Not Just For Pandas - Bamboo Leaves As A Sustainable, Organic Poultry Feed
CHICAGO - April 21, 2017 - PRLog -- EcoPlanet Laboratories, subsidiary of Chicago-based EcoPlanet Bamboo Group, has worked with the acclaimed Poultry Science Department at the University of Georgia to identify the potential benefits of bamboo leaves as a sustainable feed for raising commercial poultry.
Not just for pandas. Of course the iconic image of pandas munching on bamboo leaves should be an indication of the potential of these plants to support a nutritious and well balanced diet for larger animals with considerable nutritional requirements. However, with an increasing focus on the use of carefully selected bamboo species to support reforestation efforts across Latin America and Africa, it's time to understand the wider ranging application of bamboo leaves beyond the panda.
Although used extensively in traditional medicine across Asia and Latin America, the benefits of bamboo leaves still remain relatively unknown. With more than 1,400 species, the leaves of each bamboo have been shown to harbor a unique set of flavonoids and potential benefits. Testing of Guadua bamboo leaves from native Guadua aculeata bamboo in Nicaragua indicates an extremely wide range of essential amino acids. Twenty-one essential amino acids, with a digestibility of 77%, were found to occur in this species, which is being used to restore the rainforests of Central America.
Tropical bamboo species are some of the fastest growing plants on earth, with an ability for their tree-like culms to grow more than a meter a day. This fast growth is in part attributed to large volumes of leafy photosynthetic material. Each year, large volumes of these leaves are dropped, creating a vast renewable feedstock for chickens, and other livestock if managed correctly.
Further analysis and testing has shown that in addition to the high digestibility of essential amino acids, the bamboo leaves of Guadua aculeata bamboo have a high fiber content. This has benefits in particular for pullet and breeder hens, where ensuring high fiber, low fat diets is a necessity. These leaves can be simply ground or pelletized to provide an effective feed.
For countries keen to increase domestic food security and reduce reliance on foreign imports, identifying potential new feeds to support poultry and livestock production can be a critical step.
For more information on the research and development carried out by EcoPlanet Laboratories, visit www.epblaboratories.com.
For more information on EcoPlanet Bamboo's plantation operations, visit www.ecoplanetbamboo.com/
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