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Bamboo is the fastest growing plant fed to different livestock animals. This very palatable feed is not only nutritious but many animals love eating bamboo, videos of pandas eating bamboo shoots provide enough evidence.
Can goats eat bamboo? When it comes to feeding bamboo to goats, fortunately, it is safe to feed bamboo to the goats.
Is Bamboo Good For Goats To Eat?
Goats can eat this sustainable, nutritious food as much as they want. It can also be used as a type of animal fodder for goats to eat complementary to the main diet. Bamboo can also be used as a temporary diet replacement for hay.
The research conducted by the Cambridge University Press states that the bamboo’s ability to stay green nearly all year round makes it perfect for livestock.
It has all the potential to be a year-round source of animal fodder for livestock.
Bamboo Species for Goats
Bamboo is not toxic at all, even in many countries, it is served as fodder for cows, sheep, goats, and other livestock.
When talking about different species of bamboo, some can be dangerous for ruminants to consume.
Bamboo species like Phyllostachys spp, Semiarundinaria Fastuosa, and Arundinaria Gigantea are edible for goats and ruminants thanks to their nutritional value.
Another deadly species called Heavenly Bamboo or Nandina is life-threatening and toxic to the ruminants.
When consumed, it results in the death of the animal, that too, within hours. If immediate veterinary care is not provided, the death of the animal is inevitable.
Besides the toxic bamboo species, other bamboo plant species have many essential nutrients for keeping the adorable goats healthy.
It is easy to plant, requires little maintenance, and can be grown almost throughout the year.
Nutritional Value of Bamboo for Goats
Bamboo is a member of the Poaceae family, this tall arborescent grass is mainly grown in Africa, Asia, and America.
It comes with several health benefits and serves as an excellent source of many essential vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is important for goats or any animal, for that matter. With the ample supply of Vitamin A, the goat’s vision will be improved. Pumpkins for goats is another alternative to Vitamin A. It also improves the health and condition of important organs such as kidneys and lungs. Vitamin A improves the immune system as well as reduces the risk of goats developing cataracts.
- Vitamin B6: This water-soluble vitamin is very valuable for the goat’s health as it aids in improving brain health and reducing the risk of cardiac diseases. Vitamin B6 is also responsible for creating new proteins and breaking down dietary proteins.
- Fiber: Bamboo is high in fiber that improves the digestive and immune systems of the goat. The high fiber in bamboo prevents constipation by boosting digestive health. Feed Cabbage to goats for fiber alternative.
- Iron and Manganese: Iron is responsible for the transportation of oxygen in red blood cells. Not only does it improve the overall immune health of goats but also helps with fatigue. A sufficient supply of Manganese boosts the functioning of the brain and nervous system.
- Calcium: As everyone knows, calcium is crucial for growth, health, and strengthening the bones and teeth. Bamboo, being a good source of calcium, provides enough energy to the goats and supports normal muscle function.
- Potassium: Potassium helps lower blood pressure and improve bone density in goats. This essential mineral is important for the regulation of fluid balance in the body and also prevents loss of muscle mass. Strawberries for goats are the best alternative to potassium.
Can Goats Eat Bamboo Leaves and Shoot?
As long as it is not Heavenly bamboo, goats can eat bamboo leaves and shoot. As the main plant, leaves are also edible, in fact quite nutritious.
These bamboo leaves replace the usually fed maize silage diet of the cattle in case of shortage.
Many bamboo species have edible bamboo shoots or bamboo sprouts. This part of the plant can be an excellent treat for goats.
Preparing Bamboo For the Goats
Keep the preparation as simple as possible for goats to get accustomed to eating it. Bamboo is easier to embed into their diet as it requires less preparation and can be given as a whole.
However, if you want to make some feed preparations for your dear goats, peel the outer tough layer and cut it into smaller pieces.
Cut it into any shape but make sure that the bamboo pieces are small enough for goats to devour easily.
Like Chinese bamboo, heavenly bamboo is a toxic plant species and many goat keepers advise not to feed it to the goats.
When consumed too much, it can have harmful effects on their health, and in some cases, it can lead to death.
Bamboo is a nutritious and sustainable food quite beneficial for the goats. It is safe for them to eat except the two toxic bamboo plant species, Chinese and Heavenly bamboo.