Giraffe Feeding

Giraffe Feeding

What do Giraffes Eat?

Giraffes are avid eaters when food is plentiful. They prefer to consume what is in the trees including twigs and leaves. Their eating habits often encourage the growth of new foliage too which means that they can return to feed in that location on and off again. They also will consume a variety of types of fruits that seasonally grow in the trees. What they will consume depends on the time of year and where they reside.

Many people don’t realize it but giraffes are able to feed on grass too. They have a special type of internal design that prevents too much blood from rushing to their head when they are feeding on the ground or they are drinking water. Other animals in such a position for a prolonged period of time wouldn’t be able to do so without too much blood getting to their brains.

The size of the neck for the giraffe gives it quite a few advantages when it comes to eating. First, it is able to consume food that is on the ground. Then it is able to reach food that is high up in the trees where many other animals can’t reach it. This is one of the reasons why they are able to adapt so well to various locations out there. They will move around in their habitat to find ample supplies of food.

They can survive with some pounds of food a day but they will consume as 75 pounds of it when you are talking about an adult male. Many people wonder how giraffes are able to find enough food though in the hot, open areas of Africa. They often consume large amounts of water at a time when they find it in plenty of supply.

What do Giraffes Eat?

Reticulated giraffe eating leaves

You will notice that giraffes generally drink in shifts. This is because they are very vulnerable to predators, especially lions, when they have their necks bent down to drink.

They don’t have to consume as much foliage though as other types of animals that graze and feed on such a diet. This is because they tend to get the richer part of it that holds more of the essential nutrients since they can reach high into the trees. They will only feed on the ground when that is scarce for that reason. The young will feed on the grass though due to their size. However, they are able to get plenty of nutrients from the milk of their mothers.

During various times of the year it is feast or famine for the giraffes. In Africa there is a rainy season which allows them to get their fill of fruits, leaves, twigs, and water. There is also the drought season where they will try to forage for all that they can, mainly acacia trees and bushes. They aren’t picky when it comes to meals as they are well aware at times it can be a while before they get to do so again.

The actual eating process for giraffes is one that is peculiar and that most humans find to be just plain gross. They will start to chew it up for a few moments and then swallow it. They will then regurgitate that food into their mouths to spend time chewing it a second time. They may do this process before they move on to consume another bite off of their feeding location. This is why it takes giraffes so much time each day to feed.