Bamboo as forage?!

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by Pakanohida, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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  2. Synergy

    Synergy Junior Member

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    My neighbour here in British Columbia , Canada , moved some bamboo to the back corner of his property and it is spreading to form a nice thicket but it does not spread to my property , it makes a perfect wall in fact as my horses graze it .
     
  3. adiantum

    adiantum Junior Member

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    Goats love bamboo foliage. In fact, there is a whole group of invasive evergreen exotics, mostly originally brought in as landscaping plants, that goats love and they are valuable for providing forage in the winter when other greens are unavailable. The privets and evergreen Eleagnus come first to mind, and a bit of trial and error will come up with others. Some few are poisonous (azaleas and rhododendron) for instance, but in general if animals have free choice of a wide selection they are unlikely to poison themselves.
     
  4. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    I've got some bamboo in a pot the I suspect might be a running variety, rather than my other clumping varieties. I have thought about planting it out anyway on the perhaps delusional thought of "how bad can it really be?'. Is it delusional? or is there just an unreasonable fear of running bamboo out there. Is it just the lack of predators? Would regular harvest for various uses and a bit of animal forage not keep it in reasonable check?
     
  5. adiantum

    adiantum Junior Member

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    The fear of running bamboos is overwarranted. All the new shoots come up in a particular season, usually spring or with the onset of rains. Gather these to eat, or simply break them off, and you''re pretty much done for that year. The same purpose can be accomplished by "moating" the bamboo area with mown grass, hayfield, or regularly grazed pasture. Make the "moat" at least ten meters wide. Where you don't want them is next to buildings, pavements, walls, any kind of edge. The rhizomes will get up next to and under this and you will never control it then.
     
  6. PeterW

    PeterW Junior Member

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    This thread is extremely timely - as I will explain. Here in sub-tropical northern New South Wales we are moving into winter. The grass stays green here, but it stops growing and loses its nutritional value for our cows, meaning we have to buy hay or meal through winter. We have about 10 species of bamboo growing on our property, and since our first delivery of hay has not arrived yet, I've started cutting a culm of one of the large bamboos per day and feeding it to our cows. We have three cows on site at the moment, actually we have 6 altogether but three are temporarily staying with a neighbour. Our three cows now come running when they hear me start up the chain saw, and when I drag a big culm into their paddock they chew every single leaf off it - takes them about an hour if it's a big culm. They appear to love all the varieties of bamboo that I give them. Mostly it's been bambusa oldhamii, dendrocalamus strictus or dendrocalamus asper. Even though they obviously love it, I have lingering doubts over how good it is for them - their enthusiasm may just be because there's no other good feed at the moment.

    I was fascinated to read your contibution Pakanohida, and I read the research paper from the farm in Oregon - thanks for that reference. Alas, they were using temperate climate bamboos, none of them match the varieties we grow round here. I still found it encouraging on a general level, after all bamboo is just a big grass, whatever the variety. So if there is anyone else in a sub-tropical zone who has experimented with bamboo as a winter foliage, I'd be really eager to hear about it. So far I've only managed to get the vaguest references to using bamboo as fodder in Australia, let alone in our part of Australia.
     
  7. Greyfox

    Greyfox Junior Member

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    What a good article, bamboo is a grass and can be controlled by grazing.
    I am planting some bamboo plants for goats on our place, after reading this I think I will plant some more.
     
  8. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    my sheep & cows love it
    im looking for the edible running variety moso
    does anyone know where i could obtain some
     
  9. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    Peter MArshall, Cam's mate, has some near Braidwood. Looks bloody awesome too. Took them years for it to get established in the colder area, like 10 years, but what survived is going well now. Im sure I seen it around when I was searching for bamboo distributers around here.
     
  10. Synergy

    Synergy Junior Member

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    I am actually going to try to plant a few shoots as part of a mixed shelterbelt along the street to serve to screen my property and provide vertical browse along the property line for my beasties (presently the horses). since it serves well in that capacity where it border my property in another location.
     
  11. martyn

    martyn Junior Member

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    Our sheep and goats loved it so I moved them inside the chook pen - and teh chooks, ducks and geese really like it. I don't think there are any leaves left below 1 metre. Which is a problem because I wanted it as a wind break for the chooks.


    Martyn
     
  12. Stubby

    Stubby Junior Member

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    Thanks for the thread and the article. I am looking to plant golden bamboo (and it is a running variety) as a fodder for my horses. Sounds like it will be good to plant a few varieties of bamboo. Incidentally, golden bamboo is the one with the edible shoots... ;). I love bamboo shoots in stir fries. :)
     
  13. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    Graham i think you would be safe in your Area unless you leave the taps on
     
  14. parkitkecil

    parkitkecil New Member

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    Back to nature with bamboo
    bamboo is a grass and can be controlled by grazing.
    I am planting some bamboo plants for goats on our place, after reading this I think I will plant some more.
     
  15. Synergy

    Synergy Junior Member

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    Stubby , I too am pinching some golden bamboo that I have seen taking off in a vacant area off a roadside . I am going to contain it to use it as a sort of a nice landscape screening for a poultry coop except for one exterior perimeter shaded corner of my property where I am going to see how it fares uncontained . My horses do graze off all the green clumping bamboo that is in another exterior corner so I hope the golden bamboo likewise is horse forage safe.
     
  16. chook-in-eire

    chook-in-eire Junior Member

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    There's a chap in England doing some interesting trials with bamboo as part of a chicken foraging system - with the bamboo providing shelter and leaf litter harboring insects etc., though they also eat young shoots (which was not part of the plan).
    https://sustainablesmallholding.org/hardy-bamboo-and-chickens/
     
  17. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Look at that leaf litter:

    [​IMG]

    Monastery Bamboo
    Thyrostachys Siamensis
     
  18. Nigel Richards

    Nigel Richards Junior Member

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    Fascinating thread!

    I keep an ancient breed of Greek cattle; 'Steppe Shorthorn' - great dual-purpose foragers!
    They're always teaching me new things - last winter, we had a short, but particularly cold stretch; a large clump of bamboo kept them happy when there wasn't much alternative grazing due to snow. They prefered the live bamboo to good quality hay.

    Olive tree prunings/offcut branches are another extremely valuable scource of winter forage (as wise mediterranean folk know).
     

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