Can goats eat bamboo? Yes, most goats love bamboo and will eat any variety. There are a couple of things to remember when preparing bamboo and feeding it to your goats.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about feeding bamboo to your goats.
What is Bamboo?
Bamboo is a fast-growing evergreen plant that has been around for millions of years. It can grow up to more than 100 feet tall and is considered one of the fastest-growing plants on earth.
The bamboo in your yard will germinate with just water, sunlight, carbon dioxide, and moisture. Bamboo decomposes in the soil at a rate of 15-30 tons per acre annually.
There are more than 1,200 species of bamboo in the world with only about 25% being suitable for human consumption or use as building materials.
Can Goats Eat Bamboo?
Most goats will eat any type of bamboo. It is considered a weed, so the main concern in feeding it to your goat is bacteria and fungi that grow on bamboo stems that can cause your goat to get sick if they ingest too much.
Is Bamboo Safe for Goats?
Yes. Just like other forage options, you need to ensure that your goats are receiving the proper nutrients needed for good health. Always make sure they have access to plain water and don’t overfeed them with any one particular food source (i.e., provide a variety of feeds).
Bamboo is very high in fiber, which makes it an excellent feed option for goats. It helps keep them regular because of its roughage content. This can lead to fewer digestive issues in your herd, improve milk production, and better overall health.
As bamboo continues to grow, it stores naturally occurring silica in its leaves. Silica is an essential element in keeping the skeletal system strong over time. When overfed, goats can actually suffer from brittle bones, which can lead to all sorts of issues. Bamboo helps prevent this issue because it is a natural source of silica.
Health Benefits of Bamboo for Goats
Bamboo contains lots of fiber which is what keeps the digestive system regular, so it’s imperative for your herd to have an adequate intake. Protein-rich feeds can cause excess mucous, which may lead to respiratory issues in the herd.
Bamboo fiber acts as a natural feed that helps absorb this excess mucous and prevent any illness from developing.
Bamboo also contains taurine, which is essential for goat health because it prevents cardiovascular issues like heart attacks or strokes. Over time, bamboo can actually prolong your goat’s life by helping them avoid common age-related disorders.
Are there any Risks in Feeding Bamboo to Goats?
Bamboo is considered safe for goats, but only in moderation. If you feed them too much of it, they could end up getting diarrhea. This may be more common in younger goats because their digestive systems are not fully developed yet.
If you notice your goat has a runny nose or some other strange symptoms that don’t go away after a few days, take them to the vet immediately. They likely have an infection somewhere on their body and won’t be able to fight it off without treatment from a professional.
How to Prepare Bamboo for Goats?
If you want to feed bamboo to your goats, the best thing you can do is leave it in its natural state and let them graze on it as they please. If it’s a smaller size of bamboo, cut the bottom off so their heads will be able to reach the tops of the stalks and eat freely without getting stuck on any part of it.
You can also feed bamboo as a treat if you know there is some in your yard but don’t have time to bring them over to it. Just make sure that they don’t have access to too much or they may end up with diarrhea.
- It is important that you never use chemicals or pesticides on any forage source including bamboo because this can make them dangerous for goats.
- Choose mature stalks with thick walls. Younger stalks do not have woody walls yet and are better for human consumption.
- Do NOT feed bleached or painted bamboo because these contain toxic chemicals.
- Bamboo grows fast, so cut fresh pieces weekly.
- Goats love the leaves of young plants but only offer small amounts due to the oxalic acid content.
Can Goats Eat Cooked Bamboo?
Sure! They can eat it raw, but they may enjoy the flavor even more when it is cooked. You can make a batch of bamboo shoots or sauté them in butter for your goat.
Can Goats Eat Raw Bamboo?
Yes, goats can eat raw bamboo.
Bamboo is a safe and healthy option as long as you choose young shoots that are not at their full height yet. This will ensure they won’t get stuck on the large stalks and they can eat freely.
These shoots should not be more than 10 inches in circumference or 3 feet high so your goat doesn’t have to strain its neck while eating them.
Be sure to remove all of the leaves before feeding them to your herd because these contain oxalic acid which can give them diarrhea if eaten in excess. Also, cut off any dead woody parts near the base of the plant because this contains too much silica for their digestive systems to handle (silica is good in moderation, however).
How Often Should I Feed my Goats Bamboo?
Goats should only eat bamboo occasionally because there are not enough nutrients in it to feed other food sources that are necessary for good health. One or two stalks per day should be sufficient but do keep an eye on their behavior after you give them some fresh pieces.
If they start acting strange, take them back to their other food source immediately.
Bamboo grows quickly so you don’t need to feed large amounts of it either because goats will get bored with it quickly and not want it anymore after a few days.
Can Goats Eat Bamboo – Final Thoughts
So, can goats eat bamboo? The answer is yes – most goats love bamboo and will eat any variety. However, there are a couple of things to remember when preparing bamboo and feeding it to your goats.
Make sure the bamboo you feed them is cooked first, as uncooked bamboo can contain toxins that can be harmful to them. Also, monitor your goat’s intake of bamboo to ensure they don’t overindulge; too much bamboo can cause digestive problems.
With these tips in mind, you can feel confident knowing that you’re providing your goats with a healthy and tasty snack.