Saturday, May 10, 2014

It Will Be Worth A Try--Growing my own Fodder

One of my riders sent me a link to an article about growing horse fodder by feeding them hydroponically grown small grains. It looked like a great idea for the person with one or two horses, but I was put off by the start up costs and labor involved. The systems involved a green house and a series of trays. Barley was placed in the trays and covered in water. In a but a week the seed had grown up to a few inches. The horses eat the entire plant, roots and all.

I am considering a low cost experiment to produce some fodder. I plan to stretch out a large tarp and merely drape its sides over a row of landscaping timbers in a manner that will allow the rectangle of tarp to hold two inches of water over a layer of seed I can remove the fodder by lifting the tarps.

Might even be able to make fodder hay by allowing the fodder to completely sun dry and then rolling it for storage.

I am looking forward to seeing how this system could work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a discussion group on FB called "Fodder." it has a fairly active following.
Seed needs to be soaked for 24 hours, then spread in an even layer to sprout..when it is watered it should basically be flooded then drained.
The real trick is going to be keeping the chickens out of it..they love it.

I grew a pound of pinto beans in to a root mat last year and fed it to a couple of my was a hit.
I like the concept of using fodder, but I really do not believe that in the long term it is really a sustainable solution..but at best a supplementary solution..for all the energy that goes into producing the seed, cleaning and transporting it, then the cost of infrastructure, energy and labor to produce the end product...I really believe that growing the small grains out to pre-maturity and then harvesting it as hay is probably a better solution. At least for large stock. For small stock and and in small numbers, I like it better...Rabbits, ducks and chickens particularly...

I looked into some larger facilities for growing fodder on a whole farm could have a new John Deere tractor...albeit a small one.

I look forward to trying the tarp approach. -Lloyd