Bamboo is grown throughout the world mainly in Asia, America and Africa. It belongs to the Poaceae family. Most bamboo varieties are hard and can grow well in cold, tropical mountainous climates.
Bamboos are one of the fastest-growing plants and can grow up to a length of 60 cm in a day. There are plenty of health benefits of bamboo as they are packed with vitamins and minerals.
Can Goats Eat Bamboo?
Goats can safely eat most bamboo species. Bamboo shoots & leaves can make nutritious fodder for domestic animals like Goats. Apart from adding nutritional benefits, Bamboo is available as a green source of feed throughout the year.
You can feed your goat less than 10% of its body weight in a day. For every 44 kgs, you can feed around 4 kgs of bamboo leaves to your goat. Remember that bamboo leaves contain more calcium in them compared to grass.
The feeding requirement depends on your goat’s weight, age, and sex. Bamboo is a super healthy and sustainable source of feed for goats.
The Cambridge University Press research states that Bamboo stays green almost throughout the year even in terrible weather, making it an amazing source of food for goats and other livestock. Bamboo can help save goats from gastrointestinal parasites.
The Agricultural Research by International Bamboo and Rattan Organization states that Bamboo is a very productive source of food for livestock. It is also likely to become a year-round source of animal fodder.
Bamboo is safe for consumption for goats. It has been used a feed for livestock all over the world. When it comes to different species of bamboo, then it may be a little worrisome.
Different species like Semiarundinaria Fastuosa, Arundinaria Gigantea and Phyllostachys spp are harmless for goats. On the other hand, they are super healthy for goats and other ruminants.
Species like Heavenly Bamboo or Nandina are toxic for ruminants. If consumed, it can kill them within hours. Urgent vet intervention is advised to save the animal.
Benefits of Using Bamboo as a Fodder for Goats
Bamboo provides some unique health benefits that other fodder crops do not. It is a sturdy plant and needs little maintenance. Most varieties drink little water and it is a primary source of food for many animals throughout the year.
Bamboo is a food source in many countries for goats, sheep, cows and other livestock. Other than being a food source, it is a livelihood benefit for smallholder communities and rural development programmes.
After the Bamboo poles are mature (3-5 years), they can be cut and harvested for biomass as woody products for the cottage industry or on the farm.
The best part about Bamboo is that since it is a plant and not a tree, it keeps growing when cut. It can serve as food source, fodder and woody material.
Can Goats Eat Bamboo Plants?
Bamboo plants are edible for goats and they are a brilliant food source for ruminants. A study from Madagascar researched bamboo leaves and found that they are an ideal replacement of fed maize silage.
The study was funded by The International Bamboo and Rattan Organization to find out whether bamboo leaves are eligible to be used as animal fodder when there is a shortage.
The positive results show that bamboo leaves are nutritious and encourages goat owners to feed bamboo leaves without having to worry about the adverse effects.
Can Goats Eat Bamboo Leaves?
Yes, goats can consume bamboo leaves. Before you feed them bamboo leaves, ensure you pick them from the bamboos that are not chemically grown. Most common bamboo trees in the United States are Red Bamboos and Moso Bamboos.