If you are going to be raising sheep, it’s highly important that you know which foods are safe to feed them. Below we look at whether sheep can eat clover.
Can Sheep Eat Clover
Yes sheep can eat clover but it has to be white clover and not the red variety. This is mainly because red clover is toxic to sheep whilst the white one is not. When offering white clover to your sheep, it’s important that you give it to them in moderate amounts. This is because, if these animals consume excessive amounts of this plant, they may face serious bloat problems.
How To Give Clover To Sheep
If you want to add clover to your sheep’s diet, it is important that you choose the right variety which is white clover. The next thing you need to do is to give the clover to your animals but in moderate amounts. Please note that, you can only use clover as a supplementary feed for sheep rather than as complete substitute for their feed. This is because clover does not meet the dietary or energy requirements of sheep.
Nutrition And Health Benefits Of Clover To Sheep
Promotes Good Digestion
One of the health benefits of white clover to sheep is that it promotes good digestion. This is because it is a good source of roughage which is needed by sheep. Remember to always let your animals consume moderate amounts of this plant as they can end up getting bloated.
Another health benefit of clover to sheep is that it contains calcium that helps with the formation of strong bones. So if you want your animals to have strong bones, you should consider adding moderate amounts of this plant to their diet.
This is an important mineral that helps with muscle formation and the production of energy in the body. So if you want your animals to be strong and energetic, you should definitely consider giving them moderate amounts of white clover.
White clover contains moderate amounts of phosphorus which helps with the formation of bones and teeth in sheep. Furthermore, it helps to convert carbohydrates into energy.
Helps With Weight Gain
White clover tends to be healthier than other types of grass like rye grass. Studies show that sheep that consume white clover tend to gain more weight as compared to other sheep that eat plants like rye grass.
Disadvantages Of Feeding Sheep With Clover
Whilst there are so many nutritional benefits associated with consuming white clover, many farmers are still against this practice. Below we look at the reasons.
May Cause Bloating
One of the disadvantages of feeding clover to sheep is that it tends to cause bloating. It is worth noting that this only happens when the sheep are offered excessive amounts of white clover. Therefore, it is advisable to limit your sheep’s intake of this plant in order top prevent bloating. Furthermore, it is highly recommended that white clover be offered in conjunction with livestock feed. This is because bloating usually occurs when the animals are being offered white clover only as their primary source of feed.
May Cause Reproductive Problems
Research shows that white clover contains a small percentage of phytoestrogens which can affect reproduction. However, some research indicates that the phytoestrogens found in white clover do not have an effect on reproduction whilst some farmers have reported that it had adverse effect on the reproduction of their ewes. With that being said, many farmers are scared to introduce white clover to their sheep because they fear that it might affect their reproduction.
Does Clover Cause Bloat In Sheep?
Yes, clover has the potential of causing bloat in sheep when consumed in excess. It is important to know that there are 2 different types of clover. The first variety is white clover and it has a low phytoestrogens level and may only cause blot to sheep when consumed in excess. The second variety is the red clover which has high phytoestrogens and it can cause bloating even if sheep take a small amount of it. So when offering this plant to your animals, always go with the white variety as it is healthier.
What Clover Is Best For Sheep?
As noted throughout this article, white clover is the best for your sheep. This is because it does not cause bloating and it has a lot of minerals and vitamins that can boost the immune system of your animals.
What Does Red Clover Do To Sheep?
Red clover can cause bloating in sheep, this is one of the main reason why it should never be offered to them. Furthermore, it can cause reproductive problems to them. Therefore, never offer these animals red clover.
Can Sheep Eat Celery?
Yes, sheep can eat celery but in moderate amounts. Celery is rich in vitamins C, K and B6. It also contains minerals like potassium which helps to lower the blood pressure of animals. When offering celery to these animals, make sure that you cut it into smaller pieces so that they do not choke. It is worth pointing out that celery does not contain enough protein to meet the dietary needs of sheep. Therefore you should never use it as a substitute for livestock feed.
Can Sheep Eat Grapes?
Yes, sheep can eat grapes but in moderate amounts. Grapes are filled with a lot vitamins and minerals that are essential to a sheep’s diet.
Can Sheep Eat Apples?
Yes, sheep can eat apples mainly because they can be digested by the rumen. Apples are filled with various vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, A and K. They also contain fiber and potassium. Apples should be offered in moderate amounts to animals since they have the potential of causing digestion problems when consumed in excess. Furthermore, they should only be used as a feed supplement not a replacement of livestock feed.
White clover is highly palatable to sheep and you can offer it to them. However, always provide it in moderation as it may lead to bloating.