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View Full Version : Looking for info re Phyllostachys as fodder


tharlow
24th October 2005, 08:05 PM
Hey Mark and everyone,

Someone recently asked me if it was safe to use bamboo as cattle fodder. Here's what I replied:

I've read the Japanese use it as cattle fodder and supposedly would feed it to strengthen favored race horses. Doing a quick Google search, I could only find research on tropicals as fodder.

Of the two groups (tropicals versus temperates) I'd have more concerns about eating the tropicals because it's important to cook the cyanide compounds out of their shoots (for human consumption), but apparently those species have been used for cattle fodder based on those studies. I'm pretty certain you'll have a plant in the genus Phyllostachys. These include many of the best eating ones with the mildest flavor. There are some others cold hardy enough for here, but those are the most common. Anyway Phyllostachys have lower levels of the compounds that make the tropicals bitter. Long story short, it's safe for cattle. I can't attest to the nutrient levels, but occasional feeding should be fine. I know from a grove clean up that cattle seem to like it. I'll continue to look for nutrient analyses.

So does anyone know of a nutrient analysis performed on Phyllostachys?

Thanks In Advance, Tom

Mark Meckes
25th October 2005, 12:51 PM
Hi Tom,
It was disappointing not to readily find detailed info through an internet search on the nutritional analysis of Phyllostachys spp and other bamboos as forage /fodder ... perhaps I didn't dig deeply enough, and hopefully someone will find the info you need.
It's quite possible that this info is buried in other printed research articles, though I would be cautious in using a single research article for determining nutritional value as there are many conditions that would give rise to variations of results, such as location / climate, growing conditions, season of harvest, presence of plant insect pests, and method made available, such as browse, fodder or silage etc etc

In the USA, apart from past agricultural research conducted on the indigenous species, Arundinaria gigantea as livestock forage, most active research on nutritional value of bamboo as browse material appears to be coming from zoological institutions.

Mark Meckes
25th October 2005, 08:57 PM
Hi Tom,
Keep in mind that there is a difference in nutritional value of ...
- shoots - of which there is more info available
- leaves - which will vary with location, age/freshness, season harvested, insect damage etc
- leaves and stems - of which culm tops are shredded and fermented with ie, molasses, into silage to make more digestable.

Another question ... what type of livestock?

----- From an internet search ...

Nutritive Quality Of Bamboo Browse For Livestock. Proceedings Of The American Forage And Grassland Council Conference. - Halvorson, J.J., Cassida, K.A., Turner, K.E. 2004.
See Technical abstract ( http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/Publications.htm?seq_no_115=165680)
Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF APPALACHIAN SOIL RESOURCES
Location: Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center, Beaver, WV
" ...research to determine (temperate bamboos) ability to withstand hill-land Appalachian conditions and provide forage for goats."
From abstract ...
"Nutritive quality of bamboo leaves was similar to that of other browses, and bamboo retained quality well through the winter, suggesting bamboo may have potential as a winter feed in central Appalachia."

------------
Excerpts from the article Bamboo cultivation and management (http://www.giantpandaonline.org/captivemanagement/nutrition_articles/bamboocult.htm)
by John Updike, Bamboo Specialist (San Diego Zoo)
Panda / Bamboo browse program

"Our pandas have definite bamboo favorites, while many species are eaten regularly throughout the year. Phyllostachys aurea is one of the most desired species"

Phyllostachys species ...
Phyllostachys aurea
Phyllostachys aureosulcata
Phyllostachys bambusoides
Phyllostachys nigra
Phyllostachys vivax
Phyllostachys bissetti
-----------------------------

I doubt they would have tried all Phyllostachys species known, to get a complete comparsion, and quality of harvested materials is based on what was grown locally in San Diego.

~ Mark

tharlow
25th October 2005, 09:45 PM
Thanks Mark,

I got the feeling he doesn't know which species he has, and I haven't seen it yet. I'm especially new to IDing runners, but hope I get a chance to try getting his right in the spring when it's shooting.

I think he's looking at involving his cattle as part of his containment strategy. I think he planted a while back and has gotten more bamboo than he expected and is looking for things to do with it.

I did get this from Gerald Nelson, who once did a study on ten Phyllostachys as potential cattle feed. He found henon to be the best at 20.88% crude protein and he still feeds with it. He said the analyses of the others were close. I think these were based on leaves/branches.

Thanks, Tom

tonybellah
28th March 2007, 10:26 PM
Hey Mark and everyone,

Someone recently asked me if it was safe to use bamboo as cattle fodder. Here's what I replied:

I've read the Japanese use it as cattle fodder and supposedly would feed it to strengthen favored race horses. Doing a quick Google search, I could only find research on tropicals as fodder.

Of the two groups (tropicals versus temperates) I'd have more concerns about eating the tropicals because it's important to cook the cyanide compounds out of their shoots (for human consumption), but apparently those species have been used for cattle fodder based on those studies. I'm pretty certain you'll have a plant in the genus Phyllostachys. These include many of the best eating ones with the mildest flavor. There are some others cold hardy enough for here, but those are the most common. Anyway Phyllostachys have lower levels of the compounds that make the tropicals bitter. Long story short, it's safe for cattle. I can't attest to the nutrient levels, but occasional feeding should be fine. I know from a grove clean up that cattle seem to like it. I'll continue to look for nutrient analyses.

So does anyone know of a nutrient analysis performed on Phyllostachys?

Thanks In Advance, Tom

Hi,Tony here,I'm also from the austin area and I make native flutes,farmers have been using bamboo in our area for over 100 years as winter fodder for horses and cattle although most of the newer farmers have forgotten its uses,I'm not sure of the species but its pretty prevelent east of IH35,I have harvested several from the granger area and they make fine flutes although a little thin,if you could tell me the species prevelent to this area that would be cool.I'll try to get some pics next time out.

Mark Meckes
29th March 2007, 05:17 PM
Hi Tony,
Here's some pics of goats munching on bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea):
http://www.bamboocraft.net/bamboo/data/760/medium/PaurGoatsAuTX040329-062.jpg (http://www.bamboocraft.net/bamboo/showphoto.php?photo=3910) Bamboo as Forage Gallery (http://www.bamboocraft.net/bamboo/showgallery.php?cat=760)

Regarding bamboo species around Austin ...

The most common species is ...

Phyllostachys aurea (introduced to Texas many decades ago):
http://www.bamboocraft.net/bamboo/data/503/medium/PaurAuTX040328-059.jpg (http://www.bamboocraft.net/bamboo/showphoto.php?photo=3915) Gallery of pics (http://www.bamboocraft.net/bamboo/showgallery.php?cat=503)

There are many other Phyllostachys species that have been introduced in the last couple decades.

Prevalent along roadsides and streambanks and not technically a bamboo but a cane producing grass is ...

Arundo donax:
http://www.bamboocraft.net/bamboo/data/572/medium/Adonax050810ATX-910.jpg (http://www.bamboocraft.net/bamboo/showphoto.php?photo=1302) Gallery of pics (http://www.bamboocraft.net/bamboo/showgallery.php?cat=572)

Also there is the native species growing naturally in locations more towards east Texas ...
Arundinaria gigantea:
http://www.bamboocraft.net/bamboo/data/543/medium/AgiganteaZBGATX050521-449.jpg (http://www.bamboocraft.net/bamboo/showphoto.php?photo=1357) Gallery of pics (http://www.bamboocraft.net/bamboo/showgallery.php?cat=543)
I do not know the extent of it's current distribution. There is also a smaller native species in places ... A. tecta

Does it look like any of these?

Please do take pics of the bamboo you mentioned when you can.

Mark

doc harmony
17th March 2008, 10:27 PM
My horses eat the heck out of the local bamboos. One is thin 1/2 " and up to 10 feet. Gets very bushy on top if cut. The other is 1/2 to almost 2 " and up to 30 ft. Both green and the equine have choosen them over good quality hay this spring. Their diet is 50 % bamboo now. Ruby stopped chewing on the stall wood. She chews on bamboo now leaves, stems and smaller stalks!
I than take the stalks to the garden for snow pea trelesses.

The larger pieces is why I googled ya all to see how to cure them. I will put them in warm ventaled shade and try some heat cures. Thank you-all

???? Searching to find out if I should I ram a rod down them to open the core disks?????????|

Marc