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  1. #31
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    Default Re: Barley Fodder for Horses

    Those of you inclined to take this matter further and consider setting up a system might be interested in the following post I made to another US site forum about a year ago. Due to some referencing to other threads on that forum you probably need to check out the links for yourself:-

    Slow down people. A 19th Century Brtitish Prime Minister, Disraeli, said "There are lies, damned lies and statistics." Add to that - misinformation, both purposeful and through ignorance.

    I will keep this as short as possible, but Barley Green Fodder (or BGF for ease) is a long long way short of what some people claim. It is fine for a treat, or indeed as a part of a ration, but only a part.

    Now take some of the information provided in the thread and elsewhere that I have rechecked - I did post on the other thread that I have twice looked at BGF and the numbers did not warrant going ahead, even making everything myself. First, the DM content is below 20%. The CropKing site quotes as low as about 10-15%. The FarmTek figure that xxxxxx quotes above (and she has not mistyped because both moisture level and DM are given, and they agree) is almost exactly 70%. Whatever was analysed no doubt was 70% for the lab to produce the report, but that was not fresh BGF. Next thing to know is that the total DM after growing for circa 7 days is actually less than the DM of the original barley grain. More than 20% less in some Australian trials and a little under that in Asian tests.

    Next, feeding BGF. FarmTek have made a serious mistake in quoting 2% of liveweight as the amount required. 2% is a reasonable guideline for the Energy required for maintenance of most livestock, it could be even lower, but animals that are intended to grow, are pregnant or lactating could go nearer 3% - the reason I said allow for 3% in the other thread. There will inevitably be some wastage. Not a big deal you might think. BUT FarmTek is referring to 2% of liveweight of BGF, or some other feed. The roughly 2 to 3% needed is actually the quantity of DM and not feed as is. At 20% DM it would take 10 to 15% of liveweight of BGF to make up the 2 to 3% of liveweight as DM. This makes an absolute nonsense of the numbers of different classes of stock they say can be fed with their system. They do say to feed at least 1% of liveweight as roughage. Alfalfa hay would be a good feed, and I would up the amount to 1.5%. I think this error by FarmTek may be repeated by some other companies.

    Next Global Fodder Solutions (GFS) -[ N.B. link www.globalfodder.com] GFS Fodder is NOT the same as BGF. Note the tables given by GFS. They show three different feeds, Barley grain, BGF and GFS Fodder. GFS Fodder uses BGF as a base for its rations. Calcium is added because BGF has the reverse C:P ratio necessary. Protein is also increased, but I do not know with what, other than the claim of "engineered by 100% natural means".

    Now for the naughty bit. A cost comparison between BGF and barley grain is given. Both costs are only for grain - no capital cost of equipment, no running costs like labour, water, electricity. One good point though, it explains the calculation between feed "as is" and on a DM basis. This shows that almost 20kgs of BGF is needed to replace 3.5kgs of barley. BUT (again) they claim to produce 19.94kgs of BGF from 2.22kgs of barley grain - 9 times the weight increase. Half that, or less, has been achieved in trials, although FarmTek claims almost as much.

    As a practical example of how it might work, my does are currently either in very late pregnancy or lactating. They have limited grazing at this time of year (the days are short) but have ad lib Sudan grass hay and are consuming about one and a half pounds a day each, so have sufficient roughage. They also receive one pound a day of a purchased compound feed (for milking sheep) so have adequate minerals and vitamins, plus a pound a day of corn. To replace the corn at 90% DM I would need about four and a half pounds of BGF and I see no reason why this would adversely affect their performance. BUT I would need to sprout and grow a pound of barley if I could match the production that agronomists have achieved in trials. Much easier and cheaper to feed the grain.

    ................

    I firmly believe that BGF has a place for some people, especially those whose feed cost is unimportant. I have done a lot of research over about 3 years and think it is not for a commercial farmer who can grow his own other feeds.

    I am willing to be persuaded that I am wrong.

  2. #32
    Super Member Tx Jim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barley Fodder for Horses

    OldMcDonald
    I'm with you. Just because some states something is better than sliced bread doesn't make it a fact.

  3. #33
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    john deere

    Default Re: Barley Fodder for Horses

    Quote Originally Posted by OldMcDonald View Post
    Those of you inclined to take this matter further and consider setting up a system might be interested in the following post I made to another US site forum about a year ago. Due to some referencing to other threads on that forum you probably need to check out the links for yourself:-

    Slow down people. A 19th Century Brtitish Prime Minister, Disraeli, said "There are lies, damned lies and statistics." Add to that - misinformation, both purposeful and through ignorance.

    I will keep this as short as possible, but Barley Green Fodder (or BGF for ease) is a long long way short of what some people claim. It is fine for a treat, or indeed as a part of a ration, but only a part.

    Now take some of the information provided in the thread and elsewhere that I have rechecked - I did post on the other thread that I have twice looked at BGF and the numbers did not warrant going ahead, even making everything myself. First, the DM content is below 20%. The CropKing site quotes as low as about 10-15%. The FarmTek figure that xxxxxx quotes above (and she has not mistyped because both moisture level and DM are given, and they agree) is almost exactly 70%. Whatever was analysed no doubt was 70% for the lab to produce the report, but that was not fresh BGF. Next thing to know is that the total DM after growing for circa 7 days is actually less than the DM of the original barley grain. More than 20% less in some Australian trials and a little under that in Asian tests.

    Next, feeding BGF. FarmTek have made a serious mistake in quoting 2% of liveweight as the amount required. 2% is a reasonable guideline for the Energy required for maintenance of most livestock, it could be even lower, but animals that are intended to grow, are pregnant or lactating could go nearer 3% - the reason I said allow for 3% in the other thread. There will inevitably be some wastage. Not a big deal you might think. BUT FarmTek is referring to 2% of liveweight of BGF, or some other feed. The roughly 2 to 3% needed is actually the quantity of DM and not feed as is. At 20% DM it would take 10 to 15% of liveweight of BGF to make up the 2 to 3% of liveweight as DM. This makes an absolute nonsense of the numbers of different classes of stock they say can be fed with their system. They do say to feed at least 1% of liveweight as roughage. Alfalfa hay would be a good feed, and I would up the amount to 1.5%. I think this error by FarmTek may be repeated by some other companies.

    Next Global Fodder Solutions (GFS) -[ N.B. link www.globalfodder.com] GFS Fodder is NOT the same as BGF. Note the tables given by GFS. They show three different feeds, Barley grain, BGF and GFS Fodder. GFS Fodder uses BGF as a base for its rations. Calcium is added because BGF has the reverse C:P ratio necessary. Protein is also increased, but I do not know with what, other than the claim of "engineered by 100% natural means".

    Now for the naughty bit. A cost comparison between BGF and barley grain is given. Both costs are only for grain - no capital cost of equipment, no running costs like labour, water, electricity. One good point though, it explains the calculation between feed "as is" and on a DM basis. This shows that almost 20kgs of BGF is needed to replace 3.5kgs of barley. BUT (again) they claim to produce 19.94kgs of BGF from 2.22kgs of barley grain - 9 times the weight increase. Half that, or less, has been achieved in trials, although FarmTek claims almost as much.

    As a practical example of how it might work, my does are currently either in very late pregnancy or lactating. They have limited grazing at this time of year (the days are short) but have ad lib Sudan grass hay and are consuming about one and a half pounds a day each, so have sufficient roughage. They also receive one pound a day of a purchased compound feed (for milking sheep) so have adequate minerals and vitamins, plus a pound a day of corn. To replace the corn at 90% DM I would need about four and a half pounds of BGF and I see no reason why this would adversely affect their performance. BUT I would need to sprout and grow a pound of barley if I could match the production that agronomists have achieved in trials. Much easier and cheaper to feed the grain.

    ................

    I firmly believe that BGF has a place for some people, especially those whose feed cost is unimportant. I have done a lot of research over about 3 years and think it is not for a commercial farmer who can grow his own other feeds.

    I am willing to be persuaded that I am wrong.
    OldMcDonald - I appreciate that you've done a lot of research and are open to the idea - IF it works. That's certainly a smart way to go. As the licensed representatives for Fodder Solutions for the US, we at Simply Country, Inc have seen the results and know that it does in fact work. Our initial impression however was extremely skeptical. Even we did not believe it would work - Until we fed it to our animals. Only after seeing the improvement did we dive in further and eventually become the manufacturer/dealer.

    The math you've calculated on a dry matter basis looks accurate. This is where a lot of confusion is. Some nutritionists claim that on a dry matter basis you would need to feed about 60 lbs of wet fodder to a single horse each day. As feed rations have been calculated by dry matter for many decades, this is a difficult transition. Fodder cannot easily be calculated on a dry matter basis. You will in fact feed less feed on a dry matter basis when feeding fodder. This is due to the high digestibility, energy levels, and nutrition.

    We do have some trials and studies showing weight gains or losses for various animals when introducing fodder rations. I'd be happy to post them here if anyone would like to read them.

    I will openly admit - I know of no current scientific study that explains WHY exactly this works. We have our reasons and ideas, but not scientific data.

    However, we currently have a T-126 system (produces over 1,100lbs per day) at Chico State University. They are running tests over the next 300 days or so with their organic dairy. We are making sure the work goes in to explain how less dry matter can work and will hopefully have more detailed information later this year.

    In the meantime, the only evidence is talking to people who use the system. For example, we have a customer with a dairy in Indiana using fodder. He has decreased his costs by using fodder. Although he's feeding less dry matter on paper, milk production is up, milk fats are up, and his cows are healthier.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Barley Fodder for Horses

    Simply Country, No disrespect, and I know it is often done, but I know what I post so it is just a waste of space (important to some of us in what you might call "the backwoods") to me if you repeat it.

    I would indeed be interested to read your "unscientific" information. As I posted, I can be persuaded, even if at this stage I do not think it is a commercial proposition. I am a peasant so unscientific info is as good as any - so long as it is truthfull. I also accept that there is a big difference in the feeding of equines, mainly donkeys here, with a few mules, and feeding ruminants.

  5. #35

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Barley Fodder for Horses

    Its too bad nobody posting here has actually TRIED feeding barley. There are a few videos on youtube worth watching. Any of you skeptics with a window sill a plastic tray and a squirt bottle c ould try it. I have built a small scale setup in the house to try it out. I use 1.5 pounds of barley per tray and get a little over eight pounds of fodder on an eight day cycle. If I could afford a foddersolutions system I would have it. If it didnt work out I would chalk it up to THE PRICE OF A LESSON. If there was a horse out there that had foundered on barley the nay sayers (not you guys) would be waving pictures of his dead body with maybe a little girl crying over him. If you want to read some posts from regular people who are doing this check out Paul Johnsons horsefodder chat board on yahoo. Paul also has a video on youtube. I got alot of info from pauls chat board..everyone posting there is just regular folks tryin to do the best for their critters. what I would like to see is a side by side comparison between an eighty percent fodder diet and a normal diet. Especially on young horses, maybe yearlings? These things will come with time. When I first started researching this I tried to find someone who tried it and then gave it up. Been lookin for that story for over a year and havent found it. Have only found 3 ads for used equipment and they all say they outgrew it.
    George

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Barley Fodder for Horses

    simply country, thank you for including the sheep links. I think that I am definitely going to give this a chance with my flock in the coming year.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Barley Fodder for Horses


  9. #39
    Super Member Tx Jim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barley Fodder for Horses

    Quote Originally Posted by SimplyCountry View Post
    Feeding Barley fodder isn't the financial answer for all dairyman. My neighbor dairymen who's a director of a large dairy association just told me a dutch dairyman that had a dairy about 20 miles south of us went broke feeding the barley fodder. My neighbor dairyman declined to take over the purchase of the hydroponic equipment.

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