Fodder Systems

Asked March 30, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT

I have seen advertised these Fodder Systems. In the Fodder System you essentially hydroponically sprout barely seed and then feed it to animals as a supplement. My question is, is it worth it? I know that it would increase digestablitity of barley, but it can't be fed alone. Is the economics of purchasing the barley, the system, etc. worth the benefit it could yield? Would it be better to just supplement with the barley rather than the fodder produced?

Albany County Wyoming

1 Response

There has been limited research conducted by Universities on the Fodder System. Having reviewed this system, I think there are a few things to be aware of when considering the use of it and the value of the fodder produced.

Fodder system developer and marketers tout the cost as well as the health benefits of feeding sprouts. The important thing to consider is how the cost numbers for the feed are arrived at. All labor, buildings, equipment, water, fertilizer etc need to be included to get a real idea of what the feed costs. The sprout fodder should also be compared to other feed on dry matter basis. Comparing feeds on a dry mater basis on a price per unit of energy or price per unit of protein takes the water out and allows for a fair comparison. This barley sprout fodder feed is usually very high in moisture. It also usually is fed with other feed, so taking into account the total ration cost is important.

I have linked a review from Iowa State Specialists on this system that may be helpful to you as you consider this system. Please email or call if you have other questions.