Bee Pollen For Goats?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by MellonFriend, May 29, 2020.

  1. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    So my older sister is a beekeeper, and as such I have access to all sorts of bee products. She regularly gives the pollen she cleans off the bottom boards of the hives to our chickens, and this has me thinking about whether I could feed pollen to my goats. I have been doing some research, and the only thing I could find on it was from people giving it to horses as a dietary supplement. Pollen can be very high in protein, it has loads of amino acids and some vitamins and minerals. It makes me wonder if I could use pollen as a way to reduce grain intake. Pollen can be as high a 35% protein. I know I would have to start small, but I cant really find anything that should stop me from trying.

    Very little research has been done on bee pollen, so it's very hard to know anything for certain, but I figure if I started out giving it to just one of my bucks and use the other buck as the control group, that would give me the ability to see if it was actually having an affect.

    For various reasons, there is some concern in the human medical world about pregnant women taking pollen, but again it has not been studied. That concerns me, so I probably won't try it on my does who I am about to breed.

    I would not be trying this very soon as my sister would need to start seriously collecting pollen, but I'm just trying to figure out if this is a viable option.

    Here are some articles on the subject. I would love to hear any opinions or concerns you have about this prospect.

    https://www.theholistichorse.com/shop/animal-products/horses/bee-pollen/
    https://horsesport.com/magazine/nutrition/feeding-to-calm-the-hot-horse/
    https://www.bee-pollen-buzz.com/bee-pollen-and-propolis-boost-growth-in-animals.html
    https://www.webmd.com/balance/bee-pollen-benefits-and-side-effects
     
  2. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    I really don’t know too much about pee pollen in goats but I would assume it is safe.

    But it is the wrong mindset, IMO, to assume that pollen could help reduce grain intake. Not only is it not meant to be given in large quantities, it is also very difficult to source - by that I mean, it is an uncontrolled variable, you may have a ton sometimes, and you may have none other times.

    Either way, if you did want to feed it I would think of it as a supplement, like an herb.

    But then again I really do not know if it safe, it doesn’t seem like something a ruminant would naturally consume. That being said, I also don’t think it is ‘dangerous.’
     
    Iluvlilly! and Moers kiko boars like this.

  3. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it.

    One of the studies on rabbits that was done showed increased feed conversion, and that's really what I would hope for. It's not that I am trying to replace grain with pollen, it's that I would hope it would help utilize their grain better, and therefore allow me to feed less. That's what I would like to accomplish by trying this.

    I also had my sister ask her bee forum about this question and someone brought up a good point. Goats already may have a decent capacity for ingesting pollen. Say you had them on a field of flowers. The amount of flowers a bee would have to visit to collect even a teaspoon of pollen is immense, but a goat can eat a huge amount of flowers without it being a problem.

    What I think I am going to do is try feeding it as you said, just a supplement. Some evidence suggests that a large dose doesn't do any more good than a small dose any way. I'll just start small and increase to the recommended dose and I'll do my own little study and see what happens.
     
    Iluvlilly! likes this.