I think we’ve all heard the words: “Eh, what’s up doc?” a few times growing up. I know I did because Bugs Bunny was one of my favorite characters in the Merrie Melodies cast.
Of course, Bugs is a rabbit so munching on a carrot makes sense but what about sheep? Can sheep eat carrots?
Sheep can certainly eat carrots provided you don’t give them too much. Ideally, they should be added to the main feed as a supplement. They are great for improving eyesight, boosting the immune system, lowering cholesterol, helping with digestion, stabilizing the nervous system, and improving the health of the bones.
You Should Serve Carrots to Your Sheep in Moderation
Sheep aren’t particularly picky, they’ll eat pretty much any fruit or vegetable that they can find, but they are a little more discerning when it comes to veggies.
Carrots are a treat that sheep love getting from time to time. They like to chew them and enjoy the crunchiness of the orange vegetable.
Now, just because they can eat carrots, doesn’t mean that you should go crazy and serve them bags and bags of the things.
Too much will interfere with their main diet and make them sick. At most, your sheep should be getting one – maybe two carrots a day if you give them.
Like with all treats, moderation is your best friend.
Can Sheep Eat Canned Carrots?
Yes, and no. Technically speaking, sheep can eat canned carrots but it’s not really good for them.
Canned carrots typically have sugars, preservatives, and other things that aren’t healthy for sheep. A better option would be to stick with natural carrots that are free of those preservatives.
Can Sheep Eat Carrot Tops/Greens?
Yes. While they’re not too fond of the carrot greens, sheep can and will eat them. They’re not toxic, but like carrots, they should be given in moderation.
What Are The Benefits of Giving Your Sheep Carrots
Carrots are packed with beta-carotene, vitamins A and K. They’re also full of potassium, folate, and fiber. These nutrients serve to improve the eyesight of the sheep.
They also improve the overall health of the animal by bringing down their cholesterol and water retention. Carrots also help with stomach problems.
The high fiber content of a carrot helps with digestion, while the vitamins and minerals (K, B6, etc.) help to boost the immune system, improve the health of the bones, and keep the nervous system stable.
Can Lambs Eat Carrots?
As long as the carrots are soft enough, and the quantities are very limited, then it should be okay for a lamb to get a piece of carrot – mashing the carrot might be a better idea as lambs are still growing teeth.
How to Prepare Carrots for Your Sheep
We already know to serve in moderation, what about how to prepare/serve carrots to carrots? Well, there are a few ways to do this:
- Take a knife and slice the carrot into either small circular pieces or super thin sticks.
- Grated carrot makes a great topping for their regular food.
- Cooked, mashed carrots can be mixed into their regular food.
- Use a peeler to get super thin pieces of carrot to feed your sheep.
You can also mix the carrots in with other fruits for an extra special treat.
What Are The Risks of Giving Your Sheep Carrots
Obviously, if your sheep has never had carrots before then a slow introduction is necessary as too much at once could negatively affect their digestive systems.
There’s also a choking hazard if you don’t cut/slice the carrots into small, manageable pieces.
If sheep get too many carrots, it’ll interfere with their normal diets. They may skip regular meals, which is obviously going to be a serious problem.
While overeating may cause obesity in your animals, if they’re not eating what they’re supposed to, then there’s a risk of malnutrition set in – which can, in severe cases, be life-threatening.
Greg is a South African farmer and homesteader who’s been around animals ever since he can remember. He’s also an avid camper and hiker.