Studies have shown that the nutrients in water hyacinth are available to ruminants. In Southeast Asia some nonruminant animals are fed rations containing water hyacinth. In China pig farmers boil chopped water hyacinth with vegetable waste, rice bran, copra cake and salt to make a suitable feed. In Malaysia fresh water hyacinth is cooked with rice bran and fishmeal and mixed with copra meal as feed for pigs, ducks and pond fish. Similar practices are much used in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand (National Academy of Sciences, 1976). The high water and mineral content mean that it is not suited to all animals.
The use of water hyacinth for animal feed in developing countries could help solve some of the nutritional problems that exist in these countries. Animal feed is often in short supply and although humans cannot eat water hyacinth directly, [although it can be cooked and eaten - ed] they can feed it to cattle and other animals which can convert the nutrient into useful food products for human consumption.