Tropical clumping bamboos typically have a large volume of leafy material, which gets replaced on an annual basis. The clumps drop their leaves during the dry season, and these are replaced with new photosynthetic material with the onset of the following rains.
During the early years of development of a bamboo plantation on degraded land, the leaf litter that these plants put down is a valuable resource to increase the humus layer and the organic content of depleted soils. For this reason EcoPlanet Bamboo does not harvest the leaves until the ecosystem has been stabilized and a closed canopy achieved.
However, in preparation for the time when the vast volumes of leaves can be put to use, particularly from EcoPlanet Bamboo's plantations and bamboo farms in Nicaragua, we at EPB Laboratories have been carrying out a series of research experiments in conjunction with the internationally acclaimed Poultry Science Department at the University of Georgia.
The first of these experiments focused on the nutritional value of bamboo leaves, in particular the leaves of Guadua aculeata bamboo that EcoPlanet is growing at commercial scale in Nicaragua. The results have been fascinating. 21 essential amino acids were identified as occurring in significant quantities within these bamboo leaves. Furthermore the digestibility of these amino acids from a ground leaf meal was assessed, and we found that the mean digestibility of these 21 amino acids was high, at 77.2%.
Through a number of additional studies, also carried out in conjunction with the University of Georgia, EcoPlanet Laboratories concluded that:
1. If well ground, bamboo leaves, in general and more specifically from Guadua aculeata are an ideal high fiber, low energy ingredient which have the potential to be a good and nutritional component of a controlled diet for both pullet and breeder hens, where the avoidance of body fat is critical.
2. Such leaves would most ideally provide an alternative to current high fiber ingredients such as soy hulls or rice husks.
EcoPlanet Laboratories has since carried out further scientific studies to determine the optimal percentage of a pullet or breeder hen diet that could be made up from these ground bamboo leaves.
For more information or to source bamboo leaves as a poultry feed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org