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Homestead sized fodder system

 
Posts: 59
Location: Southern MN
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I did poultry last summer with fodder. Wow! The price of feeding them was about a tenth of conventional grower mix and 1/4th to price of organic grains.

I did the shelf system and there things I liked about it and some things I hated.

So, I designed several optional systems that don't take the time and water that the shelf system takes.

Also, E-Organics at the extension just put out a video on barley fodder for dairy that was all inclusive info.

We WILL be doing more fodder pasture chickens next year and we hope to get a space made in the barn to feed our small dairy animals (sheep, goats and a cow).
 
pollinator
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Abe, the fodder is basically multi-vitamins and the hay/roughage is just empty calorie.
And yes the sprouts/seed can produce more multi-vitamins than what they started out with. Obviously the calcium/minerals will not magically increase.
The calories in the seeds are also changed to a more complex type. Eating more complex carbohydrates is important to humans and animals
The protein profile also changes(ratio between amino acids) and overall increases as it grows more cell etc.

So while the total calorie (assuming the seed/plants did not absorb any sunlight) did not increase.
I am pretty sure your or any animal body would prefer to eat a more balance diet than just straight oil/calorie.

Now if you want to trash his system complain about how complicated it is, how time consuming it looks, how he is turning hydrocarbon into electric to food.

Animals keep on eating if they dont have enough mineral or vitamins or calorie in their diet not just if they dont have enough calorie.
So with them now getting more vitamin in their diet it is very likely that they will eat less, because they are now satisfied
 
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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S Bengi wrote:Abe, the fodder is basically multi-vitamins and the hay/roughage is just empty calorie.
And yes the sprouts/seed can produce more multi-vitamins than what they started out with. Obviously the calcium/minerals will not magically increase.


yeah, no one disputes that the vitamin content increases. What is disputed is does the feed value increase, since the DM decreases.

S Bengi wrote:The protein profile also changes(ratio between amino acids) and overall increases as it grows more cell etc.

Every study and nutrient profile on Fodder that I have seen does not show a net increase of protein. Only the concentration increases, because the DM decreases.

S Bengi wrote:So while the total calorie (assuming the seed/plants did not absorb any sunlight) did not increase.
I am pretty sure your or any animal body would prefer to eat a more balance diet than just straight oil/calorie.

actually, the calories decrease. but no one is proposing to feed an unbalanced diet. What we are trying to determine is at what stage of growth is the feed value maximized. Research seems to support the 4 day growth, whereas the fodder companies claim 6-8 days.

S Bengi wrote:Animals keep on eating if they dont have enough mineral or vitamins or calorie in their diet not just if they dont have enough calorie.
So with them now getting more vitamin in their diet it is very likely that they will eat less, because they are now satisfied


So, add vitamins to whole grains and see the difference.
 
S Bengi
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Synthetic vitamins is not as bioavailable as the ones now in the fodder. It is alot more energy intensive to produce. It makes you more dependent, you can never really produce it yourself.
It produces more toxic pollutants. And the synthetic vitamin, might only have 10 or so vitamins whereas the plants will have twice as many different type and alot more beneficial compounds alot that we have never even heard of. And in ratios what are balanced for the body.

Now no one is saying that raising and killing your own meat, then cooking it is easier, than having a pizza delivered to your door. If someone wants easy please go the pizza route.
 
Sherry Jansen
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Here's a list of times, grains and nutrient value of sprouts, crude protein, fiber/DM and other related sprouting stuff:

http://idosi.org/wasj/wasj16(4)12/9.pdf

Note, you don't NEED to add additional minerals, but just for assurances, we add a dusting of azomite or kelp before feeding.

I should also say, don't add too much kelp to the laying hens sprouts...the eggs can have a fishy smell!

And, final note, the sprout water should be given to animals immediately. It is great for baby chicks, calves, lambs and chock full of electrolytes for starting them off right. Do not let it sit out and ferment in water air temps.
 
Posts: 148
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Sherry Jansen wrote:Here's a list of times, grains and nutrient value of sprouts, crude protein, fiber/DM and other related sprouting stuff:

http://idosi.org/wasj/wasj16(4)12/9.pdf

Note, you don't NEED to add additional minerals, but just for assurances, we add a dusting of azomite or kelp before feeding.

I should also say, don't add too much kelp to the laying hens sprouts...the eggs can have a fishy smell!

And, final note, the sprout water should be given to animals immediately. It is great for baby chicks, calves, lambs and chock full of electrolytes for starting them off right. Do not let it sit out and ferment in water air temps.



Sherry - I can't pull up your PDF you are referencing, could your link be broken...
 
steward
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The complete URL wasn't included in the link. Try this:

http://idosi.org/wasj/wasj16%284%2912/9.pdf
 
Ollie Puddlemaker
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Thank you, that made all the difference...
 
Sherry Jansen
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Our personal reason to do sprouting grains vs conventional grains or even fermented foods is COST with added health benefits for the livestock.

It looks like this:
For 100 birds on pasture, they get $6.50 a week worth of grains scratch/feed along with the free ranging they do.

As sprouted grains, the cost becomes $1.65. . . .or about 1/4th the costs...plus healthier livestock.

Now, $6.50 isn't a budget breaker, but we do summer production of 500 birds and it adds up fast. Not to mention, the health of the pastured birds and weight gain without the health problems of leg breaks and too fast growth.

I just finished a book on Advanced Sprouting Fodder
since I believe the cost and improved health are key to quality livestock. Sprouting Fodder also has a benefit of bringing the price of organic in line with conventional livestock producers which has been a huge obstacle for organic growers.

For those feeding hogs or larger numbers of cows, the time involved starts to add up on the shelving systems so we made a few designed systems other than the time consuming shelving system. Typically, $3.25 worth (a 5-gallon bucket) of grains can produce as much sprouts as a bale of hay and weight up to 80lbs in a barrel. Right now, with even hay prices being $3.25 to $5 for good alfalfa mix, it is nearly the same price with added health benefits.

That all said, if a person grows their own higher end seeds like sunflowers, field peas, barley, corn and wheat, then mix them with cheaper seeds like oats and rye, then costs are reduced even more, or, a farmer can scale up responsibly. Overall, the practice of sprouting is one nearly all farmers can practice and the book we wrote on Advanced Sprouting Fodder
discusses some time saving designs farmers can make with locally available materials.
 
Sherry Jansen
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Location: Southern MN
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John Polk wrote:

http://idosi.org/wasj/wasj16%284%2912/9.pdf



In all the reports I've read on the supposition that sprouted grain does not increase in nutrient value, they fail to mention the added chlorophyll and other activity, like the fact that sprouts let off a lot of heat, which shows a chemical process is happening.
 
Abe Connally
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Sherry, did you get your fodder tested, yet? A lot of people on other forums are complaining about drainage issues and mold forming. Have you had any issues with that? I notice that your drainage seems a lot less than most people.
 
Sherry Jansen
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Hi Abe-

Mold is a serious issue but you can all but eliminate it if you soak grains/seeds in a water-bleach mix (10 parts water to 1part bleach). Soil naturally inhibits mold, but since it's not present, you have to adjust.

Drainage is very important too and the drained water is FULL of nutrients -so don't toss it! Feed it to weaker animals or babie. It's full of electrolytes, dense nutrients and easy to digest carbs, so it's valuable.

We built several designs to assess the best system for costs and found the shelving system too time n labor intensive unless you do small batches. The draining system is important but the shelving system is awkward that way. Buckets n pails are even more time n labor intensive than shelves so our vote is in doing barrel systems.

Note, the thing that surprised us about sprouting is the amount of heat they give off so they can be ran without a heated room. We will be balding more systems until we get one near 90% automated and less time involved. . . It will be like growing a bale of hay for a fraction of the cost for chicks, hens, goats, sheep and one day, a nice cow.
 
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All interesting ideas, thank you for sharing all of this .
 
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Location: ne arizona
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Thanks for all the info above! I live in Arizona and it is summer time. Sometimes 90 in the house. I just started my fodder system. And have come to the conclusion that I am half sprouting and half fermenting the barley and sunflower seeds that I am trying to sprout. The wheat never sprouted. Unfortunately it is in the living room and making it uninhabitable. My husband is tolerant of some of my ideas but not this one. It stinks. So I guess I either sprout something that likes the heat...like the sunflower seeds, move it somewhere where it is cooler (not in the summer here in my earthship) and or don't recycle the water and somehow drain it outside and reuse it there.

Thanks for all the links. Havent got to read them yet. Will do so.
 
pollinator
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I'm doing a test this week in an unused bath tub. I'm soaking 5 lbs of sunflower seeds for a few days. Then I'll pour it into the tub (I guess through a colander). Anyone know how much extra watering is necessary?
 
Abe Connally
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Cj Verde wrote:I'm doing a test this week in an unused bath tub. I'm soaking 5 lbs of sunflower seeds for a few days. Then I'll pour it into the tub (I guess through a colander). Anyone know how much extra watering is necessary?


2-3 times a day. You don't want them soaking wet all the time, but don't let them dry out.
 
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Ok, read the studies, intrigued. I'm going to run tests with sprouting and fermenting for my rabbits. I worry about palatability and waste/spillage. IOW Any suggestions from successful feeding models? How do you feed these to your animals to limit spillage?
 
steward
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Seen Jack Spirko's dead simple fodder system? It's what we have in the queue for testing.
 
David Miller
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Anyone with experience on this technique of sprouting please share your success with seeds to sprout/fodder feed. Specifically I'm aiming for Rabbits but all are interesting
 
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I think that one of the most important things to realize in the whole discussion on feed value is what Sherry has said a number of times: the determining factor in what to feed is how well my animals do on the feed. The studies done on feed value often leave out animal welfare as a part of the conclusion. Using rabbit feed as an example, all commercially available rabbit pellets contain as principal ingredients soy and corn, neither of which should be fed to rabbits. But the feed complies with the "nutritional requirements" of the animals. Additionally, those pellets are loaded with grain by-products. Switching to whole grains isn't a great idea either because rabbits need roughage but will fill up on grain if given the opportunity. Cattle shouldn't eat grain at all, if you're interested in their long term well-being, that is.

The studies are usually underwritten by none other than the feed producers and are supported by farmers who either have too many animals to really monitor for condition, or farmers who are not farmers, but business men trying to maximise the bottom line.

Consequently, you try different approaches to feeding and go with the one that keeps your animals in the best condition. That doesn't necessarily mean higher cost, but it does mean you don't find solutions only by reading studies. You find them by studying your livestock.
 
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This is how some people grow their own animals fodder:





 
pollinator
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Milo Jones wrote:Somewhat related Many Trendy 'Microgreens' Are More Nutritious Than Their Mature Counterparts

ScienceDaily (Aug. 29, 2012) — The first scientific analysis of nutrient levels in edible microgreens has found that many of those trendy seedlings of green vegetables and herbs have more vitamins and healthful nutrients than their fully grown counterparts.  



This is super interesting and those of us who winter chickens in harsh winter condition would no doubt love to be able to feed a 'biscuit" [sic] of feed a day. It is actually well known that a sprouted grain has nutrition that is more readily available than the dry grain. The addition of well water or rain water [not chlorinated city water] will add minerals too.
That is where the additional nutritional value is. On a smallish system, I don't think that getting mold would be an issue. They will still need grit and oyster shells if they are layers especially. Right now, I do not yet have such a system, but I can see the value of it. The problem of molding might be more problematic in a hot environment?
One question: Would it be feasible to mix the grains for an even better nutritional boost? The same question, better phrased might be: Should I separate the grains or not? Would the mixing of grains encourage mold/ bacteria? I am looking for specific interaction between the grains. I think most grains in this condition would all sprout at roughly the same speed since they all get fed in 7-8 days, but some might be more prone to molding/ decomposition than others and one bad partner might ruin the batch?
Incidentally, any act of digestion involves decomposition, and I do not fear giving my chickens something that has been 'somewhat pre-digested' in such a moist environment. We, ourselves, eat yogurt, which is milk with a 'starter'. Starter to what if not eventual putrefaction?
I would not speak for all critters but I always feed a varied diet to my chickens, and I have noticed a definite lack of discrimination between moldy and non-moldy food. Could that be because they are descendants of dinosaurs?
We know that some animals are carrion eaters and some have a system that is more delicate. I'm placing my chickens solidly in the carrion eating category [but I still will give them a mixture of grains and kitchen scraps without ill effects].
 
pollinator
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The issue of mold can be mitigated by thorough and timely rinsing and by a non-moldy environment. If you try to sprout a batch of seeds under the kitchen sink, for example, you’re likely to have some mold. What kitchen sink has never leaked, after all? As for mixing seeds, I’ve never read anything about that. Maybe try to use seeds with a similar germination period... not sure that would make a difference, but I guess it could.
 
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We're just developing this now, so these are ideas rather than proven wisdom...

Herbs are also food, especially for chickens. Nettle, mugwort and others. Encouraging the right weeds to grow can create a lot of forage for chickens.

We're trying to grow chicken food, mostly concentrating on sorghum and millet.

I'm also interested in setting up wild food systems, such as a plantation which would attract turkeys, at which they could be harvested for food.

We'll see what all of these ideas and efforts evolve into in the coming months...
 
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Milo Jones wrote:Somewhat related Many Trendy 'Microgreens' Are More Nutritious Than Their Mature Counterparts

ScienceDaily (Aug. 29, 2012) — The first scientific analysis of nutrient levels in edible microgreens has found that many of those trendy seedlings of green vegetables and herbs have more vitamins and healthful nutrients than their fully grown counterparts.  



Though old, but why read sciencedaily?  Just watch your chickens, this is for sure the reason they like to pick anything that just happened to have bad luck reaching the surface just as this chicken came around...

 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Cindy Skillman wrote:The issue of mold can be mitigated by thorough and timely rinsing and by a non-moldy environment. If you try to sprout a batch of seeds under the kitchen sink, for example, you’re likely to have some mold. What kitchen sink has never leaked, after all? As for mixing seeds, I’ve never read anything about that. Maybe try to use seeds with a similar germination period... not sure that would make a difference, but I guess it could.



Thanks, Cindy. I'm brand new at this. I was intrigued by the idea of mixing seeds, first to vary the diet but also to eat sprouts myself once in a while. Since folks these days are *also* eating sprouts, I figured that looking at what *they* do, I could get more ideas to do it *safely* for people too.[no mold!]
I found this article which I figured could be adapted to grow a mat of seeds rather than use the jar method. They warn against buckwheat [darn: That is what I have the most of] because it develops a gelatinous envelope that will grow mold and needs to be rinsed and rinsed. Essentially, the rate of sprouting is not really different across the various grains and seeds if they have good growing conditions. Also, considering that they will be eaten in a week, it is relatively easy to keep them mold free for a week by rinsing consistently. Swelling the seeds by adding water makes more volume too. Win-win!
https://ohmyveggies.com/how-to-sprout-grains/

 
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