It’s true! And more than this, produce can be invaluable for rounding out a sheep’s diet by making sure they have all of the nutrients and vitamins they need to thrive.
But how about tropical fruit, things they wouldn’t normally have access to. How about pineapple in particular? Can sheep eat pineapple?
Yes, sheep can eat pineapple safely, but they should have it only occasionally. Pineapple is wholesome and healthy, with a good assortment of vitamins C, B1, B6 etc., but eating too much of can lead to digestive trouble and health problems in sheep.
Interesting stuff. It makes you wonder how many sheep have ever had pineapple before. Musings aside, pineapple is safe for your sheep but you must, must mind the quantity if you don’t want them to get an upset stomach.
As an occasional treat to spoil them with, it won’t hurt them. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about feeding pineapple to your sheep.
Health Benefits of Pineapple for Sheep
Pineapple is most adored for its sublime, sweet taste and alluring fragrance, and it features in all kinds of cuisines all around the world with good reason.
Though it is a supremely tasty fruit, it is also pretty healthy, with a decent assortment of vitamins and mineral.
Pineapple is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B1 and vitamin B6, with the rest of the B vitamins present in much smaller quantities. Pineapple also has a little bit of choline.
Additionally, pineapple contains a ton of manganese, and small amounts of other essential minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.
For sheep, these vitamins and minerals are especially important for maintaining a healthy coat, strong bones and teeth, normal cell function, and preventing nutritional deficiencies.
Pineapple is an excellent source of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. These characteristics make pineapple a great fruit for boosting immunity, helping with healing and recovery, and maintaining good overall health.
And, last but not least, pineapple is a highly juicy fruit, about 86% water by weight, on average. This can help sheep stay hydrated on hot, dry days if you care to give them a little snack.
Pineapple is Very Sugary, Almost Too Sugary for Sheep
Pineapple is reasonably healthy and definitely delicious, but it is not an ideal food for sheep. The main issue is that pineapple is extremely sweet, with high sugar content.
This sweetness comes from fructose, which is present in pretty large quantities in pineapple.
Fructose is a type of simple sugar that the body can easily convert to glucose and use for energy.
Though it’s not necessarily bad for sheep in small amounts, eating too much fructose can lead to digestive problems and other health issues.
Additionally, the high sugar content in pineapple can cause sheep to gain weight if they eat too much of it.
This is because the body will store any unused fructose as glycogen in the liver, and if there is too much glycogen, it will be converted to fat and stored in the body.
For this reason, you should never give pineapple to sheep on a regular basis.
Can Sheep Eat Pineapple Raw?
Yes, and this is the best and most straightforward way to serve it to them. It will also ensure they get maximum nutrition from it.
Can Sheep Eat Pineapple Cooked?
Yes, but cooking seriously diminishes the already limited amount of nutrients that pineapple has.
Never Feed Pineapple to Sheep that Has Been Prepared with Harmful Ingredients
Since we are on the subject of cooking, now is a good time to mention that you must never feed sheep pineapple that has been prepared with harmful ingredients, like sugar or salt, or used as an ingredient in any food they shouldn’t have, be it a dessert or otherwise.
Sheep simply cannot have the same things that you and I enjoy, and no matter how bad you might want to share it with them, “people food” with other ingredients can spell bad news for your sheep.
Sugar and other fattening ingredients will certainly cause sheep to get an upset stomach or gain weight, and can even lead to major trouble like peritonitis, bloat, and other severe health crises. Those conditions can be fatal, and are always agonizing for the poor animal.
If you are going to cook pineapple for your flock, for whatever reason, never add anything to it. Stick with plain, simple pineapple only!
Beware of Pesticide on Grocery-bought Pineapple
One more thing to be cautious of. If you buy pineapple from the grocery store, beware that it is likely to be sprayed with pesticides.
These toxic chemicals can linger on the fruit even after washing, and can make your sheep very sick if they eat enough of it.
The best way to avoid this problem is to buy organic (and certified pesticide-free) pineapple, or grow your own.
If you do choose to go the store-bought route, be sure to wash the pineapple thoroughly before giving it to your flock, and make sure to peel it past the outermost surface of the flesh as a precaution.
How Often Can Sheep Have Pineapple?
Pineapple is not nutritionally complete, and also too sweet for sheep to have on a regular or even semi-regular basis.
It follows then that it is best to only give it to sheep as an occasional treat, in small quantities, rather than make it a usual supplement of their diet.
A small bit of pineapple once every couple of weeks is probably best.
Preparing Pineapple for Your Flock
Pineapple requires a little work if you want to give it to your flock. The tough, spiny skin or rind of pineapple can confound a sheep’s attempt to get at the delicious flesh, and can also pose a choking hazard.
Your best bet is to peel the pineapple and cut it into small pieces before giving it to your animals.
You can either give them the fresh fruit as-is, or cook it first (as long as you don’t add anything to it, as we’ve mentioned).
Some people believe that cooking pineapple makes it easier for sheep to digest, but this is uncertain.
Can Lambs Have Pineapple, Too?
Lambs can have pineapple once they are old enough to be eating solid food continuously. However, they probably shouldn’t.
Lambs are very vulnerable to developing gastrointestinal issues, and their delicate digestive systems can be easily upset by something as sugary as pineapple.
Tom has built and remodeled homes, generated his own electricity, grown his own food and more, all in quest of remaining as independent of society as possible. Now he shares his experiences and hard-earned lessons with readers around the country.
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