Hydroponic Fodder is an amazing way to unlock nutrients in the grain you already use.
It takes dry grain, which is about 30% digestible and gives you a beautiful, living mat of sprouts with 80% digestibility. That’s like getting 50 cents more value for each dollar you spend. Fodder is extremely high in protein and contains living enzymes and beneficial bacteria for optimum digestion. Six days is the optimal time for sprouting to achieve the most benefit. After the six day period, the grass blades begin to form lignin which reduces digestibility.
The Half-Pint Homestead Fodder system provides you with an easy, automated way to grow Fodder for the six days required right in your already climate-controlled living space. The grain is soaked for 2 – 4 hours and then drained and left in the included containers for 24 hours. Once the pre-sprout period is complete, the sprouted grain is placed in one of the system trays where it spends the next 6 days completing the cycle to become a lush green feed with a dense root mat that your livestock will love!
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about Fodder:
This will depend on what types of whole grains are available in your area and their prices. Barley and wheat are the only grains that excel in Fodder systems. I find wheat, since it is hulled, the least problematic in this system.
Anything that can eat hay or grain will do well on fodder. This includes: rabbits, poultry, pigs, goats, sheep, cows, llamas, alpacas, and equines.
Each tray takes about 2 1/2 pounds of grain which, depending on the sprout rate, should give you up to 15 pounds of Fodder daily. The 6-tray kit will feed one horse, one dry cow, 4 full sized milking goats, 7 mini milking goats, 40 chickens, or 30 rabbits. The 12-tray kit produces up to 30 pounds of fodder daily.
The recommended feeding rate of Fodder is 1 lb to 100lb bodyweight. This should be increased to 2 or 3 lb for 100 lb bodyweight for rapidly growing, pregnant, or heavily lactating animals.
Most modern farm animals have been bred for maximum production requiring concentrated feeds such as grain. Fodder is more nutritious than grain and should be a good replacement. However; every animal is different so it is up to the owner to be responsive to the animal’s needs.
Grain contains lots of nutrients and mold likes them just as much as animals do. To reduce the chances of molding, spray trays with a bleach solution and rinse them before putting soaked grain in. In a hot, humid environment, air circulation from a fan can help too.
Grains sprout best at temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees with the ideal range between 70 and 75 degrees. If those temperatures are maintained outside, it is possible to leave the Fodder kit outdoors. However, the kit is designed to be inside a climate controlled space.
Animals are often like children and are reluctant to try new food items. It is always a good idea to introduce changes in diet slowly as well. Offer an ever increasing amount of Fodder along with the animal’s regular food and they will soon accept it eagerly.
There will be a slight fermented smell to the grain but it should not smell bad. Foul smells are a sign that your grain is spoiling rather than sprouting. Check that the trays are draining properly and that the water in the sump doesn’t need changed.
The grain contains all the energy the Fodder needs for it’s six day sprout cycle. The light in any room with a window is enough to grow good fodder.
Growing Fodder with our Complete Fodder Kit doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does require a daily commitment and attention to detail. The chores of setting up the trays and changing the water can easily be integrated with normal animal care chores. The Complete Fodder Kit takes care of all the rinsing and watering automatically.You can buy all of our Fodder systems here