Is anyone growing or feeding fodder? - Page 2

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Is anyone growing or feeding fodder?

This is a discussion on Is anyone growing or feeding fodder? within the Farm Forum forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category

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    09-12-2013, 06:17 PM
It's really hard to determine which is best, especially for horses. I've seen flax, quinoa, alfalfa, bermuda, etc mentioned. I have some bookmarks saved with nutritional info for some, unfortunately most places don't give sugar contents.
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    09-12-2013, 06:53 PM
Does it have WSC, ESC and starch, by any chance?
    09-12-2013, 06:56 PM
Be careful feeding horses sprouted grains. All your horses need is decent quality hay, preferably timothy if they mainly hang about and are ridden occasionally.
    09-12-2013, 08:30 PM
A friend moved to a barn that has an elaborate fodder system and offers either a straight fodder diet or for an extra fee 50/50 with hay. She (the friend) finds the horses that are on the straight fodder eat it too quickly and are ravenous at meal time. I ran some #s for her and determined that the horses needed 90# of straight fodder a day to meet their caloric needs (the equivalent of 25# of grass hay). Much much more than the fodder people are saying they need and much much more than her BO is feeding. I don't know where my #s are but if my #s are correct, it can never be cheaper than hay. It's also a ton of work and takes a fair amount of space to grow what you need. You are working 3-4 days out so you will have a 3-4 day supply sprouting at all times. Personally, I would do it for a chicken treat in the winter but never for the horses.
    09-12-2013, 09:39 PM
Thanks for that LHP, I bet they are starving! Mine get free choice hay, this would be a supplement to that.

Our hay is decent but not adequate, especially after the drought. We are working on getting the fields back but it'll take another year. Was going to feed just a balancer but then have to add vit A and protein etc...

This is primarily for the chickens. I'm going to grow the BOSS, we are going organic and NGMO here. If its too much trouble, or isn't safe I won't feed it to the horses.
Not about to kill em.
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    09-12-2013, 10:23 PM
Flax gets slimy from what I read.

I'm going to get a few small squares of high end alfalfa for the chickens this winter. Just put the bale out so they can use it as a jungle gym. You shouldn't have any problems finding non GMO alfalfa.

I ran the #s again and if anyone is wondering how I came up with those #s get your calculator out: (I rounded up my numbers to make it easier)

Fodder is 17% dry matter (DM)
It has 11.8 Mjoule /Kg DM
1 Mj= .25 Mcal
Average maintenance horse needs 25 Mcals/day
1# of seeds "grows" to 6# of fodder.
One more steps says I need 15.7# of seeds to start with.
That's 1/3 of a 50# bag....
    09-13-2013, 12:15 AM
I can see it as a treat or replacing some or all of the grain with it. The energycontent in DM is close to oats(12.2MJ/kg if I remember right).
I can imagine it for dairy cows very well, tho. Horses....not as a sole ration.
    09-13-2013, 10:02 AM
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The person I knew in the UK that grew it fed it as a complete hay replacer with no problems - but he had invested in a purpose built unit and only kept competition horses and (fox) hunters
I can see in areas where hay & grass is scarce or really expensive it could be a good long term investment
    09-13-2013, 10:29 AM
I read that with the addition of decent hay they should be fed around 10 to 20 lbs of fodder daily to replace feed. I'd only be feeding 10 a day as a supplement for protien/vits, my hay is only going to have 10%+\- this year but they will have it 24/7.

A pound of seed makes around 7 lbs of fodder.
So you'd be getting around 350 lbs from a 50 lb bag.
So if I fed 30 lbs of fodder to 3 horses a day that 1 bag would last me about 12 days.
That isn't too shabby. Hmmmm...

I use to have enough pasture to last the mild winters here with free access hay/minerals as the only addition to their diet. Here at the "new" farm I only have 15 good acres that won't carry them through. I don't like it because my horses have always been so fat and happy, but last year the hay was crap and I hated feeding grain to keep them looking sharp. Honestly I don't like grain period.
Horses need grass and minerals period for the most part.

Still considering alfalfa pellets instead though, wonder how much organic ones are, or if they are even available? Better than fodder?
I use their manure on the garden and want organic.
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    09-13-2013, 10:45 AM
They're less work for sure lol. I've never seen any organic a- pellets, only certified weed free. And those are most likely not organic lol. But, they're thoroughly analyzed For the fodder I found only protein content and minerals mentioned, but without numbers. And you're still feeding grain....kind of.

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