Bamboo Leaves - Safe To Feed To Guinea Pigs?

RescuedGuineas

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
Messages
23
Reaction score
17
Points
155
Location
Chester, UK
Hello all,
I've been reading up on whether or not it's safe to feed bamboo leaves to guinea pigs... but I'm still not sure of the definitive answer. Can anyone help?

As it's now too cold to put the girls out on the lawn for fresh grass, and the grass has stopped growing, I started to google for new ideas for green treats in addition to their veggies. (I'm growing grass indoors in pots, but don't have enough to feed them every day).
I found a suggestion that as bamboo is a type of grass, it should be OK, and also found a few examples of people feeding the leaves to their guineas and chinchillas:

http://mycavykingdom.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/pandas-might-eat-bamboo-but-cavies-do.html

I have bamboo in my garden which has smooth, broad leaves (no jagged edges etc) and it stays green throughout the winter. I cut some leaves and very nervously offered them to my girls.

They loved it!

I've watched them like a hawk for a couple of days, and can't detect any negative effects. It would be great to have something else to offer them, but I don't want to give them much more until I'm confident that I'm not doing them any harm. (I've not given them the shoots / canes in case they splinter - it's literally just the green leaves on the thin stems at the ends of the plant).

Some of the references I've found are here (including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals which lists it as "non-toxic" but doesn't specify guinea pigs):
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/bamboo
"Bamboo - Additional Common Names: Golden Bamboo, Fishpole Bamboo
Scientific Name: Phyllostachys aurea
Family: Gramineae
Toxicity: Non-Toxic to Dogs, Non-Toxic to Cats, Non-Toxic to Horses"
http://abyssinianguineapigtips.com/ultimate-guinea-pig-food-list/
"Guinea pigs can eat bamboo shoots. They are high in Vitamin C. Bamboo doesn’t have a high nutritional level, but it does offer lots of fiber. They can also eat bamboo leaves"
Australian Cavy Sanctuary: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=424591344249613&id=107965959257085
"Did you know that guinea pigs can eat Bamboo leaves/shoots? Bamboo nutritional level is low which is one reason why Panda's eat so much of it! But it is high in fiber. It has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. The grass is about 50%+ water and is low in calories. Bamboo shoots are rich in vitamin C and certain other vitamins."
https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/25693-Bamboo
https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/73782-Can-I-feed-my-guinea-pigs-bamboo-leaves
https://www.furryfacts.com/can-chinchillas-eat-bamboo/

Can anyone point me to some reliable references?
Bamboo leaves would make a great high-fibre, high-vitamin C boredom breaker if I can be confident that it's safe...
Thank you!
 

Janice C

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
2,447
Reaction score
2,781
Points
975
Location
Scottish Borders
looked up Google and abyssinian guinea pig site states that they can eat the shoots and the leaves as they contain vit c and are high fibre.
 

Lady Kelly

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
15,090
Reaction score
22,625
Points
2,115
Location
Leicester
I feed mine it and they love it. Been feeding it sparsely for a few years. I once used it as a bit of a top up when I was low on hay and waiting for a delivery to turn up
 

RescuedGuineas

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
Messages
23
Reaction score
17
Points
155
Location
Chester, UK
looked up Google and abyssinian guinea pig site states that they can eat the shoots and the leaves as they contain vit c and are high fibre.
Thank you Janice. I'd found that website but as with all things "internet" it's sometimes difficult to judge if they are a reputable source. Would you feel confident feeding bamboo leaves to your guineas?
 

RescuedGuineas

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
Messages
23
Reaction score
17
Points
155
Location
Chester, UK
I feed mine it and they love it. Been feeding it sparsely for a few years. I once used it as a bit of a top up when I was low on hay and waiting for a delivery to turn up
That's good to know! I've only left it a few days so didn't know if there might be long term effects!
Thank you!
 

Lady Kelly

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
15,090
Reaction score
22,625
Points
2,115
Location
Leicester
That's good to know! I've only left it a few days so didn't know if there might be long term effects!
Thank you!
I've not noticed any effects. Two of my pigs who passed last winter were 5.5 years and 7 years old. They had been having bamboo on occasion for maybe 3 or 4 years. The younger one only ever went to the vet twice in her life and the older one had health problems (fatty lumps and a sebaceous cyst) but nothing was attributed to the bamboo. Obviously I can't say for definite
 

Janice C

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
2,447
Reaction score
2,781
Points
975
Location
Scottish Borders
Thank you Janice. I'd found that website but as with all things "internet" it's sometimes difficult to judge if they are a reputable source. Would you feel confident feeding bamboo leaves to your guineas?
Yes. I feel it is a type of grass so if I could find any in this area I would feed a little occasionally as does @Lady Kelly
 

acapae

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Nov 5, 2016
Messages
411
Reaction score
257
Points
405
Location
UK
Mine get bamboo :) Not a lot, but since it stays green through winter and is meant to grow quickly... *glares at slow-growing bamboo*
 
Top