The agricultural community at large has been faced with a challenge of increasing world production to meet the growing demand of animal products. This challenge has been worsened by the exorbitant cost of feed beyond the financial capability of most farmers. As such, alternative feedstuff are now more important than ever. A great deal of agricultural research has therefore been directed towards finding nutritious, affordable and readily available feed supplements. Since sheep are not picky eaters and celery is highly famed for its nutritional benefits in human diets, some studies have been focused on whether sheep can eat celery without negatively impacting on growth, health, reproduction and production. Results indicate that the nutritional benefits of the plant can be transferred to sheep through consumption; however, only when rations are properly managed.

Nutritional Value

Celery is an excellent source of nutrients and minerals necessary for the well-being of sheep. It contains essential trace elements for the long term health maintenance of livestock. By maintaining the health of sheep, production levels are increased leading to a successful agricultural venture. Moreover, sheep can eat celery to absorb antioxidant agents that are of the utmost importance in preventing oxidation thus guaranteeing good quality produce. According to research findings, celery is a source of vitamin K, B2, C, A and B6. It is an excellent source of fibre and minerals, calcium, sodium, potassium as well as manganese. As already noted, it also consists of antioxidants namely, phytonutrients including phenolic acids and flavonoids. Although sheep can feed on celery to absorb these nutrients, make sure to combine the vegetable with a staple feed rich in lacking nutrients. Also, excess diet rations places sheep at rick of health-related issues thus celery supplements should be kept at minimum. To add on, celery contains about 95% water content. While this is ideal in dry areas, the downside is that it can hinder appetite therefore limiting the amount of feed consumed and nutrient absorption. As a consequence, the immune system of sheep may be weakened exposing them to various diseases and infections.

Physical Development

The nutritional plan of livestock determines their physical development. Sheep that are provided with a solely forage-based nutrition plan are not highly productive. This type of feeding method is used in subsistence farming where profit generation is a secondary issue. Commercial farming systems aimed at increasing production rates are made up of wise nutrition management which ensures balanced diets. That being said, sheep can eat celery as a supplement to forage or hay. This is because celery contains nutrients and minerals that are often lacking in some forage diets. Sheep provided with balanced nutritional plans generally grow and develop at a faster rate thereby increasing profits. Additionally, production costs are reduced which is the main of every farmer. Sheep can eat celery to absorb trace elements that help to maintain health in the long run. By doing so, they are able to develop and reach their full potential without risk of diseases that can possibly affect production levels. Keep in mind that celery consists of mostly water hence may hinder efficient nutrient absorption when given to excess. Resultantly, sheep may suffer from stunted growth among other nutrition-related health conditions.

Health Maintenance

As already mentioned, livestock health is determined by their nutrition plan. Since celery is a source of nutrients lacking in most forage and hay diets, it can be used as a supplement to ensure healthy livestock. Sheep can eat celery to absorb vitamins required to maintain the integrity of the immune system. Vitamins found in celery help to boost the immune system thereby giving animals some form of resistance against diseases. Resultantly, improved production levels are achieved. Also, sheep can feed on celery supplements to acquire phenolic acids and flavonoids needed to prevent the occurrence of oxidation. This is a rampant problem recorded by numerous farmers across the globe. Oxidative stress affects the overall quality of the meat; in severe cases, losses are recorded. Celery acts as an antioxidant agent fighting free radicals that cause oxidative stress. To add on, its high water content is ideal for livestock living in dry areas or those in areas experiencing drought. It is a common practice to make up a schedule which determines when sheep are provided with water. Celery allows animals to survive for prolonged periods of time without being thirsty. Take note that this can hinder feed consumption, particularly when sheep fill up on water. Nutrition absorption is therefore also limited thereby adversely affecting health and production.

What Vegetables Can Sheep Eat?

Sheep can feed on celery and a variety of other vegetables. Experts state that sheep find most vegetables palatable and so can readily eat them. Vegetables are said to be highly nutritious making them ideal supplements for sheep nutritional plans. Basically, sheep can eat celery, lettuce, carrots, kale, pumpkin and watermelon. Caution should be taken when using kale and rhubarb supplements as some parts of the plant are toxic to sheep. The same applies to all vegetables when they are fed to excess. Ideally, vegetables should only be used as treats or supplements. Under no circumstances should they used as feed replacement. Studies reveal that vegetables are rich in nutrients and minerals required by humans and animals alike. For this reason, sheep can eat celery and various other vegetables for the enhancement of production levels as well increased profits.

What Is Poisonous To Sheep?

It is important for farmers to be aware of feedstuff that are poisonous to sheep in order to prevent losses. While goats can tolerate increased amounts of copper, the opposite applies to sheep. Studies reveal that sheep have a low tolerance to copper hence it may be poisonous. Therefore, sheep diets should not contain high levels of copper. Note that copper can accumulate in the liver for up to a year before symptoms start to appear. Signs of copper poisoning in sheep include poor appetite, fragile bones, anaemia, teeth grinding, bloody urine, poor wool coverage and hair loss. Too much lead is also toxic to sheep. Grain overload is known to cause diarrhoea, dehydration and thirst, bloat, depressed appearance and in severe cases, death. Foods belonging to the brassica and nightshade family can also be toxic to sheep. These include green tomatoes, avocado and green potatoes.