Anyone growing barley mats to feed livestock? This is my primary goal. We live near Austin, TX and have 5 mules. In a normal year we spend around $350 on hay. Last year, with the extraordinary drought, we spent over $3000.

I don't have anything set up yet (no garden, hydroponic, or aquaponic system).

I've been researching, but it's a bit overwhelming to be honest. 

There are hydroponic systems that you can buy than include the entire building (http://www.foddersolu...)
or just the system of trays, etc. (http://www.farmtek.co...)

Sounds like the biggest issue is keeping humidity down to prevent mold. These systems grow from seed to around 6" tall fodder in 6 days and the entire mat is fed to livestock (no medium in the trays). 

 

Christina (Elgin, TX)

Tags: fodder, livestock

Views: 3684

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Christina. I am experimenting with this on a small scale for Chicken fodder. I am using coco coir media with grass seed but I would like to see more production. I think this is a really good idea. Rob Nash posted this picture a while back.

http://aquaponicscommunity.com/photo/p2210233?context=user

He has the austin group here.

http://aquaponicscommunity.com/group/austin-aquaponics

Friend him and send him a note.

Thanks, Randall, I friended Rob and sent him a note. :)

I talked to Cameron from http://coyotecreekfarm.org - they grow organic feed - he said he knew of a couple of people that were doing the same thing. I've sent him an email with my contact information, so I'll see if I get any feedback there. I looked at the discussion. I couldn't get the article to come up. I did get to the video, but it was one I'd already seen. 

I'll keep poking around and post back anything I find.

:-)

Yes I am familiar with that type of growing and am glad that there is finally someone else willing to do this. In fact it seems more than one now. I have been growing fodder for about ten years now, esp for my goats, sheep, rabbit and chicken in winter.

What would you like to know?

I bought some sprouting trays this week they are about 12"x8" and a 50 lb. bag of untreated wheat feed. I am starting my first attempt at wheat grass fodder. I looked for barley but none available locally.  My plan is to just put some fish tank water in the trays and let the seeds soak it up and then just make sure they don't dry out.

Christina I have played with it in aquaponics. It is very temp sensitive. Too hot or too cold and the germination goes to zip. If you can keep it around 55 to 65 you will be successful. A ton of wheat seed goes for 600.00 here. If you get a 6 to 1 growth in pounds of seed to barley or wheat mat then your costs will be about a 100 a ton for the fodder.. Not including electricity to control temp and run the pump.

Christina, i have had the best results with well water...no nutes. David is correct, it must be in a climate controlled room. if you plan to build one, its simple... water proof room(trailer, garage, etc.), temp and humidity controllers, dechlorinated water pumped to waste(or reuse the water by installing an ozone or UV system to keep water from going rank), and some type of NFT system to grow the grass in.

I think fodder is about to explode in Texas and i have been developing a turnkey system to offer locally, i will keep you posted on any progress.

Carey, how are you doing yours? in a green house, NFT, with AP water?

Carey Ma said:

Yes I am familiar with that type of growing and am glad that there is finally someone else willing to do this. In fact it seems more than one now. I have been growing fodder for about ten years now, esp for my goats, sheep, rabbit and chicken in winter.

What would you like to know?

So it sounds like it should be a stand alone system using just water. I also read that there is a propensity for it to mold, so do you have to keep the water flowing through the trays somehow? Rob, I'd be interested in finding out more about your system. I'm trying to figure out if it's even feasible to do. Right now the mules have enough grazing, but the hay prices are still high and as you know we are behind on rainfall again. I'm wondering if I could set up a small system in my house (instead of trying to cool another structure down to 60 degrees). We are already seeing temps in the 100's here. Carey, I don't know where to begin with my questions! I'm a complete newbie - no aquaponic or hydroponic or anything else at this point.

Ideally, if I can get a relatively simple system set up, I have a number of horse rescues that I work with and I'd love to help them set up their own systems - keep their hay cost down at the same time as helping the animals get into a healthier state more rapidly. :)

Christina. this is day five with untreated wheat feed. I have been wetting it then pouring off the excess water twice daily. It is in the shade outside at our summer temperatures. There is a ceiling fan on the back porch keeping the air circulated. I cut a couple of plugs out of one of the trays this afternoon and fed it to my four chicken pullets and they went nuts over it.

Here is a horrifying reason why Rob and you might be right.

http://now.msn.com/now/0623-cows-dying-cyanide-GMO.aspx

 

Yes, that was out here in Elgin - very close to me. I tried not to freak out when I heard about it! The tifton is very common out here. Higher yields, and higher protein. How is the wheat grass experiment going? I wish I could find more information about doing this. The commercial companies all use barley. I'm wondering if that would be too high in protein for the mules. We feed the lowest protein we can find in feeds and no alfalfa unless it is dry and cubed and much lower protein that the bales.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2014   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service