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SamBurton

Hydroponic Livestock Feed - Check This Out

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Bummer.  It works for me this morning.  I've learned since, that fodder systems are becoming quite common.  I'm going to try an experiment and build a small one as proof of concept.  If it works, it could prove a very useful addition to our little microponic, integrated project here in North Georgia.  If you google (or search You Tube) 'fodder systems', you get quite a collection of ideas.  I'd love to hear if anyone here has implemented one.

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I've grown hydro fodder for my rabbits and pigs.  It is great stuff, but be warned, nearly every site that sells equipment exaggerates the benefits and fails to discuss the disadvantages.

 

Your number 1 issue is mold.  Start with quality seed, and you can do well, but you'll constantly be fighting mold infestations.

 

A lot of the nutritional value on the commercial sites is exagerrated, and when you look at university studies and nutritional breakdown of fodder, there are some serious descrepancies.

 

First of all, the amount of feed actually goes down (on a dry matter basis).  Fodder is 85% water, typically.  So, while they say "take 1 kg of seed and turn it into 10 kg of feed), they fail to mention that 84% of that 10 kg is water.  You end up with less dry matter in the fodder than you start with.  Because of this, protein CONCENTRATION increases (you'll see things like 16%), but the actual amount (by weight) of protein remains the same or slightly decreases.  Digestibility of fodder is significantly higher than whole grain.

From the research I've done, there are no advantages to growing fodder to the 7 day, green grass stage.  Nutrition levels and dry matter peak at 4 days (right when the green shoot emerges). Feed value decreases beyond this stage. The only thing, is at 4 days, you don't see the huge weight increase, and instead, are looking at 3:1 gain, but dry matter remains high, almost the same as dry grain, so you actually end up with more feed value than whole grain or fodder at 7 days.  I have been focusing on just growing sprouts to this level, as it greatly reduces mold issues and infrastructure required.

There is a very active fodder group on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/316422451737424/

Here's is a good overview of many studies on the subject and shows the details of the nutrional aspects of sprouts and fodder:
http://www.qcl.farmonline.com.au/files/48/20/01/000012048/Hydroponicfodder.pdf

Edited by velacreations (see edit history)

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Hi,

 

.......but be warned, nearly every site that sells equipment exaggerates the benefits and fails to discuss the disadvantages.

 

Your number 1 issue is mold.  Start with quality seed, and you can do well, but you'll constantly be fighting mold infestations.

 

 

These are the two biggest issues associated with hydro-fodder......and I think Abe's thinking around the use of sprouts (rather than green hydro fodder) is the way to go for small producers.

 

There are lots of providers of hydro fodder systems.......google "hydroponic fodder".....and they'll appear.

 

Gary

Edited by GaryD (see edit history)

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