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questions about feeding fodder

Discussion in 'Natural and Organic Husbandry' started by zachbelle, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. Aug 8, 2014
    zachbelle

    zachbelle Chillin' with the herd

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    currantly we have chickens ducks dairy goats and meat rabbits and are looking into raising pigs. i just heard about growing barley fodder and am very interested in more information on it. i have read it is ok to feed to all the animals i have (except duvks i havent seen anything on that yet) my question is if i grown and feedfodder does this completely replace the grain? how much would you feed for the animals i have listed? i will xontinue to research i just thought i would stop here firstthanks to any replies
     
  2. Jul 13, 2016
    Kusanar

    Kusanar Ridin' The Range

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    Hey, i know this is old, but I just found it. Fodder is consitered to be grain until it is 7 (?) days old, then it turns into grass acording to science and nutrition, so before that, yes, it will replace grain, but not grass or hay. Even once it is past the 7 day mark it won't replace hay entirely for horses or anything else that needs a lot of fiber (rabbits?), I think goats and cows are ok on just fodder.

    This post from BYC has a LOT of information on fodder, not just for chickens, it starts out that way but it branches.

    http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/713334/growing-fodder-for-chickens
     
  3. Jul 13, 2016
    Coffeybean

    Coffeybean Chillin' with the herd

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    Kusanar,
    Thanks for the update. I am new to both BYC and Herds. I have been playing with the idea of feeding sprouted fodder to all my animals. I will have to check out the link.

    Do you feed fodder? I have not found many people who feed it especially in my area. I have been debating on building a home unit or going with a unit made from farmtech, fodderworks, or foddertech. Do you have any opinions on the matter?

    I would have to feed about 500 pounds a day up to 800 pounds according to my calculations. I just don't know how practical this would be with a homemade unit or how many trays etc... makes a commercial unit look more apealing(until you see the pricetag).

    Thanks again for the reference. I will check it out.
     
  4. Jul 13, 2016
    OneFineAcre

    OneFineAcre Herd Master

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    If you have a good source of quality hay at a reasonable price, I don't think it would be worth the effort.
     
  5. Jul 13, 2016
    Kusanar

    Kusanar Ridin' The Range

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    I sprouted some sunflower seeds and some chicken scratch grains for my horses this last winter, they did ok, but I was just experimenting. The horses weren't a fan of the sunflowers, so I actually had to mix them in the feed to get them to eat them, they will eat the dry seed fine though... go figure....

    I've tried to do the math on how to do a home system, but I never really was happy with my answers. If you have a good way to get 50-100 pounds of the grain you want to try, I would get a few flats like they use at greenhouses and try doing a little bit and see what you think and how much you get out of it. I was planning on sprouting quite a bit this winter for my old guy with no teeth because he was having a really hard time with hay last winter, but he recently had to be put down, so I may sprout some here and there for the others, but none of them do poorly on hay (even cattle grade hay in round bales) so I don't need to make it a big part of their diet, not yet anyway.

    If you look through that thread, you will see many different setups that people have designed and have working well for chickens and ducks. I don't think it's really worth it for me to do, but, that is because I don't have animals that would really benefit from it, and I don't have a ready supply of grain, I would have to drive an hour each way to pick it up from the closest grain mill I can find.
     
  6. Jul 13, 2016
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    I have thought about feeder fodder to my goats, and no they can not live on fodder alone, they still need the long fiber. But fodder is supposed to improve milk in taste and quantity. The thing is I don't want to pay to heat or cool the space I am growing it in so it would be a very limited growing season. With the cost of power where I live it makes no sense whatsoever to pay to grow fodder....lights is one thing, but not heating and cooling.

    If I ever do it it will be in an insulated trailer and I will try and get a grant to go solar. I am building a dairy so hopefully there will be opportunities out there, but that is way down the road. I would probably do a homemade set up at first and see how that goes. Mold is a HUGE issue with goats so I have to be very careful.
     
  7. Jul 13, 2016
    Coffeybean

    Coffeybean Chillin' with the herd

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    Normally we have good hay. But last year we got a batch of bad ables and had half the does abort. It was totally heart breaking and I would like to avoid that if I could. I hear what your saying about the effort. Thx
     
  8. Jul 13, 2016
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Moderator

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    From what I understand and have read regarding fodder, it is mostly water, so empty "calories"... I'm sure it is wonderful as a treat or supplement to a regular balanced diet... I have no personal knowledge or experience...
     
  9. Jul 13, 2016
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    @Latestarter if you can grow enough of it it is a pretty inclusive diet nutrient wise but pound for pound it takes a lot more fodder than it does hay because, as you pointed out, the water content is high.

    The studies are out there, it is a good feed, I would just need a barn load daily to feed my crew.
     
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