That’s the question being asked these days with Halloween fast approaching. This can be a confusing question – so we decided to take it up and find out if cows can eat pumpkins. And can they?
Yes, they can. Pumpkin is a winter treat that is delicious and nutritious for cows. The healthy fiber in pumpkin flesh and the rind is packed with minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. The seeds are rich in zinc, iron, protein, and omega fatty acids.
There are a surprising number of benefits associated with feeding pumpkins to cows. Pumpkins are rich in nutrients like vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. The rind is rich in enzymes which makes them good for digestion. This is also excellent for your pet’s metabolism. Cows can eat pumpkin seeds since they are packed with healthy fats and protein, but they must not be fed too many because that may cause stomach problems.
In this article, we will cover all aspects of feeding pumpkins to cows: their nutritional value, health benefits, safety for calves, and more.
Is pumpkin healthy for cows?
We can agree that feeding healthy food to your cows is one of the most important steps in ensuring that they live a long, healthy life. Therefore, before feeding them pumpkins, you should ask yourself whether or not it will benefit their health?
Before we begin to answer this question, let’s take a glance at the nutritional value of pumpkin in the table given below:
|Vitamin A||7384 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.05 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.11 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.6 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.298 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.061 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||16 mcg|
|Vitamin C||9 mg|
|Vitamin E||1.06 mg|
|Vitamin K||1.1 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||21 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.8 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||12 mg|
|Sodium, Na||1 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.127 mg|
|Potassium, K||340 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.125 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||44 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.32 mg|
|Selenium, Se||0.3 mcg|
|Total carbohydrates||8 g|
|Dietary fibers||0.6 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Now, let’s talk about the health benefits of eating pumpkin for your cows:
- Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A, which is responsible for maintaining your cows’ eye and skin health and promoting their reproductive performance.
- Both Vitamins C and E, which play a vital role in strengthening their immune health and adding antioxidants to their body, are present in pumpkins.
- Pumpkins contain Cucurbitacin, a biochemical compound present in most pumpkin and gourd family plants. This compound is known to act as a natural dewormer in livestock. As a result, it can improve the digestive processes of your pet.
- Pumpkins are rich in crude protein with high in-vitro digestibility, which acts as a great supplement for pregnant cows.
Is it safe to feed pumpkin rind to cows?
While we can use the pumpkin’s flesh in many different dishes, what do you do with its rind or outer skin? Because pumpkin’s rind is far too tough for us to chew and digest, we usually discard it.
But did you know that like most other fruits and vegetables, pumpkin’s rind is also quite nutritious? Since we can’t eat it, it doesn’t make much sense for us to know the nutritional value of pumpkin rind. However, just because we cannot eat the pumpkin rind doesn’t that your pets can’t eat it either.
It might come as a surprise to many, but the cows enjoy the rind that seems too tough for us to eat. Cows have no difficulty in eating pumpkin rind, although they do take their time eating it.
So, if you want to use pumpkin rind as your pet’s treat instead of throwing it away, here are a few things you must keep in mind:
- You must always purchase organic pumpkins for your pets instead of commercially grown ones. Cultivated in a safe environment, these pumpkins are free of any toxic chemicals that could be sprayed on their rind. They are, therefore, a healthy alternative for both you and your pets.
- You should also chop the pumpkin rind into smaller pieces so that your pets can eat it without much difficulty.
What about pumpkin seeds? Can cows eat them?
While the rind of pumpkin is inedible to humans, another part of these vegetables, besides their flesh, holds a great value for us. Yes, we are talking about pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin seeds are small, flat, and oval, dull orange when shelled, and pale green unshelled. These seeds are rich in several vitamins in minerals, such as Magnesium and Vitamin K. They also contain antioxidants in abundance and are known to improve our prostate and bladder health.
You can easily find these seeds, both shelled and unshelled, in any grocery store.
If you want to learn more about the nutritional value of pumpkin seeds, check out the table given below:
|Vitamin A||16 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.237 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.153 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||4.987 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||63 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.75 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.143 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||58 mcg|
|Vitamin C||1.9 mg|
|Vitamin E||2.18 mg|
|Vitamin K||7.3 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||46 mg|
|Iron, Fe||8.82 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||592 mg|
|Copper, Cu||1.343 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||1233 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||4.543 mg|
|Potassium, K||809 mg|
|Sodium, Na||7 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||7.81 mg|
|Selenium, Se||9.4 mcg|
|Dietary fibers||6 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
However, what is the effect of these seeds on the cows? That’s what we are going to talk about in this section.
As far as cows are concerned, pumpkin seeds are perfectly safe and healthy for them. These seeds are far too thin and small to pose any choking hazard to the cows and have tons of health benefits.
If you’re willing to feed pumpkin seeds to your cows, here are a couple of things you should keep in mind:
- The best way to feed pumpkin seeds to your cows is along with the vegetables themselves.
- Avoid feeding your cow store-bought pumpkin seeds. These seeds are strictly for human consumption and might contain some preservatives and additives that can harm them.
Can you feed cooked pumpkins to cows?
Cooking pumpkin makes its flesh softer and easier to chew and digest, which is why we always eat these veggies after cooking them. However, all of us can agree that cows have a much tougher digestive system than ours.
So, is it a good idea to feed them cooked pumpkins instead of raw ones? No, not really. Raw pumpkin is a better alternative for your cows than cooked one for two reasons.
First and foremost, cows’ digestive system is used to break down raw foods and can, thus, face some difficulty trying to digest cooked foods. Moreover, cooking pumpkin also diminishes its nutritional value by reducing the heat-sensitive nutrients present in it.
Can calves eat pumpkins?
Now that we’ve established that pumpkin is a safe vegetable for cows to eat, do you wonder if their younger ones can eat it as well?
The most important factor that you need to consider before feeding pumpkins to your calf is, as you might have guessed, their age. You see, when a calf is born, it should feed only on its mother’s milk (or a replacement formula in case the mother is absent) for the first 2-3 months.
Only when the calves are older than 3 months can they be weaned off milk, and high-quality hay and grain can be introduced to their diet. Therefore, any fruit or vegetable, including pumpkin, should only be fed to the calves when they’re at least 6-8 months old.
Can cows eat butternut pumpkin?
More commonly referred to as “butternut squash,” the butternut pumpkin is another winter squash-like pumpkin. These fruits have a bell-like shape with a slim neck and a bulbous bottom, inside which their seeds are usually located.
The outer skin of butternut squash is tan-yellow in color, with bright orange flesh inside. It has a sweet and nutty flavor and is closely related to pumpkins, poncas, and walthams.
Just like pumpkins, butternut pumpkins are also safe for the consumption of your pets in moderation. However, when you’re feeding butternut pumpkins to the cows, be careful about removing their stem, as it can pose a choking threat for them.
Frequently asked questions
Can I feed broccoli to my cows? Yes, broccoli is a safe vegetable to feed your cows. It is rich in fibers that can regulate the bowel movement of your pets and keep their digestive tracts healthy and smooth functioning.
Can cows eat watermelon? Yes, watermelon is a sweet and juicy treat for your cows that can keep them refreshed and hydrated on hot summer days. However, you might want to feed watermelons, or any other fruit, to your pets in moderation since too much sugar is detrimental to their health.
Conclusion: Can Cows Eat Pumpkin?
Cows definitely eat pumpkins. I fed my cow a pumpkin this morning and she loved it. She was looking for another one when I left the barn for work.
Well, that’s all the time we have for today. Thank you for reading our article on can cows eat pumpkins. It means a lot to us that people are interested in what we have to say, and that they take time out of their day to read about topics like this.
We love being able to publish articles for everyone to read. We really hope you enjoyed reading it! And hey, if you have a pumpkin lying around, you may as well give it a shot.