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Discussion on Kudzu

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cp
Member
Username: cpacer

Post Number: 345
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 - 4:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Does anyone know what the nutritional value of kudzu is? I have some in my yard that I tried to kill off last summer, and when I let my horses graze in this area they go to town on the kudzu!

I don't think it's toxic, in fact the small town I live in has an annual Kudzu Festival where people bake kudzu pies, jellies, and who knows what else.

Just wondering if it's something I should limit the intake on. Also wondering if it could be the answer to today's hay shortages since it grows a foot a day, yes A DAY (maybe I'll keep it as back-up).
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Erika L
Member
Username: erika

Post Number: 872
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 - 5:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hey CP, I googled "kudzu +livestock +feed" and got numerous sites including the FDA that say it is excellent grazing for livestock.
It is high in protein and fixes nitrogen ala alfalfa or legumes.
One of the reasons it was brought to this country was a feed.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 18654
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jun 7, 2007 - 7:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello cp,
There is little research on kudzu as a feed for horses and have been unable to locate much about the general nutrient profile other than protein and fiber. I have had at least one client that used it early in the summer.

Early in the growing season, it appears OK nutritionally, as it matures it is not that good. Though the protein numbers are higher than expected, it appears to have lower digestibility, at least in cattle, compared to traditional forages especially legumes. Other than the general caution of using foodstuffs where there is not a lot of information, I see no reason to limit intake and you can consider it a forage just be sure good quality hay is also available if the horse wants it and you address any decreases in condition with a good quality high protein concentrate. In other words, "follow the Nutrition Overview guidelines".
DrO
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cp
Member
Username: cpacer

Post Number: 346
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, Jun 7, 2007 - 10:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Good idea Erika, I'll do the same for more info.

DrO, what kind of forage would it be considered? Not grass or legume. Think I'll just let them snack on it once in a while, but won't allow it to grow enough to strangle everything else in the yard.

Thanks!
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jojo
Member
Username: jojo15

Post Number: 968
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, Jun 7, 2007 - 7:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kudzu the vine that ate the south... grin...
got that off a cute article on goats used to graze it in the South East.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/05/us/05goats.html?em&ex=1181275200&en=0b98b09aaa 2026fa&ei=5070
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 18660
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Jun 8, 2007 - 6:36 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

cp, kudzu is a vine that early in the growing season would be considered a suitable forage for grazing horses but rapidly matures into a subpar food source. Grazing may control its spread pretty well as it does not tolerate it well.
DrO
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