Sheep are ruminant mammals mostly known for their fluffy wool or general neutrality and non-aggression which makes them a favorite for most children. They are domesticated animals, popularly domesticated for their wool and mutton (agricultural purposes). Sheep eat a large variety of foods but prefer common grass, legumes and forbs which are any broad-leaved plants. They have a complex digestive system where they process food by chewing it, regurgitating it, breaking it down further then they send it back to their digestive system. The process is essential because of the low nutrition in the foods the sheep eats. The whole process extracts as much from the food as possible. You may have recently stumbled upon watermelons and you are considering if it is a good idea to feed it to your sheep.
What Do Sheep Eat
Sheep like to eat foods they can consume quickly like hay, red clover, alfalfa, Ladino clover, white clover, sunflower seeds, oats and dandelions. In winter there are usually very few feeding options for sheep and the best food for them is silage, grains, pumpkins and sheep feed. Watermelons are very tasty and palatable to sheep. They are also very easy to chew making them a wonderful treat for the sheep. Watermelons are also very nutritious, packing a lot of vitamins hence allowing the sheep to grow strong and health. Watermelons are 90 % water, making them a very good snake particularly in the summer season when water sources are very scarce. It may also be a good idea to source the watermelons from large scale farmers as they may sell the watermelons at very cheap and affordable pricing. Watermelons however like anything else should not be given to sheep in too much excess for nutritional purposes. It is good to give the sheep a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Why Sheep Love Watermelon
Watermelon is a very good treat for the sheep which is very health. It is packed with minerals which are extremely beneficial to the sheep. Watermelons are a great food for the sheep and some sheep prefer to eat watermelons on hot days to cool their tongue due to their high-water content. Watermelons should not be given as a regular meal to sheep, nor should one give sheep watermelon as a replacement or alternative to water. The answer to the question if sheep can eat watermelon is yes sheep can eat watermelon. Sheep will also eat the rind, which is the green outer layer of the watermelon. The rind provides fiber for the sheep. Sheep also eat watermelon seeds which are also healthy for the sheep.
How To Feed Sheep Watermelon
Watermelon should be given to sheep in very small quantities. To feed sheep watermelon you should wash it and cut it into small pieces to make it easier for the sheep to eat. When cutting the watermelon into chewable pieces, you can also include the rind or the skin, the sheep will eat them with the watermelon and will not cause any problems. Avoid throwing the watermelon on the ground of the pens as this will make it dirty and very muddy and less likely for the sheep to eat it. When giving the sheep watermelon, reduce the amount to no more than four pounds per sheep as more than that can cause diarrhea. It is advisable to pick watermelons with no preservatives in them as preservatives can makes the sheep sick.
Reasons To Feed Sheep Watermelon
Watermelon is 90% water and has a low-fat content. The high-water content in it makes the watermelon very good for sheep and a great source of water especially in places with very little water. It also contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. The nutrients in watermelon are good for eyesight, fighting disease, maintaining bone health and supports metabolism and muscle and nerve function. Watermelons contain many great nutrients which are extremely beneficial for sheep. Watermelons are extremely high in carotenoids, flavonoids and sugars, amino acids and pectin which bring very high health benefits to the sheep. Watermelons are a very cost-effective way of providing certain nutrients to the sheep as opposed to buying supplements. It is much more preferable to feed sheep watermelons over any other fruit in terms of nutritional benefits.
Other Fruits to Feed Sheep
Watermelons are not the only sweet treat one can give to sheep. Sheep will also eat any fruits given to them. Different fruits provide different nutritional benefits to sheep but as with any other animal, sheep do not eat every fruit out there. The fruits that can be given to sheep are apple slices, grapes, pears, cherry, banana, strawberry, any citrus fruits and cantaloupe. Fruits are a great option for feeding sheep as they add many nutritional benefits to the sheep and occasionally buying fruits will not interfere with their diets. It is best to feed fruits to sheep during the dry season when the quality of forage is low. It is important to note that apple seeds are very poisonous to sheep and hence it is best to feed them apples during the day. Sheep particularly love banana peels and it would be best to feed it to them. Farmers should also avoid feeding sheep avocado, cabbage, kale, cherries and potatoes as they are harmful to the sheep. Fruits such as watermelon should be given very lightly and making sure they do not consist anything more than 20% of their diet as they may cause various health problems for the sheep.
In conclusion, one can feed watermelons to sheep and it does come with many benefits for the sheep. There are some disadvantages but the advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages. Watermelons are highly nutritious and contain extremely high-water content for the sheep. Watermelons are packed with many nutritional benefits from the rind, to the flesh and finally the seeds. They are all edible meaning there is no need to separate them when feeding sheep. Watermelons should be given in controlled amounts and are no alternative to water and solid foods, rather they act as a good supplement to the usual sheep diet. Watermelons are high in vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium which are important to sheep. Watermelons should definitely be put into consideration the next time shopping for sheep feed.