Got Livestock? Feed Them Hydroponically Homegrown Barley Sprouts

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Got Livestock? Feed Them Hydroponically Homegrown Barley Sprouts
“Our conclusions have so far led us to believe that our fresh salad bar offering will not only save money, but also be healthier.”

If you raise animals that graze, you’ll want to check this out.: There’s a post on Paca Pride Guest Ranch explaining how to turn 5lbs of barley grain into 25lbs of fresh, live sprouts in a very small hydroponic footprint.

Barley sprouts are a superior feed for ruminants that takes a small amount of grain and, via a hydroponic growing process, turns it into a highly digestible, fresh mat in 7-9 days giving a high yield in a very small footprint of space. This approach represents a reduction in feed costs as we change from a diet of dry hay and dry pelleted grain rations to a diet of  fresh greens supplemented with hay for fiber and roughage.

The grow room should be as clean as possible.


18 thoughts on “Got Livestock? Feed Them Hydroponically Homegrown Barley Sprouts

  1. teleny says:

    And I, a city dweller whose landlord is having trouble with my plan to get a cat, would want to know this why?

    1. Laura Cochrane says:

      Ewe might live in a city, but not all of our readers do. Here at MAKE HQ, we’re surrounded by vineyards and apple orchards.

      1. teleny says:

        Ah to live in Sebatopol, now that Spring is here…Or the Summer, Fall, or Winter, for that matter!

  2. OrkneyOctopus says:

    A friend of a friend feeds this sort of thing to his dairy cows. In order to produce well, dairy cattle typically need good quality hay. With a small building and growing system devoted to sprouting grain, he’s able to run a successful raw milk dairy feeding week-old sprouts and lousy pasture grass hay.

    1. Jerry Carter says:

      They talk a bit about cost – it would be interesting to see how the total cost (labor + grain + energy + setup materials) compares to leasing pasture for grazing.

      1. OrkneyOctopus says:

        Said friend paid way too much for the professionally designed and built control system (IMNSHO), which is just lights, a few timers, a thermostat or two, and some sprinkler valves. In his area, pasture is unavailable for several months of the year, and most pasture is fairly poor if you want your cows to give lots of milk.

        We’ve been feeding our chickens sprouted wheat, which we grew a few tons of last year on our own fields. They probably don’t lay as regularly as they would on a commercial feed diet, but we also don’t pay $15/50 lbs. of this feed. We get a bit more than an egg every two days from each hen, using leftover wheat the mice have been living in for several months.

  3. MrFixit-ME says:

    My grandfather would boil low-cost barley for his hogs. They would convert the food more efficiently (less waste and more meat!) and he always got the highest prices at auction.

  4. Karl Niemann says:

    I have llamas on 5 acres in Colorado which means I have no grass even in the summer to feed. Hay prices are particularly high right now so I am one who is thankful for more information on this `make`. Keep up the great work.

  5. Joanne Cannon says:

    This can surely help feed a lot of livestock and it doesn’t require spending a lot. The hydroponic process is amazing since it improves barley growth rapidly. I wonder if this process can have such an effect with other kiinds of grains.

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