Can Sheep Eat Cabbage? (All You Need To Know)
Cabbage is one of the most widely consumed vegetables in the world, and for good reason. This delicious and nutritious member of the cruciferous family is packed with vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytonutrients.
Cabbage is also affordable as well as accessible year-round. In fact, this versatile veggie can be found in a variety of different forms including raw, cooked, shredded, pickled, fermented, and even as oils or powders for juicing or blending.
Whether you’re looking to add more cabbage to your diet or wondering if sheep can eat cabbage (and if so, how much?), let’s take a closer look at this superfood in this article.
Nutrition and Benefits of Cabbage
Cabbage is a low-calorie cruciferous vegetable that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. As such, it has many powerful benefits for health and wellness.
So much so that just few grams of raw cabbage contains 10% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, almost 20% vitamin K, and a good amount of B vitamins, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Cabbage is also very high in fiber, which helps keep the digestive tract healthy and aids in weight management. Furthermore, it is a great source of minerals such as manganese, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
It is especially high in sulforaphane, a compound that boosts the body’s natural detoxification enzymes and clears harmful toxins from the liver. Cabbage is also known to be good for heart health as well as the eyes. It can help lower blood pressure and also prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults.
Sheep and Cabbage: Why Feed Cabbage to Sheep?
Cabbage is a nutrient-dense, low-calorie feed with high water content that is very easy to grow.
Since it’s a non-legume plant, it doesn’t fix nitrogen in the soil, allowing pasture to be used more efficiently. And while it is relatively low in protein, it is high in fiber, which is a great source of energy for sheep. Cabbage is also a good source of calcium and other minerals that help keep the bones strong.
It also contains vitamin K, which helps promote blood clotting and prevent bleeding in sheep. Cabbage is also a great source of vitamin C, which is important for immunity and preventing infections for ewes.
Can Sheep Eat Raw Cabbage?
Raw cabbage is definitely healthy, it’s very easy to grow and is less likely to be attacked by pests and diseases compared to other plants in the field.
Cabbage is particularly good for grazing animals because it gives them a source of roughage, which helps keep their digestive systems healthy and aids in weight management.
Since cattle are ruminants, their digestion processes require a lot of energy to run, so the longer they can stay in the pasture between feeds, the more energy they save. They also lose less weight during dry seasons when grazing on roughage as compared to when they are fed grain and other concentrates.
In addition, roughage helps entice sheep (or cattle) into eating an appropriate amount of calories needed for optimal growth without over-rearing on high-calorie feeds such as concentrate or grain supplements.
How To Feed Cabbage To Sheep?
If feeding cabbage fresh, make sure to remove any wilted or yellow leaves. You can also chop it up and feed it to your sheep as fresh fodder or mix it into their grain feed.
Cabbage can also be fermented as silage or chopped and put into hay for sheep to graze on. If feeding it as a chopped feed, make sure to chop it very finely so that the sheep can digest it well.
Another way is to add it to a mixer for sheep to mix it into their feed. When feeding cabbage, be careful about overfeeding it, especially if it is the only feed in the diet.
What Vegetables Are Great For Sheep
Vegetables are, obviously, a staple part of their diet. They are rich in minerals and vitamins, minerals and fiber which helps in maintaining healthy body functions.
Brassica vegetables like lettuce, broccoli, and kale are especially important in a sheep’s diet due to their high vitamin and mineral content. Cauliflower is especially high in vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin K, which are all important for healthy bones and preventing calcium deficiencies in sheep.
Cabbage is undoubtedly a super food that definitely needs to be fed to sheep. Cabbage is an inexpensive, accessible, and nutritious vegetable that can be enjoyed raw, fermented, or cooked in a variety of different dishes.
Cabbage can be fed fresh, fermented, or chopped and blended into grain diets, basically, it is good and healthy however you present it to them!