With any animal on the farm, it is natural to want to give them a treat, especially when our gardens are overflowing with fresh produce. Whether store-bought or grown at home, cucumber is one such plant. But, is it safe for goats? Are there any concerns?
When added to the diet of a goat, cucumbers can be nutritious, highly palatable, and very refreshing to them due to their low levels of calories and high content of minerals, vitamins, and water in them.
Let’s take a look in more detail.
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Top 3 Benefits of Feeding Cucumbers to Goats
High Water Content
Cucumbers have a high concentration of water and therefore well tolerated by the goats just like other fruits like kale, cabbage, lettuce and broccoli which are a goat’s favorite.
When goats eat cucumbers, they help in managing hydration in the animals since water plays an important part in the body of any living organism.
Water affects every activity in the body of a goat from the performance of the physical activities to metabolism.
Water obtained from eating cucumbers by the goats helps in regulating the temperature of the body, transport nutrients, and transporting waste on a day to day basis.
They can be fed to the goats when fresh or as the left overs, when the water has reduced in them and they are not as hard as when they are fresh (withered).
Vitamins and Minerals
Goats, just like any other animal or living things, require minerals and vitamins for the best operation of their physiological system and continuity of the daily activities.
Cucumbers contain small percentages of potassium, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, vitamin A and manganese which play a big role in maintaining of the body of a goat like strengthening their bones and protecting them from certain diseases.
Additional Benefits of Feeding Cucumber to Goats
Feeding the goats with cucumbers is recommended since the water and fiber found in them plays a major role in easing digestion and relieving constipation.
There are prickles in cucumbers that have probiotic bacteria which help in the cultivation of the beneficial gut flora and promoting healthy digestion.
Cucumbers contain antioxidants which are the molecules that help in blocking oxidation. Feeding the fruit to goats in small amounts, for example adding a little to the diet of the goat helps in reducing bloating, and oxidation. The oxidation helps in reducing the risk of getting certain infections or conditions.
This fruit when added to the diet of a goat can be used as an appetizer, and this will help the goat browse more, aiding weight gain.
This helps in promoting the healthy lifestyle of a goat. At the end of the day, the goat ends up producing more milk, and later on meat if that is the intended purpose.
How to Feed Cucumbers to Goats
Goats can eat cucumbers either a whole or chopped, although they love them chopped, feeding a whole may choke them anyway, so it is advisable to cut the cucumbers into small pieces so that they can feed on them.
You can mix cucumber on top of their hay or just give them to them raw. It is worth noting that you should avoid giving your goats moldy cucumbers or cucumbers that have gone bad. Those make a better addition to your compost pile than feed for your goats.
You can also freeze cucumbers for a nice, refreshing treat. Mix things up by cutting up a variety of fruits and vegetables and freezing into an ice block. On hot days your goats will enjoy browsing on the block as the sun melts it.
What Is a Cucumber?
Cucumber, scientifically known as Cucumis sativus, is a vine plant that is widely cultivated and in post places used as vegetables, while in some places it can be used as a fruit.
Cucumbers have a bright skin that is green, cylindrical in shape, usually long and could be classified into two groups; the pickling cucumbers and slicing cucumbers.
The pickling cucumbers are small in size and fairly not common as the slicing cucumbers while the slicing cucumbers are a type that are common which are mostly enjoyed fresh and can be easily obtained from the grocery stores locally or the local markets.
Cucumber can be cultivated by growing them in the greenhouses and also outside. Cucumbers that are planted in the greenhouse can be planted into potting soils in big containers, bags used to grow plaint (planting bags) or can be planted into beds while cultivating the outdoor cucumbers requires warm soil, especially during the early summers or late springs for the best results.
When using greenhouse, it is recommended that the male flowers are removed from the greenhouse in order to avoid the fruits from having a bitter taste, unless a farmer is growing an all-female variety.
Is Cucumber a Fruit or a Vegetable?
A cucumber is mostly considered as a vegetable because of how it is used and added to the diet yet according to science, it is a fruit as it grows from flowers and it has a lot of seed that can be used for cultivation of future plants of cucumbers.
In a culinary sense, a cucumber is classified as a vegetable because of its additional bitter element and a tough texture in general.
According to culinary sense, a fruit is tangy, tart, sweet and has a soft fragile texture and with that, it classifies cucumber as a vegetable.
Are Cucumber Dangerous for Goats?
Although, as much as feeding cucumbers to the goats is nutritious and advantageous, one should be very cautious not to feed their goats with wild cucumbers in large amounts as the fruit contains toxic substance called cucumin that can cause infection of the intestines.
Cucumbers grown in most gardens from seeds, as well as those obtained from the grocery store are safe for goats to eat.
Wild cucumbers can cause bloated stomach and bleeding from the nose and mouth of the goats and then death.
When feeding the goats with the cucumbers, a farmer should be very careful not to over feed them with wild cucumbers. Wild cucumbers can also be used for medicinal purposes by the farmers to the goats especially during constipation.