Can Cows Eat Grapes?

As animal caretakers, we want to ensure that our animals never go hungry, and that they eat nutritious and healthy food. Here are a few things to consider when asking the question: “Can Cows Eat Grapes?”

As known herbivores, Can Cows Eat Grapes?

Yes. Cows can eat grapes. However, just as with all other food sources that stray from the usual grass and hay diet, grapes should, if eaten, be done so in moderation. Too much grape in their diet may lead to indigestion and bloating. 

Grape byproducts (called grape marc — skin, pulp, seeds, and stems mixed together) produced by the wine-making industry actually help to lower the cost of raising cattle. During times of drought, this alternate food source is often used by cattle farmers to get by. They make the food material into a cake for easier feeding.

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What are Grapes?

Grapes are round fruits (botanically classified as berries) of the woody crawling vines of the flowering plants of the genus Vitis. Generally occurring in clusters, grapes are found in varieties of colors (red, purple, green, etc), forms (round, plump, elongated, etc) and content (with-seed and seedless). Grapes are usually the raw fruit material which are used to make raisins, jam, grape juice, wine, and vinegar.

Nutritional Value of Grapes for Cows

Eating grapes offers some nutrition for your cow, and their nutritional breakdown for one cup of grapes is as follows:

Protein1 g
Fat0.2 g
Carbohydrate27 g
Calories104 cal
Fiber1.4 g

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Benefits of Eating Grapes for Cows

  1. Lower Methane Emissions – Because cows produce Methane in their digestive system as they process their food, it has been noted that feeding cows grapes as food help to lower overall production of the greenhouse gas by 15%
  1. Improve Heart Health – with its beneficial compounds, grapes help to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol levels of these big bovine beasts, lessening the risks of heart disorders and diseases.
  1. Packed with Antioxidants – in relation to the many compounds and vitamins, grapes also help to eliminate free radicals, which, when unchecked, may cause complications such as Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Cancer
  1. Improve Eye Health – Not only do grapes help to protect against common eye diseases and disorders, they also lower the risk of Glaucoma, Cataracts, and Diabetic Eye Disorder.
  1. Makes for Stronger Bones – With the presence of minerals such as Potassium and Magnesium, grapes help to prevent osteoporosis or brittle bones amongst the big bovine bessies, while also strengthening overall bone density to support their bulky frames.
  1. Antibacterial/Antifungal/Anti-Inflammatory – With the cocktail of health beneficial vitamins and minerals present, grapes help cows combat bacterial diseases, fungal infections, autoimmune disorders, Arthritis, and many more debilitating conditions.

The Danger of Cows Eating Grapes

Studies have shown that when dairy cows include grapes in their diet, they reduce their overall milk yield or production by 10%

Also, too much grape in their diet may lead to Cattle Bloat (generally known as Pasture Bloat), which is indigestion caused by an excessive amount and accumulation of gas in the cows’ rumen (a large section of their digestive system). This condition causes the cow major discomfort, difficulty breathing, frequent urination and/or defacation, and in some cases, sudden collapse and even death. Though usually non-fatal, bovine deaths due to bloat often are caused by negligence and lack of monitoring. Basically, the components of Grapes cause the cow’s gut to fill with gas like a balloon. As it does so, presses against the surrounding organs causing all the aforementioned discomfort to the cow

In Summary : Cows are allowed to snack on Grapes

Let them have cake, the grape cake, or Marc. This combination of seeds, pulp, skins, and stems actually helps both the farms (through lower raising costs) and the animals themselves. However, too much of it will also lead to losses for both the farm (lower milk yield) and the cow. Let them have these grape cakes in moderation for overall happiness and prosperity.

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