It is important that you maintain strict control over your sheep’s diet. However, let’s be honest, there may be those times when you want to treat your sheep a little bit. This means that you may want to give your sheep apples. So, can sheep eat apples?
Most people don’t think twice about feeding their sheep the occasional apple, but is this really the best thing for them? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of feeding apples to sheep so that you can make an informed decision.
Can Sheep Eat Apples?
Yes, sheep can eat apples. Although, not in massive quantities.
Apples are a source of essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. They can make a nice treat for your sheep, and they’re also helpful in keeping them hydrated.
However, apples have huge amounts of sugar in them. This can lead to a condition known as acidosis which, essentially, makes it difficult for your sheep to breathe. While the risk is minimal, it is still a risk.
In addition to this, the seeds in an apple can be pretty toxic for the sheep. If they are not removed before you feed them to your sheep, then there is a risk that the animal can end up getting pretty ill.
That being said, sheep can have a small amount of apple as a treat every now and then. They do enjoy the apple. Much like us, sheep love the sweet stuff. In addition to this, there are some nutrients in apples that can be highly beneficial to sheep, albeit not in the same quantities that they would get from their standard feed.
Can Sheep Eat Apple Peels?
Yes, sheep can eat apple peels without any problem. In fact, many people believe that the peels are actually more nutritious than the flesh of the apple itself.
That said, some sheep may prefer the taste of the apple flesh more than the peel and will avoid eating it if given the choice.
If this is the case with your sheep, you can either peel the apples before giving them to them or just give them the flesh and save the peels for yourself!
How Many Apples Can Sheep Eat?
We wouldn’t give a sheep more than one or two apples per week. It really is something that should be strictly given as a treat.
You probably wouldn’t want to give the sheep the apples ‘straight’ either. Instead, you should mix it up into their food. It makes it a little bit easier for the sheep to digest.
This will help prevent stomach upset and ensure that they’re getting the nutrients they need without overdoing it on the sugar content. If you have a large flock of sheep, you may need to adjust this amount accordingly.
Just be sure to keep an eye on how much everyone is eating and make adjustments as necessary.
Preparing Apples For Sheep Consumption
Preparing apples for your sheep shouldn’t be too tricky.
We do suggest that you cut them up into small chunks. This can prevent your animals from choking on them. You do not have to remove the skin. In fact, the skin is very nutritionally dense, which means it can be fantastic for your animal.
It is important that you remove the seeds from any apples that you give your animal. As we said before, there is a risk that it can cause toxicity in sheep.
The risk is minimal if they are only eating one or two apples per week. However, let’s be honest, when it is so easy to remove the seeds from the apples, is that really a risk that you want to be taking?
You should mix the apples up into your sheep’s normal food. However, you can also hand feed them, if you wish.
A lot of people don’t like doing that, though. There is always a risk that it can make sheep aggressive. After all, they start thinking that they are going to get a tasty treat every time that you hold out your hand.
All in all, apples are a perfectly safe treat for your sheep – just be sure to feed them in moderation and avoid giving them moldy or rotten apples.
Just don’t forget that apples should never be a staple part of a sheep’s diet. They are too high in sugar, and they don’t carry all of the nutrients that sheep need to be healthy.