Fodder is typically the name for any forage feed for Livestock. Today when we refer to Fodder we are talking about hydroponically sprouted seeds. Most cereal grains and many seeds from other forage plants can be sprouted. The most common seed used is Barley. Barley is the fifth largest cereal grain crop in the world, and the most nutritious. 50% of the barley grown today is used to feed livestock. Records back as far as 3000 BC mentions barley as livestock feed. God put inside of the seed everything that is needed for it to grow up to 8” (20cm) tall and is a near-perfect food at this point. All that is needed is water.

The Science Behind Fodder:

Why Hydroponics?

Sprouting multiplies the nutritional content of the seed. The seed in its seed state is a carbohydrate, and without further altering of its state will pass through the animal without providing much protein for the animal. Historically we have milled or steam flacked the seed to open it up and allow some protein to be digested in the stomach of the animal. When we talk about protein there are 2 areas of concern when dealing with animals. The first is digestibility. If you have high protein, but no digestibility, you do not have much. Barley fodder is 84% digestible protein. The other consideration is whether the protein is a dried product or a green living product. Scientist tells us that if you look at a molecule of protein from a dried or dehydrated feed, it would resemble a Frisbee, large in diameter and flat and thin. Now if you look at a molecule of a living sprout, you will see a smaller diameter sphere like a BB. This smaller spherical shape allows the molecule to pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, and then into the muscle much easier. With Barley sprouted Fodder we have a feed that is 84% digestible and travels to the muscle, where it is needed, much easier.

Fodder from sprouted grains are not only organic but also meet USDA “grass-fed beef” standards in marketing as defined in the Grass (Forage) Fed Marketing Claim Standard (October 16, 2007, Federal Register Notice (72 FR 58631).

Also, fodder can be customized to meet individual needs. For Example, if Barley fodder may have Baby Black Oil Sunflower seed added into the Barley seeds. These sunflower seeds will sprout in the same time as the Barley, and are super high in Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as high in digestible protein also Each variety of sprouted seed has specific characteristics including vitamin content, trace mineral content, etc. Depending upon pricing and availability of seed in your area, different seeds may be mixed together to form an ideal feed for your animals.

All grazing animals love the taste of this fodder. Cows, both Dairy and beef, and horses are the 2 that we think of most often. However, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, rabbits, and pigs and hogs eat the entire fodder, root mass, and grass. Chickens will eat all of the grass but do not seem to like the root mass as well.

USDA recommendations for livestock are 2% of the animal bodyweight of the feed. With Fodder, which is 80% water, we recommend 2% (3% if lactating) of Fodder and 1 to 1.5% of the dry roughage (stubble or straw). Each group of animals will behave differently, so we recommend starting with plenty of roughage, monitoring the consummation of that roughage and adjusting the quantity as required.

With hydroponically grown fodder we can provide fresh, green, nutritious feed to our animals every day of the year without worrying about the wind, temperature or rainfall. Now is the time for you to seriously consider the fodder alternative. For further information contact us. We look forward to visiting with you and guiding you toward a decision to move to Fodder.