Feeding Sprouted Seeds (aka Fodder)

Comments and questions about red wattle health issues.

Feeding Sprouted Seeds (aka Fodder)

Postby miracolifarm » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:17 am

Our farm is just in the learning/exploring phase. We're on Day 2 with Prairie Gold heirloom wheat (non-semi-dwarf wheat, ie, non-"Wheat Belly"), and organic hulled barley is on a Day 1 soak. The wheat is sprouting and the barley is swelling.

We're also looking at the feasibility of using lentils to replace soy/split peas, which would be wonderful if that works out. A lentil is much smaller than a pea, so there's a lot more future food in a 25# bag of lentils than there is in the same size bag of peas or soybeans.

Oat groats will also no doubt be a part of our fodder mix as well.

If you are already feeding fodder, what's your best advice? What do you like/not like about your set up? What would you do differently? What's a must-do?
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Re: Feeding Sprouted Seeds (aka Fodder)

Postby redwattles » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:08 pm

i can't give any tips on this subject. I haven't studied up enough on it. We grew 5 acres of barley to experiment with and I know they love it. I hope lots of people chime in so we all can learn.
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Re: Feeding Sprouted Seeds (aka Fodder)

Postby miracolifarm » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:37 pm

You grew 5 whole acres of barley?! That's wonderful! How did you harvest it? I'm so clueless about that stuff. It'd be nice to grow our own, though.
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Re: Feeding Sprouted Seeds (aka Fodder)

Postby redwattles » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:33 am

Jennifer, this time we just treated it like hay. It was an experiment. We know they love it and its healthy. Next time, as time and finances permit we'll do different. They get some as treats now but when winter gets here again and pastures don't grow they're gonna love this, and so will our feed bill. We keep everyone vegetarian so believe me they know when they get something "special".
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Re: Feeding Sprouted Seeds (aka Fodder)

Postby TSchieffelbein » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:26 am

I would think that you could harvest barley with a swather. If you have a neighbor with one you can borrow or maybe hire them to do it for you. The cost of hire would certainly be worth it I would think.
I am concerned that feeding only sprouts would not be enough nutrients for a growing pig though. I wonder if using a mixture of grains and then add a mineral mix would be enough?
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Re: Feeding Sprouted Seeds (aka Fodder)

Postby miracolifarm » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:19 pm

Feel free to lovingly, gently correct the newbie... ; ) ...but here's my thinking:

There does seem to be a feral pig problem. If wild pigs are thriving in the wild, it means that something is going very right: growth, fertility, and reproduction are all ticking right along. Would it then be reasonable to consider how feral pigs are thriving? And how pigs have been thriving for hundreds of years? And then maybe do that on our farm, or at least some element of it?

What is a pig eating if he's outside the farm? It's whatever he can scavenge, mostly likely roots, shoots, leaves, flowers, incidental seeds, etc. I can only guess that left to their own devices, they're not seeking out grain on a daily basis. What are the eating? My *guess* is that they're eating above and below the soil. I want to be clear that I am *not* saying that grain is bad - pigs clearly do very, very well on grain - nor that anyone should stop feeding grain. I am more asking the question, Looking at the pig's history, and his successful wild existence, is it *possible* to grow pigs on fodder?

We're learning about the nutritional requirements of the pig, and are looking at the various grains available to see if there's a fit for each component. Barley is popular and hasn't been engineered yet; there are also lentils, which are full of protein...but how's their Lysine content? Rye is lower in protein with a lot more carbs; would it be better to finish them out on that? Or to even include more Rye in their regular fodder? I have no idea. We're still exploring and learning. Grain is definitely the known quantity for reliable results, but with the drought last year, the price of grain is going to skyrocket on us all. Dry grains store beautifully for years, even decades, when stored properly. IF we can really turn a pound of grain into six pounds of food and have *equally good, reliable* results, I want to take a deeper look at it.

We'll definitely continue to share what we learn, and if we try fodder, we'll share what worked for us, as well as what didn't. Still don't know if we're going to go this way or not.
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Re: Feeding Sprouted Seeds (aka Fodder)

Postby TSchieffelbein » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:46 pm

I am also interesed in hearing more about fodder and what nutrients are in what sprouts. I like the idea of the smaller peas as well.
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Re: Feeding Sprouted Seeds (aka Fodder)

Postby redwattles » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:07 pm

I hope everyone shares what information they find out and their experiences too. We'll all learn. I've read a few articles about sprouts and they are very good and filling too, but from what I read they are lacking or low in some nutrients. It can certainly be made up in other areas though and still be cost effective.
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Re: Feeding Sprouted Seeds (aka Fodder)

Postby miracolifarm » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:11 pm

Kathy, do you recall what nutrients they're lacking? Lysine? Minerals?
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Re: Feeding Sprouted Seeds (aka Fodder)

Postby TSchieffelbein » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:24 am

I found this article on lysine for livestock. It might be helpful. It sounds like feral and pastured pigs can get their lysine from the nuts that they forage. I will have to read more on it later when I have more time.



http://www.fao.org/docrep/007/y5019e/y5019e0b.htm
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/an032
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