Can cows eat chestnuts? This is one of the questions on every farmer’s mind, and rightfully so, you don’t want to unknowingly bring harm to your farm animals.
When I took my nephews to a local ranch, I was surprised to see that cows were being fed chestnuts, like really, these mahogany-looking nuts were being given to cows to munch on.
Cows are given a variety of feed, consisting of fodder, hay, and several other types of feed. Along with that, the owner also gave the creatures chestnuts.
When I asked the ranch owner about the particular addition to the cows’ diet, he said it helped improve the taste of beef. But what intrigued me was the eating habits of cows, and here is what I learned about it.
Do cows like to eat chestnuts?
Yes, cows love to eat chestnuts. When you think of chestnuts, the first thing that will cross your mind is the hard red-brown-colored outer skin of the nut.
The nut inside the skin is soft and sweet.
However, when cows are given chestnuts, you can give these intact (as a whole).
You do not have to remove the hard outer shells because a cow’s strong jaws and teeth can easily chew the nuts. Thus, cows love to eat chestnuts as they find these not only to be tasty but also easy to chew.
The only downside to cows eating chestnuts is the potential risk of them choking on the nut if it wasn’t properly chewed, but knowing cows, they are always chewing so hopefully they keep up the jaw action.
What happens when cows eat these red-brown nuts?
According to the website: All about feed, cows are fed chestnuts to improve the quality and texture of beef.
Cows bred exclusively for their meat are given chestnuts regularly so that the taste of the beef also becomes sweeter.
Research shows that cows fed the correct amount of hay, fodder, and chestnuts produce better quality beef than cows fed only cattle feed.
Hence, feeding chestnuts to cows can be a good idea if you want better-tasting beef.
Are chestnuts healthy for cows?
Chestnuts are rich in antioxidants and minerals and both of these are essential to help animals build strong bones and healthy immune systems.
In addition, for cows, chestnuts are an excellent source of essential minerals like magnesium and potassium.
Do you need to cook the chestnuts before feeding them to your cattle?
Cows can eat the chestnuts raw, and you do not have to worry about cooking the nuts before giving them to the cows on your farm.
All you need to ensure is that the chestnuts are a part of the cow feed.
If you plan to take your cattle out in the fields to graze, it is a good idea to take them near chestnut trees.
You will find that your cattle are quick to eat all the nuts that have fallen and will clear the ground in no time!
Hence, you don’t need to cook the chestnuts before feeding these to the cows. They love to eat the nuts raw and cooking these can make them less appealing to the cows.
What should you remember while giving chestnuts to cows?
Chestnuts are healthy for the cows, no doubt, but if they have preservatives, they can cause the animal to go into a toxic shock.
Chestnuts must be completely organic, and you must ensure that these do not have insecticides or pesticides.
When you are assured of these, you can include them as a part of the cattle feed.
Are you interested in learning more about the other animals that can eat chestnuts? Look no further and check out that article that we wrote for more details.
Route 9 Cooperative – Wildlife & Food Plots