Can Horses Eat Bamboo?

Bamboo belongs to the true grass family Poaceae. This unique plant has different species used for building material, carriage support, and source of food. Many animals like goats, pigs, and pandas love to eat bamboo plants. Feeding bamboo to horses is a safe treat or not? That is the common question asked by horse lovers.

Actually noninvasive bamboo species  Bambusa oldhamii and Bambusa ventricosa reported relish for horses and livestock. Bamboo contains 10 to 20% crude protein and high in fiber. Feeding other species like yellow bamboo also found toxic to horses.

But more information needed about digestion and nutrition value of bamboos.

Here is quick guide that can help to find straight answer:

Can Horses Eat Bamboos?

Can Horses Eat Bamboos? Yes, you can feed bamboo to your horses. Some bamboo species are harmful to horses. A non-fatal disease also observed in horses. This disease was related to neurological manifestations. However, this case is rare, using bamboo as a treat or limited amount is not harmful.

Is bamboo poisonous to horses?

Bamboo is not poisonous to horses but an excess of everything is bad. Bamboo poisonous depends on the amount and species. However, feeding bamboo as a treat or mixture is not harmful to horses.

According to science directly they observed some neurological disease symptoms in northeastern Pará horses. These horses were feeding on bamboo species. For confirmation a controlled test conducted. Feeding three horses produced identical symptoms to the clinical picture (taken from already infected horses).

Science direct research paper observed more symptoms in naturally feeding horses than controlled. A simple reason was that ‘’ they fed large amounts of plants for a long time.

For confirmation their bamboo feeding interrupted and horses recovered from the disease. That was deep research on feeding horses. However, these few symptoms were observed.

  • Lack of motor coordination
  • Paresis of tongue
Can Horses Eat Bamboo shoots

Michigan State University (MSU) conducted interesting research while finding reasons behind the decreasing population of a panda. According to the horses and pandas are competing for food at the same place. This food mostly consisted of bamboo plants. Pandas and horses eat the same amount of bamboo but a herd of horses destroys reserved areas. That research is wild horses or horses may be adapted to those conditions.

Bamboo benefits for horses

Bamboo provides some unique benefits. It is found to be a robust plant that needs little maintenance. Many varieties drink little water and provide a better food source.

Bamboo is an extra source of fiber and proteins

Bamboo shoots are a useful resource of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and minerals with very low-fat contents. However, they are pungent in smell and bitter in taste. Fresh bamboo shoots have a good amount of thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6 and Vitamin E. They are a rich source of phytosterols and fibers.

There are some other treats for horses that are the best alternative for bamboo plants. You can feed like sunflower seeds, asparagus, Peanut butter.


Can Horses eat bamboo leaves?

Yes, bamboo leaves are safe for horses, They are a rich source of macro mineral elements like potassium and calcium. Bamboo leaves consist of a high concentration of micro-mineral elements like Iron and Manganese.

Can Miniature Horses Eat Bamboo?

Yes like horses, miniature horses can also eat bamboo. All treats like shoots, roots, and leaves are safe for them. They are a quick source of fiber and protein for miniature horses.


According to different poles, horse owners, and research, bamboo plants are safe for horses. In a rare case, bamboo plants cause nerve disease in horses but it depends on wild conditions and the feeding habits of horses. Bamboo plants have nutritional value and a good source of food for your horse.

Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.

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