Deficiencies often result in reduced yields, milk lactose, fat as well as protein content. Cucumber is said to be composed of 96% water content. For this reason, it is of great value to farmers living in arid and semi-arid environments. These areas are characterised by very low rainfall hence water schedules are developed. Consequentially, goats produce low milk yields. Goats can feed on cucumber so as to stay hydrated helping them to maintain health and production. An important point to note is that poor milk yields also cost   farmers a lot of money in terms of livestock mortality. Young ruminants are born with poor immune systems which is strengthened using colostrum. Poor supply of colostrum exposes them to a range of health related issues and in severe cases, death. As clearly indicated, goats can eat cucumber to ensure that colostrum produced is of superior national value for the sustenance of young livestock and the overall agricultural venture.

Heath Maintenance

Cucumber is a rich source of minerals and nutrients that are essential for health maintenance. As such, goats can eat cucumber in order to absorb necessary nutrients for daily sustenance. Research indicates that goats with dietary plans inclusive of cucumber among other additives tend to perform better compared to those on a strict forage diet. This is attributed to nutrient rich cucumber supplements that allow for heathy livestock thereby improving on production. Cucumber consists of a significant amount of various vitamins that help to enhance immune system integrity. Goats are therefore given a fighting chance against diseases and infection. To add on, the nutrients found in cucumber are important in the enhancement of feed uptake. For this reason, goats can eat cucumber as a means to acquire substances needed for nutrient absorption and sustenance. Furthermore, cucumber contains trace elements that are highly valuable in livestock health maintenance. Trace elements are also valued for blood synthesis, hormone structure, reproduction, and vitamin synthesis as well as enzyme formulation.

Antioxidant Agent

Goats can feed on cucumber as a protective measure against lipid oxidation. Oxidation is a rampant problem in livestock farming. As matter of fact, a substantial amount of farmers can attest to experiencing oxidation. According to research, lipid oxidation in meats is a process whereby polyunsaturated fatty acid react with reactive oxygen species leading to a series of secondary reactions which in turn lead to degradation of lipids and development of oxidative rancidity. Cucumbers are highly famed for their superior ability to manage the occurrence of oxidative stress. They contain several antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese, as well as flavonoids, triterpenes and lignans that have anti-inflammatory properties. These play an important role in fighting free radicals that cause oxidation. Resultantly, goats are granted the opportunity to improve on productivity and profitability, thus allowing for a successful agricultural venture.

Hydration

Water is considered as the most important nutrient in livestock dietary plans. Water constitutes approximately 70% of animal body fluids. It is responsible for a variety of functions including nutrient digestion, absorption, waste removal, respiration, regulating mineral balances, eyesight and for joint lubrication. Goats can eat cucumber to absorb water thereby preventing the occurrence of health related issues. Cucumber is said to be a valuable water source for farmers in dry lands. Provision of feed rich in water allows livestock to survive for longer periods of time before feeling thirsty.  Resultantly, production that would otherwise be compromised by lack of sufficient water is enhanced.