Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hydroponic Fodder For Feed

Although the methods of hydroponic fodder production date back to the 1930's, there is renewed interest in hydroponic fodder as a feedstuff for sheep, goats, and other livestock.

Grass mat ready for feeding
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. Fodder (livestock feed) can be grown hydroponically much the same as vegetables, flowers, and other plants. Barley is the most commonly grown forage, because it usually gives the best yield of nutrients. 

inch high grass mat that can be fed to livestock. While there is a 6 to 10-fold increase in feed weight from the original one pound of grain, the increase is almost all water.

Hydroponic fodder system
Hydroponic fodder is a palatable and highly nutritious feed for all classes of livestock, but its high moisture content (10-15%), makes it a very expensive feed supplement.

Proponents of hydroponic fodder systems make all sorts of claims about hydroponic fodder as a feed for livestock, but few of these claims have been substantiated or proven to be repeatable in experiments.

While hydroponic fodder is not likely to become a major source of feed for commercial livestock, it may be feasible under certain circumstances.

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