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When we bought this place 30+ years ago there were the remnants of a forage hydroponic sunroom/grow lights set up in the second floor of our shop. Remnants because with whatever system these guys tried it didn't work worth a toss. Perhaps if they weren't "engineers" it might have worked better?? It's a neat idea and I'm sure things have improved in 30 years!
 

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Ross:

I suspect the set-up was for poultry, rather the other livestock. At one time sprouting seeds (which is basically what this process is) was a fad to provide green feed to confinement poultry. As I recall the seeds were placed on some type of digestible mat material and kept slightly moist. As the seeds germinated the roots would grow into the matting. When ready it would be fed out mat and all.

I believe grow lights and a tray system was used. If you can find suitable trays (such as old cafeteria trays), a rack system (perhaps homemade), mat material (perhaps a couple of layers of white paper towels with the seeds under the top layer) and obtain grow lights, perhaps a single tier system might be feasible for production on a small scale for someone in a climate where poultry (and perhaps small livestock, such as rabbits or small goats) don't have access to any pasture during the winter season.

Ken S. in WC TN
 

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Nope it was for cattle, my father bought this place from a friend who explained the whole idea to him. It couldn't have produced enough to feed one cow never mind a herd! I costs several thousand in the 60's (including the work shop area) but in todays money that would be an incredable amount. We're talking about a fellow who built a nuclear fallout shelter out of cedar logs (long since caved in) with no air lock or creature comforts (like a septic system). We still have his engineering to deal with in some buildings it's quite a treat to encounter. I guess there was a good reason he walked around here wearing a hard hat! Afraid his creations would come crashing down on him!!
 

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I thought the reason for feeding "green sprouts" over winter is to support the gut (the digestion microbies, etc) and reduce the the chances of bloat on new grass in spring, seams like it only takes a little each day or so to keep the populations high. {????}
 

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Before the days of mineral suppliments? To avoid grass tetney too maybe? Not a clue, and I don't want to sound totally down on the concept but it's not a common practice in a least cost kinda industry. They fed all sorts of things to cattle years ago, turnips, milk, turpentine.... no doubt some very workable things have been lost.
 

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The only way I've ever heard of hydroponics being used in a hypothetically cost-effective manner was to grow marijuana. I wouldn't do that. Bad for the cows and people too.

Jena
 

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100% sure it wasn't we bought this place from a fellow my father knew well from the military. He just had some very different ideas!
 
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Jena said:
The only way I've ever heard of hydroponics being used in a hypothetically cost-effective manner was to grow marijuana. I wouldn't do that. Bad for the cows and people too.

Jena
Some of the best cattle feed in the world DOES come from the marijuana , or HEMP, plant -- hemp seed cake has the highest protien content of any feed -natural or commercial known today---why do you think the weed is illegal (when alcohol, a truly addictive, deadly, and dangerous substance ( 50000 drunk driving deaths a year and 0 for the weed!!) -- the giant agribiz 's are keeping the best feed on the face of the earth illegal (tobacco is responsble for 100,000 deaths a year and thats legal also)!!!!

Vince Kasprzak
[email protected]
 
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