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  #31  
Old 09/19/12, 11:16 PM
 
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Location: Utah
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The display they had at the fair had the goats with the sprouts in one feeder and oat straw in the other. They used the straw for long stems and filler and the barley grass for nutrition.

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  #32  
Old 09/19/12, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJBegins View Post
Emily, my question is how did those farmers get their animals to eat the fodder. Mine really want the grass but when they realize the roots are coming too they drop it. The goats totally turn their nose up at it. I really want this to work!

Carla
Just like any new thing, said it took a few days for them to really cotton on to the idea. But they did start eating it, without doing anything special as far as I know.
One of the dairy famers also is a goat breeder. She lives a town away. Here is her post on the fodder system with cattle and goats.
She is a member of one of my Yahoo groups.

"Good morning to all. For those of you suffering through the drought and in short
supply of forages or looking for a good source I'd like to share this
information. We recently put in a hydroponic fodder production system. It is a
way to have a steady, high quality source of forage. The feed value of the
product is very high and we are at present able to eliminate grain feeding from
our dairy cattle herd and milking goats. The particular system we are using is
made by All Season Greens All Season Greens | Easily Produce Your Own Low Cost, Highly Nutritious, Living Feed, 365 Days a Year! . But there are many
other systems available. I'm not giving their web address as a promotion but as
a place for people to investigate these systems and see if hydroponics might
help their needs for feed. The goats and cows love them and after the initial
change in feed are now eagerly devouring the greens. You can see pictures of our
herds feeding on the greens at our farm's Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Ma...m/183977297948

The goats are doing very well with the change and actually took interest before
the cows the first day we introduced them all to the greens. Our nutritionist
,from the feed mill, after looking at the test results of the greens said that
one could completely eliminate grain feeding using the greens. Eventually we
hope to get our second pod so we can also replace most of our hay feeding as
well. Hope this information might be of help to some of you who are wondering
how you are going to feed your herds."
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  #33  
Old 09/19/12, 11:27 PM
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Was told by the fodder systems experienced farmers that oats sprout fine but don't seem to grow well unless mixed with other sprouts. But he does use them as they are such a good food. He reccomended mixing them with other seeds.

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  #34  
Old 09/20/12, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by CaliannG View Post
6" *is* long stem.
Yes, but it's soft and tender. Not enough fibrous material for good digestion. Like the difference between hay and that first spring grass. I'd like to try it too, but I can totally see this blowing right through their systems without any added roughage.
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  #35  
Old 09/20/12, 01:20 AM
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If you still have to buy roughage and you need the grain to make up for the poor quality of the roughage I really don't see why to add the extra step of sprouting the stuff.

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  #36  
Old 09/20/12, 01:49 AM
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We would not be buying roughage. We have plenty of ground to grow our own hay and graze for all the warmer months. We do this now.
With the fodder system you can cut out all grains, and the seed you buy goes much further than the same amount of grain, as you are sprouting and feeding it as greens, 6" long. The biggest advantage in my opinion is that you can more easily go non-GMO. Also, less concentrates makes for a healthier longer lived animal in the long run, lower sommatic cell, less feet issues, etc.
But this makes feeding no grain feasable, even during the winter. It will still maintain their weight, they milk well on it, etc. And no issues with toxic feed, as many dairy farmers have had issues with in the past few years.
Even in bad hay/crop years, we would have a steady supply. The seeds you buy go *much* further than the same amount of grain. Thus, it is cheaper.
Farmers are doing it successfully and it is saving them money. We went and visited one such dairy farmer on Monday. Very interesting.
I was very skeptical at first, but now I'm rather excited about the idea.

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  #37  
Old 09/20/12, 05:24 AM
 
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Thanks Emily for sharing that information.

I am beginning to think that right now the reason I am having difficulty getting my animals to eat this stuff is because we have had some pretty good rains lately and everything is growing and green again. I haven't been feeding hay so this additional "green stuff" doesn't look very appealing to them. DH and I drove down in to the pastures last evening and there is pretty good grass growth now. I also noticed that the goats are moving farther out to get to more browse.

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  #38  
Old 09/20/12, 07:10 AM
 
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Callahan, this comment I love!

--your quote--

""And mine WILL eat it. LOL I am a mean Mommy, and I will lock them up in the corral with ONLY this to graze on until they decide they LIKE it. And I will tell them that there are starving goats in China who would be GRATEFUL for the fodder I give them!"""

I agree totally. Ive only had goats for 2 years, so I'm quite new, but I've found they sure are picky critters! I have 2 of the so-called "calm and pleasant" LM does and a ND buck, but my does will scream at me when I have to change hay.

I'm all for 'eat it or go hungry'!!!

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  #39  
Old 09/20/12, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by wmsff View Post
I'm all for 'eat it or go hungry'!!!
Me too. My goats are experiencing "tough love" right now as I changed hays. Its decent hay and they will eat it...but they sure grumbled that first day.
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  #40  
Old 09/20/12, 12:41 PM
 
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Exactly! My goats are on the grateful diet also. They'll eat what's in front of them or go hungry. I wouldn't feed them garbage and I'm trying to find the best way to feed them given my limited natural resources. My goats have eaten cubes and have done well on them. They were not happy about it either. Oh well though. There was no hay to be found. Some went on strike for a few days but they came around. I hated it worse than they did probably.

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  #41  
Old 09/20/12, 02:41 PM
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For the OP who just wants to add some greens, I bet we could work out something too.

How about flat bag type things made of hardware cloth and a layer of hay inside. Then she could plant her seed and lay them in a tray for a couple days then hang then up as soon as there is good roots and just keep them watered.(maybe some miracle grow once a week?) That way when the greens were a few inches long she could cut it off to feed the goats their greens but, the mats would keep growing greens many times until the seed wore out.Kind of like growing strawberrys in burlap bags.

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  #42  
Old 09/20/12, 02:56 PM
Cathy
 
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Emily, was the farm that you saw the fodder system have there own system or a purchased system?

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  #43  
Old 09/20/12, 03:10 PM
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Purchased. There are a few different companies.......but at the moment I can't remember which one he had.

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  #44  
Old 09/20/12, 03:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manchamom View Post
For the OP who just wants to add some greens, I bet we could work out something too.

How about flat bag type things made of hardware cloth and a layer of hay inside. Then she could plant her seed and lay them in a tray for a couple days then hang then up as soon as there is good roots and just keep them watered.(maybe some miracle grow once a week?) That way when the greens were a few inches long she could cut it off to feed the goats their greens but, the mats would keep growing greens many times until the seed wore out.Kind of like growing strawberrys in burlap bags.
I don't want to just add greens, I would really like to find a cheaper way to feed that adds greens. I pay a little over $400 a month on feed. The area I live is rather arid and I don't have the water shares to support a pasture. At the moment I have 19 goats, 3 horses, 9 pigs and 47 birds. A lot will be going to butcher soon but that will be a lot of burlap. It sounds like a really doable concept though. Question though, if you were to just keep cutting you would need to start adding fertilizer to maintain optimal nutrition, true or false?
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  #45  
Old 09/20/12, 05:57 PM
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True. You would need to add nutrient solution.

If I were to go that route, I'd figure out some shallow hydroponics system. Hydroponics is SO much more economical on water than just spraying your water into the dirt!

This though, I like. I am spending $100 a week on concentrates and alfalfa pellets, due to my pasture being nearly ruined. As long as I am spending that much, I can't afford to save up to do the things to make my pasture NOT ruined.

With this, it seems, I can cut down my cost of feed. If it turns a 50lb bag of oats into 275 lbs of oats, with only some time and labor added on my part, it is well worth it. If it cuts down on the consumption of browse, it will put less of a strain on my pasture and perhaps I can do something with it to help it recover.

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  #46  
Old 09/21/12, 03:58 AM
trail ahead-goats behind
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andabigmac View Post
My biggest lament is that my babies don't get green food as often as I'd like. I cut stuff out of the yard but nothing grows quickly here so it doesn't replenish itself as fast as I need it.
See now here I thought you were just a homesteader, WoW I am corrected.


Anyway.
I have a friend who just put one of these in. After building the insulated climate controled building to specs, reworking the system so that he didn't have to climb a ladder everyday to pull the top trays out, he spent about $18,000 on the system. He bought his from Farm-Tek rather then a company shipping from Australia.
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  #47  
Old 09/21/12, 09:46 AM
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Hi everyone,

I've spent the past 6 weeks or so developing an automated fodder sprouting system for the small homesteader. I live in town and am planning on having some meat rabbits, chickens, and a couple of mini goats so I wanted a way to be able to feed them without hauling and storing a lot of hay.

I sell two complete kits: one with 6 trays that produces about 15 lbs of fodder from 4-5 cups of wheat (barley is very hard to find here) and a 12 tray system that produces 30 lbs per day. I also sell plans for the do-it-yourself type.

Pricing and more info is available at index

Sherry



Not the best picture of this, but I'll have better ones up tomorrow.

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  #48  
Old 09/21/12, 09:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Manchamom View Post
See now here I thought you were just a homesteader, WoW I am corrected.
Ummm..... It was supposed to start out that way.
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  #49  
Old 09/21/12, 05:28 PM
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Thank you, Sherry. I will be in touch about plans.

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  #50  
Old 09/21/12, 07:32 PM
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The Fodder Inspector hard at work. He's checking the Fodder that will be harvesting in the morning. There should be at least another 3/4" growth on it by then.

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  #51  
Old 09/21/12, 07:39 PM
 
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Are they not getting the memo? I specifically asked for catnip in here! CATNIP!

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  #52  
Old 09/21/12, 09:16 PM
trail ahead-goats behind
 
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Originally Posted by andabigmac View Post
Ummm..... It was supposed to start out that way.
It happens to the best of us.

Sherry, that is exactly what I need. I won't put my bankcard # on the computer though. Can I send you a money order for the plans?
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  #53  
Old 09/22/12, 08:15 AM
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Here are some better pictures:

Finished fodder:



System right before Harvest:


Beginning next cycle:


The water is a week old. I'll change it today. So it takes about 16 gallons of water to grow a weeks worth (105 lbs) of Fodder. Then I take it outside and water my plants with it.

I spend about 5 minutes a day on Fodder Production.

Sherry

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  #54  
Old 10/28/12, 03:26 PM
 
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So we are really intrigued and excited about fodder possibilities, and wanting to figure a larger scale, diy alternative to the purchased systems. Wondering if gutting an old travel trailer would be a good option (power and water plumbed and more importantly, insulated). Anyone thinking in this direction?

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  #55  
Old 10/28/12, 03:44 PM
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That is exactly the one that was at the Go Green Festival. Unfortunately, my goats reacted as they do to anything new..... they didn't want it.

I'm going to Plan B. I'm going to sprout SMALL amounts for them during the winter so they can get used to it.

Then, if the goats are more interested in the spring, I'll get the fodder system from the lady who showed them at the festival.

If you look at the incredible amount of cutting and fitting that goes into the system, it's worth the price. Now if the goats will get acclimatized to a food change, it would be great.

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  #56  
Old 10/28/12, 07:10 PM
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josafeen, might as well go with a hoop-house style greenhouse instead. It would be less labor intensive than gutting a travel trailer, and the sun can provide the light for you, instead of having to pay the electric for light in a travel trailer.

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  #57  
Old 10/28/12, 09:54 PM
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Alice,
That's what I have done. Start small. Had some planting flats to grow some in but only started with a # of seed. Using a new weed sprayer that dh hasn't used yet to mist a few times a day. Started with some oat b/c that was what I had in the barn. Kept offering and about day 3 they took it, slowly at first but they took it. Chickens love the leftovers. LOL
Looked for Barley seed and the mill didn't have it but they had pigeon feed. He said it was barley just not certified to grow. He even called the company to make sure it wasn't steamed or anything. Just seed. Seems like they like barley better than oats and they seem to be sprouting better also.

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  #58  
Old 10/28/12, 10:05 PM
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Alice what seed did you try sprouting?

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  #59  
Old 10/29/12, 08:15 AM
 
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I am SO happy this thread got started!

Questions. What is that matt stuff? Is it the same stuff that the highway people use to reseed ditches (don't laugh..I'm a hick).

If you feed this you can cut down on the grain..right?

If you are feeding hay twice a day..no grain..would this be taking the place of one hay feeding?

How much would you feed a cow or a goat or a milking goat?

How warm does it have to be to grow this?

That's it for now..lol. I am surprised at myself..I think this sounds like something that homesteaders could use to "hang-on" through good and bad times.

Thanks again for starting this thread!

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  #60  
Old 10/29/12, 11:50 AM
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Sherry, this is from what I have researched on the stuff:

1. The "mat" is the root system of the sprouts, completely edible by livestock You feed the whole thing, roots and all. When you take it out of the tray to feed to your animals, it is called a "mat of fodder".

2. The sprouted seeds have the same nutrient content of the grain it is sprouted from, the nutrients are just in a more bioavailable form, and there is more of it (also including water weight). Basically, by sprouting, you are taking your grain and multiplying the dry weight in nutrients by 2.5. You are also adding on water weight. Therefore, 1 lbs of grain turns into 5 lbs of fodder, 2.5 lbs of which is dry matter nutrients.

3. If you are not feeding grain at all, this could take the place of one hay feeding, but what you would want to do it divide it up, so that you fed HALF of the hay you normally feed at each feeding, and add the fodder to both feedings.

4. In any animal, yo can replace grain one-to-one with fodder. It is *mainly* a concentrate (grain) replacement, although the added advantage is that you can feed less, or much poorer quality, hay. So, figure out what you would like to feed the animal in grain, if you were going to go with REALLY crappy hay, and I mean REALLY crappy....and then replace that amount with fodder on a 1-1 basis. 1lb of grain = 1lb of fodder.

5. Room temperature is sufficient to grow fodder. This is why most folks are soing it inside, next to a sunny window.

One of the main boosts for this is the nutritional analysis and bioavailability. It is like a cup of sprouts is better for us, and more nutritious, that a cup of bread, even if they both come from the same grain. The sprouts have taken in water and light to add more nutrients, and change some of the protein, fat, and carbohydrate chains into types that are more readily usable. Greens are always better for us than seeds, and the same holds true for livestock.

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