Fodder solutions

Discussion in 'Goats' started by andabigmac, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. andabigmac

    andabigmac Well-Known Member

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    Home - Fodder Solutions | Fodder Solutions

    Has anyone seen or tried this. I know most of you have good available fodder but being from the desert I don't. 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.
     
  2. Ford Zoo

    Ford Zoo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I took a quick look-see. With my budget, I'm picturing used patio doors or windows to make a low green house and growing trays of greens. Neccessity IS the mother of invention.
     

  3. andabigmac

    andabigmac Well-Known Member

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    It says that the nutrition content in the barley sprouts is so high that you can feed straw or grass or poor quality hay as roughage. With the hay situation like it is I'm definitely interested in sprouting. If you use this system the growing mat is edible too. hmm. I wonder what you could use instead of the mats if they're too expensive?
     
  4. CaliannG

    CaliannG She who waits.... Supporter

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    I have now read most of the site. From what I can glean, that they *don't* give you the specs for:

    The trays are basically 4'x7.5'. I think the same effect could be achieved with a piece of plywood framed with 2"x2"s, and covered with pond plastic.

    The "mats" they are talking about is not a growing medium. The specifically state that there is NO growing medium, that it is completely hydroponics. That means that the edible mat they are discussing is the root mat. So no need to buy anything.

    You can get the sprayers in the irrigation section of your local Big Box Home Improvement store. Pretty simple to set up. The timer will be the most expensive thing, costing about $20 depending on quality.

    If you were to build this in stacking trays, like they show, in a big box, then light would be an issue. To avoid the cost of artificial lighting, I think I would set it up more open, in a larger greenhouse. Although, sprouts don't need a LOT of light, just continuous light. Flourescents in a high kelvin range (5000 - 6500) should do the trick. If one had an open greenhouse, you could just run them during periods of darkness, so your sprouts would have the 24 hour growing cycle and could take advantage of higher carbon dioxide concentrates that happen at nigh.

    I think this is a great idea, and I think it is doable on a DIY level. I crunched the numbers on my end, and to keep everyone in good fodder, I would need 70lbs per day. From the specs on their T24 and T32, the pounds per tray given depends upon the pounds per tray seeded. In the T24, they recommend seeding 4 trays with 10lbs of seed each, per day. 4 trays are harvested per day, which is 220lbs of green fodder, or 55lbs of fodder per tray, per day. In the T36, though, they tell you that you need to seed it with 15lbs of seed per tray, and the trays produce 82.5lbs of fodder per day.

    Cost is going to be dependent upon the price of seed. For me, I am looking at using 15 lbs per day. That means if I am seeding rye, which costs me approximately $25 for 50 lbs, it will cost me about $7.50 a day to keep everyone in fresh, green fodder.

    Bermuda grass, though, can run upwards to $225 for a 50lb bag.

    I'll have to look into the cost of other things. There is also nutritional comparisons to make, also. The cereal grasses tend to be nutritionally similar, so if wheat is cheaper here, I would go with that....and if barley, or oats, are cheaper.....

    At any rate, it would come out to about 1 tray per day, seeded with 15 lbs of seed, to keep 8 goats and 1 horse reasonably content.
     
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  5. andabigmac

    andabigmac Well-Known Member

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    I love you number crunchers. I'm like Justin Timberlake in Friends with Benefits. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uDvcYolhDs]Justin timberlake does math mila kunis - YouTube[/ame] I was going to make DH crunch the numbers when he got home if he could find the time but you did it for me and I am SOOO appreciative.

    And just so no one thinks I'm a complete idiot, I excelled in Algebra because I could wrap my head around the concept. It's just basic math I have problems with. Don't know why.
     
  6. CaliannG

    CaliannG She who waits.... Supporter

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    andabigmac, I have noticed that lots of people that can do differential equations in their head are, counter-intuitively, completely unable to balance their checkbook.
     
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  7. MaddieLynn

    MaddieLynn Well-Known Member

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    This is super interesting to me! I feel a project coming on...

    Seriously though, I wonder if you could support goats "grain-free" this way and still get good health and production.
     
  8. CJBegins

    CJBegins Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have been experimenting with growing wheat fodder on a small scale. I am using foil pans that I got at a bbq cook off for free, 2 plastic shelf units at were cheap, I soak the wheat for about 24 hours and then put it in the pans and flood the pans with water at minimum of twice daily. I have this set up in my furnace room that has a drain in the floor and a window in the door. The fodder doesn't need much light but it does need some warmth. The fodder is ready on the 6th day. The kicker is I can't get my goats or my cows to touch it........they say ick! The hogs love it. So I will resort to drizzling molasses on it to make it more yummy.

    Barley is very nutrious but so far I haven't been able to get it here in my part of MO. Wheat is not very expensive,,,,13.50 for 50lbs..it sprouts well.

    Make sure whatever you use to grow your sprouts in drains well so you don't get mold growing in your sprouts.

    Another forum I am on has a huge thread about fodder going in their pasture management section and there is definitely a learning curve with it.

    Carla
     
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  9. andabigmac

    andabigmac Well-Known Member

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    What forum? I would love to learn more from people who have tried it.
     
  10. Tallabred

    Tallabred Cathy Supporter

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    Glad this thread came up. I have been looking into this for a week now. I can get oats and sunflower seeds but I have not been able to find barley. . . wheat. . .hmmm
     
  11. andabigmac

    andabigmac Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how the oats would be nutritionally? I can get oats from a farmer here for dirt cheap. I don't have a grinder so I've never bought from him before. It would be great if everything had the same sprouting times so you could make a blend.
     
  12. Donna1982

    Donna1982 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Someone on facebook tried this. I believe it was start to finish only like 7 days to grow it. I will try later to find their facebook page. I have to get back to putting down my floor so it will be tonight or tomorrow before I can look.
     
  13. andabigmac

    andabigmac Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if you could use those rectangular trays that you put the Jiffy peat pellets in. I have a stack of those. Even if you didn't use this as your sole means of nutrition for your goats and used it as a hay supplement this could potentially cut hay prices exponentially.
     
  14. CJBegins

    CJBegins Well-Known Member Supporter

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    andabigmac, you can use those trays, you can use just about anything as long as the drainage holes aren't too big so that the seed doesn't wash out.

    Keeping a Family Cow has a huge thread going on under Pasture Management and Feed. It is 4 threads long and growing by the day. Most of the people are just people making do with homemade systems like me. Trial and error.

    I was really frustrated when it came time to feed it. The goats didn't like it because 1. it's grass 2. it's wet. The cows wanted to eat it but wouldn't because they are programed to not eat roots and they couldn't figure it out.....so we are gonna try a little molasses.

    If I knew that my animals would really eat this stuff, I would invest in the growing trays that you see in green houses. They are more sturdy than the foil trays.

    Barley is from what I understand the most nutritious and a great source of protein. Wheat is a close second.
     
  15. andabigmac

    andabigmac Well-Known Member

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    I'm mean. I would probably feed them this until they were so hungry they ate it.

    I'll have to go over there and check it out. My feed bill is astronomical so I need to find a way to save some money without skimping on nutrition.
     
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  16. Heritagefarm

    Heritagefarm Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you do hydroponics, you have to buy food for the plants. You cannot stick them in rocks and expect them to grow (not that I'm implying you were going to do that). I haven't read the whole thread, but I just thought I would throw that out there.
     
  17. CaliannG

    CaliannG She who waits.... Supporter

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    HF, these are actually sprouts, not fully hydroponic plants. They are only grown for 6 days before being fed, so you don't actually need nutrient solution. Just water, light, and carbon dioxide.
     
  18. CJBegins

    CJBegins Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You don't have to add anything to the water. The goal is to sprout the seeds and to grow the grass to about 6" tall and then it is finished. If you were expecting it to survive a long time, yes it would need more than just water to survive.
     
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  19. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have been looking into this for some time now. Mostly for the dairy cow herd(who can afford to buy hay AND grain these days!), but for the goats as well. Its looking quite promising.....but expensive on the scale we will need.
    Start-up is high, but savings in the long run could really save our butts!
    Not to mention that cows are healthier without all the crap that is in our commercial feed mixes these days! But keeping a cow milking on no grain can be difficult. This could be the answer.
    A couple dairy farmers in our area are already doing it successfully.
     
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  20. CJBegins

    CJBegins Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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