The Hydroponic Fodder Growing System

It is a well accepted fact that feeding dairy animals is incomplete without including green fodder in their diet. Green fodders are staple feed for dairy animals. Dairy animals producing up to 12-15 liters milk per day can be maintained by feeding green fodders. Inclusion of green fodders in ration of dairy animals decreases amount of concentrate feeding and thus increases profit. Therefore, for economical and sustainable dairy farming, fodder production round the year is highly essential.

"As an alternative to conventional method of green fodder production, hydroponics technology is coming up to grow fodder for farm animals. Green fodders produced by growing seeds without soil but in water or nutrients rich solutions are known as hydroponics green fodder"

In simple way we can say that a hydroponic fodder system usually consists of a framework of shelves on which plastic trays are stacked. After soaking overnight, a layer of seeds is spread over the base of the trays.  During the growing period, the seeds are kept moist, but not saturated. They are supplied with moisture usually via spray irrigation. Holes in the trays facilitate drainage of excess water. The seeds will usually sprout within 8 to 12 hours after soaking and in 7 days have produced a 8 to 10 inch high grass mat.

Hydroponic fodder is much more easily digestible, full of nutrients and enzymes that the energy spent on this digestion process would be far less with the resultant extra energy being diverted to milk production and growth.

Compared to conventional methods of growing fodder, hydroponic fodder requires lesser space and produces highly nutritious fodder than soil farming.

  

Livestock benefits:

 

• Studies have proved that feeding freshly sprouted barley to dairy cows increases milk production and improves milk quality.

• This high quality feed is loaded with vitamins that could help eliminate the use of synthetic vitamin packs.
• Farms have seen an increased fertility rate among the animals that were fed hydroponically grown fodder.
• Having a constant high-grade feed source provides stability in a farm’s feed ration. The amount of proteins, vitamins, energy do not vary as they do with hay, especially if you are sourcing your hay from multiple producers or regions.
• Having a consistent feed reduces stress on livestock, especially a feed that is packed with enzymes that aid in digestion. Studies have shown, for example, significantly less heat stress in cows fed fresh fodder. It seems the cows are not spending as much energy digesting their feed, and are thus able to maintain a cooler core body temperature during extremely hot weather.
• The feed is clean, as there is absolutely no dirt, fertilizer, or pesticides used in the cultivation process.

Why Fodder

With hay and grain prices reaching record highs and unpredictable weather patterns damaging pasture lands, farmers and ranchers across the country are in need of a dependable and affordable feed for their livestock. FodderPro Feed Systems allow you to take control of your livestock feed regimen and bring your whole farm one step closer to sustainability. Feeding hydroponic fodder will not only benefit your livestock, but almost every aspect of your farm.

Benefits to Livestock

Fodder is a more natural feed and is comparable to the forages the digestive systems of livestock and horses were designed to process. Due to its increased digestibility and the availability of nutrients, there is a wide range of benefits to feeding fodder over grains and concentrates. Not only will your animals be healthier and have a better quality of life, they will also be more productive and profitable.

Benefits to all animals include:

• Faster weaning and less stress on mothers and youngstock
• Less manure due to increased digestibility of fodder
• Boosted immune system
• Increased longevity and lifespan
• Earlier heat cycles
• Improved fertility
• Stimulated appetite during heat stress
• Better behavior and temperament

The benefits your livestock will receive from eating fodder don't stop there. Each species has its own unique benefits on top of the overall health benefits listed above. Mouse over each image below for details on how feeding fodder will benefit the livestock on your farm.

Benefits Of Hydroponically Grown Fodder:

• Feed is always fresh & animals love its taste.
• It is 100% organically grown, free from pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers and other chemicals.
• No fungal/bacterial /microbial growth due to sanitization of water & air by U.V light & Ozoniser.
• Feed is highly nutritious and rich in proteins, carbohydrates, fats & other minerals.
• Feed quality is consistent.
• Feed is clean and free from Insects, Parasites, fungus & Micro-organisms.
• The “sprout mat” is completely edible and highly nutritious as it is a living food. The animals will eat the entire mat, roots and green growth, so there is no waste.
• Protein percentage in Sprouts on Dry matter basis is around 13% compared to 5% in normal grass.
• Sprouts absorb minerals from water and create chelates (bound to amino acids), hence have higher minerals than Grains.
• Sprouts have higher metabolic energy and nutrient contents as compared to open field fodder.
Much higher Fibres, Vitamins, Folic Acid is present in Sprouts as compared to open field fodder.