If you ask people what do cows eat, most of them would say grass. But that’s not all these animals eat. While grass and hay are the main part of their diet, they can also eat various fruits and vegetables in moderation. What about bananas?
Cows love to eat bananas. In fact, some farmers use them as bait to lure cows home. With a healthy combination of starch, sugar, and vitamin B6, bananas are an excellent treat for cows. Bananas are good for the cow’s joint mobility due to the presence of potassium in them.
Feeding the leaves of banana trees can be taxing for a cow’s digestive system and should, therefore, be avoided.
Humans and cows are the best of friends, especially when bananas come into play. Cows love bananas! They can eat the fruits and their peels, eat them freshly picked – or rotten – and enjoy them near and far from trees, including terracotta tiles.
Do you have a calf and are wondering if you could feed bananas to them? Or are you curious about the health benefits of these fruits for your cows? Whatever your doubts are, they will be answered in this article.
Are bananas healthy for cows?
With their high potassium content, bananas are certainly healthy fruits for humans. But what about our pet ruminants? Let’s find out:
|Vitamin A||64 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.031 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.073 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.665 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.334 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.367 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||20 mcg|
|Vitamin C||8.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.10 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.5 mcg|
|Dietary fibers||2.60 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Now that we’ve gone through the nutritional chart of bananas, let us see how these nutrients can benefit the health of cows:
Vitamin A plays a key role in maintaining the eyesight and the respiratory functions of cows and ensuring the smooth functioning of their respiratory health. It is even more essential in pregnant as well as lactating cows.
Vitamin C is responsible for strengthening their immune system, while Vitamin E lends them antioxidants. This vitamin is particularly more important for the calves, for it promotes proper muscle development in them.
Potassium improves the cows’ metabolism and maintains fluid balance in their body, while calcium supports their muscle contraction, cardiovascular functions, blood clotting, enzyme activity, and nerve functions.
Iron is responsible for cell respiration, zinc promotes protein synthesis, and magnesium breaks down the carbohydrates and fats in their body.
Therefore, we can safely admit that bananas are healthy for cows.
How many bananas should you feed to cows?
So, we know that bananas are healthy for cows. How many of these fruits are going you to feed them? Can you feed them these daily?
These are important questions whose answers you must have before you begin to feed bananas to your cows.
First and foremost, we must understand that every animal has a balanced diet that consists of all the nutrients they would need.
The ideal diet of cows primarily consists of grass and hay. And as a responsible pet owner, it is your responsibility to maintain the same consistency.
Bananas, along with other fruits and vegetables, should only make up about 5-7% of their daily diet. As long as you’re following this concept, your pets will stay healthy and happy.
Is it okay to feed cows banana peels?
Whenever we eat a banana, what’s the first thing we do? We peel them off because their rind is made of high fibers that we cannot eat raw.
But when you’re feeding these fruits to the cows, is it necessary to remove the peel? No. The fibrous banana peel is not only safe for them but also beneficial for their digestive systems.
Most cow-owners feed their pets bananas as they are. However, it is better to remove the peel and feed it to them separately.
Can cows eat the leaves of banana trees?
If you’re wondering whether the leaves of a banana tree are safe for your cattle or not, rest assured; they’re completely harmless to them. However, feeding them these leaves might not be the best idea.
While these leaves are not toxic to them, they’re not particularly healthy for them either. Banana leaves have a low nutritional value and need a lot of effort to be digested. Therefore, it is best not to feed them these. And even if you want to feed them the leaves, do so in strict moderation and with other vegetables; that way, it will be less strenuous for the cows.
Can calves eat bananas as well?
Although calves are hungry little creatures from the moment they’re born, you should avoid them feeding anything other than milk or its replacement formula until they’re at least four months old.
Even after these little animals have been weaned off milk, they should only eat high-quality forage along with a small number of grain pellets for a couple of months for their proper growth. Once the calves are eight months old, you can slowly introduce other foods such as bananas into their diet.
Can bananas be used as bait for cows?
Yes, bananas can indeed be used as bait for cows and work quite effectively. Although cows are usually agreeable animals, they can be stubborn at times as well. In such instances, giving them something they love to eat can work as a great motivation, and bananas are perfect for the job.
Rotten bananas for cows: healthy or not?
Many cow-owners often feed rotten bananas to their cattle. But is this practice healthy for their cows? That’s what we are going to discuss here.
Rotten bananas are perfectly safe for cows and have the same nutritional value as of fresh ones. Therefore, you can feed them these without a second thought. In fact, in many countries that produce these fruits, the cows are given rotten bananas while the fresh ones are consumed by humans and sold commercially.
However, if you’re feeding your cows rotten bananas, you must make sure that they’re not fermented or surrounded by flies.
Apart from bananas, which other fruits can cows eat? Cows can eat a wide range of fruits, such as oranges, lemons, cantaloupes, grapes, apples, peaches, watermelons, and so on. While most people feed them these fruits as they are, it is best to remove the pits from the pitted fruits before feeding them.
Is it okay to feed cows corn? Yes. Cows love eating corn and can do so without any harm. However, you must make sure to add other grains to their diet as well.
Can I feed pineapples to my cow? Feeding pineapples to cows is a bad idea because these fruits have high sugar content, and too much sugar can lead to bloating in cows.
Conclusion: Can cows eat bananas?
Returning to our initial question: can cows eat bananas? Yes, they can.
Cows have a fondness for bananas. The natural attraction between the sweet fruit and the four-legged creatures is so strong that it acts as a potent lure to urge the cows towards their owners, who make a profit by selling the milk that cows produce after eating bananas and other vegetables.
The handiness of using bananas as bait is seen in the fact that while you can carry bananas easily to a distant location, other delicious and popular feed items such as carrots or apples are heavy and comparatively difficult to carry. Also, banana’s low price and high nutritional value make it an efficient feed.
Just as these fruits are delicious and healthy for us, so are they for our cattle animals. However, you must be careful not to feed them too many of these fruits.
Because although they have low sugar content compared to most fruits, they can still cause bloating in cows when overfed.