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Sprouting Goat Feed

 
                                      
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We are trying a new food mix for our milk goats, I thought I would share our results. 

We have been feeding 40% barley, 30% lentils, 20% oats, and 10% black sun flower seeds.  this has been resulting in about 4 1/2 gallons of milk a day for 4 milkers. 

Last week we started sprouting the same feed mix,  It cut our total pounds of feed down by about 40% and has not decreased our gallons of milk a day. 

Some pluses it takes them longer to eat giving more time to milk,  they love the sprouted mix a lot more, feed cost are down.

Some cons you have to remember to keep your spouts going. 



Any thoughts?
 
Abe Connally
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
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That is interesting.  I was fermenting pig food this spring, and I saw a similar result, lower feed intake, but same growth.

I may try a spouted grain mix  They would like that...
 
Melba Corbett
Posts: 164
Location: North Carolina
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Interesting you are doing this, as we have just in the past couple of months, started doing the same.  We did notice we are feeding less grain and production has remained the same.  Actually they shined up a bit more and perhaps put on a little more weight gain too.  Previously we were seeing undigested oats in the feces, but not anymore.  Apparently, it makes it more digestible.  Now we are starting on the chickens.  Our feed mix is very similar to yours and we add some kelp, DE, and organic coral calcium. 
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
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The protein on this mix is pretty up there. Just make sure they have access to hay. I did hydroponic forage for some time  and just feeding the hydroponic forage found that there were issues with very high protein. In cattle saw uric acid poisoning and was able to steer small ranchers/farmers into using more hay.

My milk goats and other livestock self regulated pretty well with access to good quality oat hay.

Sprouted or hydroponic you need to pay attention to condition closely.
 
                            
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I've been sprouting my grains for a few years now.  It has allowed me to keep my chickens soy-free through our long New England winters, and the milk goats do great on it.
 
Michele Elliott
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How many days do you sprout? I would love some more details on how y'all are doing this!
 
Hazel Reagan
Posts: 41
Location: SW Oregon Zone 8b
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Excellant idea!
 
Lorien Larsen
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I am just starting the seed sprouting adventure and after a visit to the local feed store and a visit to the local hydroponics store this is what i have set up.

I am currently building a green house but my boiler room (n.g. water system) has a nice big window in it so I am using that to sprout right now. I purchased inexpensive flat trays from the hydroponics store (got 14 trays for $20) but I am sure that if you are viligilent you can nab them up from your local big box building store for free when they are empty. I punched holes in one tray and set it inside another tray to catch the drainage. I soaked 2 pounds of oats for six hours (when placed in tray it is 3/4 of an inch deep) and then placed the oats in the tray. I plan on starting a new tray everyday, soaking the oats over night from the day before. I also used a 1/100 bleach mixture in the pre soak to inhibit mold growth. I currently have 7 days of trays to work with and hope that by day seven I will have serviceable sprouted grain/forage for my goats/rabbits/chickens/ducks.

My goats are currently on a diet of grass hay free choice (which they waste most of even with a small wire feeder) and about a pound each of alfalfa pellets made by stand lee. My goats are healthy looking (okay the pygmy is a little more than healthy looking) and I hope to replace some of the hay and alfalfa with the sprouted oats.

I will post again when I have 7 days growth and a picture.
 
Alison Thomas
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Posts: 933
Location: France
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This is SO interesting and SO annoying for me - my goats will NOT eat wet food. If the rain falls on it whilst I'm doing the feed then they'll leave it. It has to be bone dry or they turn their noses up. Sigh.
 
Lorien Larsen
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Goats will be finicky like that. I've found that its better to wait until the rain stops or to feed them in a roofed area. As to wet forage, let it set, they will come for it adventually.
 
Edward Jacobs
Posts: 37
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Is there issues with adding wheat to the feed mixture? We have access to very low cost wheat, so would it be ok to sprout wheat alone as fodder feed (with plenty of hay always accessible)? And also, I was just told that oats are ripened using roundup?? Is that true? And how would one know if the oats you bought at the feed store were sprayed with roundup?
 
Lorien Larsen
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Yes, farmers use round up to ripen many crops and it leads to many of us having glyphosate in our bodies. If possible use your own home grown grains. I believe that most birth defects are caused by these ag chemicals in our systems. Wheat and peas ive found sprout the best, but barley is still king. If you have space grow your own barly and wheat for more savings. The more i learn about our farming practices the more i work at being self suficient.
 
Abe Connally
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
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wheat is good feed when sprouted. I can't ever find barley, so wheat is pretty much what I use. I am going to experiment with some amaranth, though, just for the trace minerals and amino acids (high in lysine)
 
c cagle
Posts: 21
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I've got a 50 lb bag of organic sof wheat arriving this Tuesday - hoping to start sprouting grain for our feeder pigs and chickens. If we get the system to work right then hoping to add a pair of mini-mancha goats in the spring! It would be so nice to be able to get feed costs down to a reasonable level.
 
Edward Jacobs
Posts: 37
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I got a rudimentary system going, with flimsy planting trays left over from spring. I am getting about 3-4 pounds after 7 days growth, which is obviously not enough but it works to see who likes what for now. The pigs toss the grass around and munch on it and eventually eat it. The chickens like it more every day. The goats... well, the oldest one eats it ok. One goat nibbles but demands her sweet feed grain mix. One would rather stand there hungry while being milked than to touch the stuff. I read that goats aren't normally grass eaters so if they aren't used to grass they won't take to the sprouts very well. Ours have never had a pasture to graze on, except the oldest one. So, we are trying to introduce this to them by feeding them the seeds earlier in the process, like at day 5 when there is only a little bit of greens. They seem more receptive to that. If that doesn't work, we will take them the sprouts at day 4 or day 3. When they start getting the hang of it, we will start feeding them older sprouts until they get used to full 7-8 day growth.

I bought a bag of oats from the feed store. About 20% of it floats and won't sprout. And it seems like barely 40% of the rest will sprout, but didn't grow very well at all. Typical dead crap food that big-ag is pawning off on the world these days. So I'm mixing 50-50 with this junk oats and some good wheat, and putting larger amounts into the growing tray to compensate. I guess a key factor is to buy "seed-grade" grain, and then test a small batch for viability before you purchase large quantities.

Now I need to get bigger trays and figure out a way to automate the watering and draining so this doesn't take up all my time...
 
c cagle
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I know there are a ton of different fodder systems floating around the internet but this one continues to peak my interest: http://www.half-pinthomestead.com/Sitemap.html . Be sure to look at the 'Fodder FAQS' pdf. I like the automated watering with the different trays dripping down into the bottom bucket, watering the lower trays. Hoping to aim for something like this eventually.
 
scott romack
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What is the protein percentage on this mix?
40% barley, 30% lentils, 20% oats, and 10% black sun flower seeds.
I'd like to try something similar.
 
Sherry Jansen
Posts: 59
Location: Southern MN
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Just a suggestion-reduce the lentils as most nitrogen fixing seeds become an "anti-nutrient" as they first sprout. Alfalfa, beans, peas, lentils and the like. Small animals like growing chickens and baby goats, sheep, calves are more sensitive to the anti-nutrients and can get nerve damage from too much of them.

I have a couple books on Advanced Sprouting Fodder. It talks about the nutrient values of the sprouted grains and most grass grains have a high protein value during the first 10 days of sprouting. It also talks about some unique designs to save time and space for sprouting.

I mainly use oats as the base grain cause the cost is unavoidable. The protein values of oats is close to barley.

One other thing I do to make sure the animals get all the nutrients they need is to add a light dusting of Rock Dust Minerals over the sprouts before they eat it. it doesn't take much, just a pinch, but it makes them extra healthy and the manure is nutrient dense for the gardens.
 
greg patrick
Posts: 168
Location: SoCal, USDA Zone 10b
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I stopped graining my goats entirely. It's much easier for me to feed tree trimmings to two goats, each giving me a half gallon of very high quality, high CLA, high omega-3 milk vs having one goat 'pushed' to give the same amount of lower quality milk. Graining ruins the CLA and omega-3 in the milk.

Keeping two goats eating free food (tree trimmings) is cheaper than keeping one and feeding her expensive grain.

That's my 2c.
 
Katy Whitby-last
Posts: 280
Location: North East Scotland
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forest garden goat trees
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Sherry - what is the name of the book that you used for your info. The link in your post doesn't go to it and I'm very interested to find out more.
 
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