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Fodder- Hay/feed Analysis People Please!


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#1 Cat2

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 11:52 PM

I posted about this stuff on the health board and didn't get much of a response so I'm moving it over here in hopes to get more opinions.

Basically this company created a hydroponic set up where you grow barley sprouts in order to replace hay/pasture. My thinking would be to use this as my primary forage but still allow my horses access to free choice grass hay via those super duper small holed nets from cinch chix so they would have feed all day.

For me is it would be a HUGE cost savings in the end as I feed hay and have no access to pasture. Hay prices around here have been crazy and at times hay has been non existent unless you know somebody. I have always managed to keep hay in front of my horses but it has not been easy at times and I'm honestly scared it might happen again. This seems like a nice way to ensure I will always have something to feed my horses and not have to stockpile hay like a crazy person and stress about it constantly.

However, all that being said it has to be a good deal for my horses as well. Being that I will basically always be growing the same thing under the same conditions the product must be good for my horses. I don't know a whole lot about feed analysis and would love some input as to if you think this is good stuff or just crazy talk. The main thing that sticks out to me is the high protein content. Is that a problem or okay? I'm sure it will need to be balanced/complimented with a mineral but is it a good base to start from or not ideal?

Anyway, enough from me. Please let me know what you think!!

Info about it at: http://www.foddersolutions.org/

Nutrient Unit Results
Crude Protein % 20.2
Fat % 4.3
Crude Fibre % 11.3
Starch % 15.4
Metabolizable Energy
(Ruminants) MJ/kg 12.1
Minerals
Calcium % 0.15
Potassium % 0.7
Magnesium % 0.24
Phosphorus % 0.46
Sulphur % 0.28
Boron mg/kg 22
Copper mg/kg 11
Iron mg/kg 160

Edited by Cat2, 21 June 2012 - 11:53 PM.


#2 Cat2

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 12:05 PM

I little update, the guy who makes these systems owns a few local feed stores and sells "biscuits" for people to feed or try. Unfortunately the feed stores are about 40 min from my house and the biscuits only last 48 hours so I can't do that regularly but I did pick one up yesterday to try as I was in the area. I was actually rather surprised by my feed testing.

I cut the biscuit in half and then into thirds to give everybody a little sample but not too much. My 37 y/o super picky eater jumped right in ripping off chunks and munching them down. He's usually one I have a really hard time getting to eat anything and he's missing teeth so often he can't chew stuff I try to feed him. I was super excited thinking my other two would be easy. WRONG! My PIG of a 6 y/o Arab would eat the top grassy part but was confused by the roots/seeds. My 3 y/o didn't seem to realize it was food. He's special like that anyway but still it is green and yummy how hard can it be?! Basically between those two they shredded it all over but they didn't just consume it like my old man. After that I left them to it and headed in.

So this morning I cut up the other half and went out with hubby to show him how silly the horses were being. The old man performed the same as they day before but the kids somehow must have finally got it playing around with the chunks last night because they both ate it like crazy this morning. I'm totally impressed so far.

I'm still unsure how it really works as a feed though I talked to a girl at the feed store who uses it and said it has gotten her extremely hard keeper thoroughbred off all his extra supplements/feeds and down to where he eats one biscuit a day and shares 1-2 flakes of low quality grass hay with her other horse.

After auditing it previously I rejoined the NCR Plus to try to learn more and figure out if this might be a viable option for my horses. I'm really hoping it is as I would love to have something like this my old guy could eat especially since he really seems to enjoy it.

#3 gaitinalong

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 06:57 AM

From what I read in this well-written article, it is not meant to be a hay replacer. Plus there's that little word "ruminant" in the analysis you listed that would really worry me. Ruminant matter only belongs in cow feed, it can be dangerous for horses.

While a little might be ok, there's that matter of who's doing the Quality Control to be sure it doesn't reach a toxic level? I don't understand how all that works; I just know I see that word on something to feed horses with and I am pulling my hands back like they've just touched a hot burner.

That's why, oftentimes, you see "no ruminants" on a bag of horse feed.

This is a great read http://europe.traine...future--cms-339

My take-home is that I wouldn't do it, especially when I have two horses with serious metabolic issues and part of the article says this:

NOPS Naturally occurring prohibited substance

Whilst there are many potential benefits to the use of hydroponic grass in racing, there are also a few questions that need to be answered. Sprouting grain of various types can contain a substance known as hordenine. Hordenine or hydroxyphenylethyl dimethylamine is a plant alkaloid that has an action similar to that of adrenalin in that it stimulates the heart, constricts blood vessels, and dilates the airway bronchioles. As such, hordenine is considered to be a prohibited substance, by both the British Horse Racing Authority and other racing authorities around the world


I completely understand your dilemma. We are in a severe drought where I live. One farmer has lost 600 acres of corn and his soy crop is in serious jeopardy. That's just one farmer. Hay crops are trashed for whomever didn't cut the end of May. I just spent $6/bale for prime orchard grass hay at the feed store. It should have only cost $4.50/bale from my regular Grower but, he lost his first cut due to bad spraying for weeds and it doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar to see he's not getting a second cut, or a very small one at best.

My thought would be to buy bagged hay, hay cubes, hay pellets. Store them somewhere the rats can't get to them, temperature controlled if possible - like a spare bedroom :angel3: No kidding, that's what I do.

With the drought the bulk of the growing portion of this country has been in, the price of every sort of food is going to shoot clear thru the outer stratosphere. You are so spot-on to be concerned but I'm not convinced this is the best route. From your perspective, it might be ok to dabble in it and monitor your horse's (as long as they don't have any health issues) but sadly, I'm not seeing that it would be the complete answer.

Hydroponic grass is an interesting concept that's been around forever and I never heard of until now --- ya learn something every day :smilie:

Hope this helps give some insight and help with your decision :smilie:

#4 Small Time Hay

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 04:57 PM

First im concerned about the ruminent matter in this especially feeding it to an older horse. Second it looks like a kind of suppliment to hay not a replacement. That being said here are a few hay help solutions that may help you stretch the hay a bit further. If you've got a cuber close see if they have any reject cubes,(these are cubes not shaped quite right) they usually sell these for substantually less than the ones in the store. Talk to your local hay dealers about cleaning up what we call butt stacks (these are left over stacks that dont make a truck load) Also the bottom bales (these can be a treasure because we have to kick out anything with dirt or a small amount of discoloration) In most cases 90% of the bale is still good hay. Look for some "natural grass hay" this can be commonly known as CRP its much cheeper than your other hay and makes a good filler hay. Dont be afraid of cleaning out someones last years hay, as long as its been stored properly its still good hay. Also adding a complete feed can help stretch your hay. We like Strategy Healthy Edge.

Stock up on hay if you can, its going to be hard to find this winter, dont leave it till last minute. Your lucky if your only paying 6.50 a bale its over 12 a bale here and the feed stores ask up to 23 a bale.
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#5 Cat2

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:16 AM

I need to come back to this and put together a longer reply and am just too tired tonight but I gotta comment/ask a question on one thing.

This whole ruminants thing, in my mind it has been a classification of animals aka cud chewers etc. not a feed product. So I understood the Ruminants in parentheses to mean that was the metabolized energy in say a cow that would do a better job of digestion than a horse. I also though when it said no ruminants that meant you weren't meant to feed that feed to a cow etc. This seems completely different from the definition you two have of it, am I the one missing something here or are you?

Okay, sorry, that sounds snippy and I really didn't intend for it too but am having trouble wording it to make it nicer. So try to read it as an earnest question not and grumpy snippy reply. Thanks!

#6 Small Time Hay

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 01:28 PM

When I talk about ruminants the actual classification is not an animal that chews cud, its an animal that can digest the material more than once and has a higher acid content in its stomache. The problem feeding any ruminant material to horses is that they have a limited digestion system meaning that the material does not get fully digested and can cause blockages or colic.

The other definition of ruminate material is animal bi-products, after I read the material I did not think this was the definition used.
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#7 missyclare

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 04:14 PM

I don't like the word ruminants either. I don't want any horse feed coming from anywhere near where cow feed has been mixed. Cows are front end fermenters and built to burp it forward. A horse cannot. They are hind end fermentors. Once he's swallowed, he must live with the consequences. If one of those consequences is Rumensin....big consequences.

The protein is sky high. No lysine, so throw the protein out the window. Starch is a ridiculous 15.4%!(no need for a sugar count, IR here we come anyway!) Measly copper, no zinc and nice load of bad iron. Sulfur also impedes mineral absorption. The starch and sulfur shut me down right there. I guess barley sprouts are not the answer. The site shows its largely based in Austrailia and being fed to cows as well.

In terms of drought and hay problems, the nutrients can be supplemented...flax, vitamins, minerals, yeast, salt etc. To replace the hay means to replace the bulk of a horse's daily diet......the FIBER. Soy hulls, beet pulp and hay extenders, etc.

Maybe some day, they will give horses their own niche and create a recipe that will compliment their digestive systems....for horses in North America, that is.

#8 Quartermutt

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 05:44 PM

Also, just looking at it from a 'drought' perspective; it takes 3 liters per square/bisquit per day. Only 1 liter of which is 'recoverable'. So to produce one bisquit, you are looking at 18 liters of water and can only recycle 6. VERY water ineffecient! Not good in a drought where water is already scarce.
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#9 Smilie

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 11:50 PM

hi protein itself is not a problem, as excess is just excreted, and only is a problem in horses with compromised kidney function
What is a problem, is the level of starch, besides the ruminant
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#10 missyclare

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 01:36 AM

Good observation, QuarterMutt! :smilie:

#11 Southerngurl01

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 08:14 AM

Although even in a drought there may be good sources of water, but using it in a system and trying to get it spread out over acreage are two very different things.
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#12 SimplyCountry

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:49 PM

Perhaps I can be of assistance in answering questions. Simply Country, Inc is the licensed manufacturer and distributor for Fodder Solutions in the US.

Fodder is well suited to replace most of a horses diet. At a minimum, we recommend feeding at least 1% of the total body as dry matter. This can be a low quality or inexpensive hay. We do not recommend feeding alfalfa with fodder. Between cutting back on expensive hay and low production cost of fodder, systems can and do pay for themselves, not to mention much better nutrition for your horses.

The average horse will require one 18lb "biscuit" per day along with the appropriate amount of roughage.

Although fodder can be tricky to understand at first, it certainly does work. The employees and owners of Simply Country, Inc have over 30 years of experience in the feed business. We came into the Fodder Solutions business by first feeding to our own animals, then to the customers animals at the local feed store.

In regards to this quote:

"Whilst there are many potential benefits to the use of hydroponic grass in racing, there are also a few questions that need to be answered. Sprouting grain of various types can contain a substance known as hordenine. Hordenine or hydroxyphenylethyl dimethylamine is a plant alkaloid that has an action similar to that of adrenalin in that it stimulates the heart, constricts blood vessels, and dilates the airway bronchioles. As such, hordenine is considered to be a prohibited substance, by both the British Horse Racing Authority and other racing authorities around the world"

Hordenine is not a concern with Barley Fodder. Take for example Team Fredericks, they have olympic level competition horses and fodder is a vital part of their diet: http://www.teamfredericks.com/

As far as the water is concerned, it is very drought "friendly". (If there is such a thing!) The Fodder Solutions system will 2-3% of the amount of water required for standard forage production.

For any concerns, feel free to contact us. We can send you to some customers who have been using fodder with great success with their own horses.

Simply Country, Inc
(530) 615-0565
info@simplycountry.net

Edited by SimplyCountry, 02 October 2012 - 04:50 PM.


#13 Chocomare

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:06 AM

But barley is known as a high starch/NSC feed. With an I.R. horse, no way would I ever risk it.
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#14 SimplyCountry

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:31 AM

But barley is known as a high starch/NSC feed. With an I.R. horse, no way would I ever risk it.


You are absolutely correct about barley grain. It's a different story for barley sprouts however. The seeds are completely changed during the process of growing from a grain to a sprout. The sprouts are alkaline in nature, as opposed to acidic, and are perfect for laminitic issues. A horse cannot founder on barley fodder either. Here's an article with information for those who wish to dive into the nutritional changes of sprouted grains.

At Simply Country, Inc we want the best possible nutrition for your horses. If we don't have the answer, we'll find it for you. We will never recommend any feed that will be detrimental to their health. It would be the end of our good customer relationship!

I only wish more veterinarians and nutritionists were aware of the advantages of feeding sprouted grains.

Edited by SimplyCountry, 03 October 2012 - 10:31 AM.


#15 Chocomare

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:59 AM

Thanks for the info. Love to learn new things!
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#16 missyclare

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:13 PM

Your complaint about high starch is certainly a legitimate one, Chocomare and well answered! If the starch is so high in the seed, then is the analysis for starch (and everything else) on the sprouts or the seed? Should be on the sprouts, as that is what is going in the horse's mouth, right?

Thankyou Simply Country for the wonderful explanation...and about the hordenine as well.

I am part of the Equine Cushings Group and they recently had this discussion. It was also thought too high in starch for an IR horse as well...just looking at the analysis. Just a head's up, maybe this explanation on starch should be up front and explained. Starch and sugar are very much on the IR radar these days and this was exactly the concern that was discussed.

Cat, are you seeing a lot of un-germinated seeds present in the mat?

I'm strict with the diet. I don't have an IR horse, but I treat mine like they are, because I don't wish to go there. I avoid grains altogether. I'm sure it would help pick a horse up, or a hard keeper and in the middle of winter, pure heaven! But, in order to do the diet correctly, you must be balanced with needs met and that's my focus.

More info:
http://www.sproutnet...roponically.pdf

Edited by missyclare, 04 October 2012 - 11:41 PM.


#17 Quartermutt

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 12:31 AM

Perhaps I can be of assistance in answering questions. Simply Country, Inc is the licensed manufacturer and distributor for Fodder Solutions in the US.

Fodder is well suited to replace most of a horses diet. At a minimum, we recommend feeding at least 1% of the total body as dry matter. This can be a low quality or inexpensive hay. We do not recommend feeding alfalfa with fodder. Between cutting back on expensive hay and low production cost of fodder, systems can and do pay for themselves, not to mention much better nutrition for your horses.

The average horse will require one 18lb "biscuit" per day along with the appropriate amount of roughage.


So this is not a complete replacement for hay. From what you are saying, a 1000# horse should be getting one 18# 'biscuit' a day PLUS 10# of hay; instead of just 20# of hay, since a horse should be fed an average of 1.5-2 % of body weight? 1.8% by body weight of fodder/biscuit only replaces 0.5-1% of quality hay?

So you have to pay the initial cost of the equipment and continuing cost of electricity/water/seed/time along with half your normal cost of hay a year? How long would you have to use the equipment to have it 'pay for itself' if you have to feed almost half again as much food to your horse while still paying for hay?
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#18 SimplyCountry

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 11:11 AM

missyclare - The horses will eat the entire mat of sprouts, roots and all. The roots grow together forming a thick mat, with sprouts on top. Essentially there is no "seed" left. What may look like a seed in pictures, is an empty and soft shell. I wish I had a biscuit for you to feel!

Quartermutt - You are absolutely correct, fodder cannot completely replace hay for horses. What it can do, is reduce the amount of hay needed, as well as the need for expensive quality hay.

If we take your example below of 20lbs of hay vs 10lbs of hay, you have effectively cut your hay cost in half. In most cases that is a quality alfalfa hay. We do not recommend feeding alfalfa with fodder. Instead, it's recommended to feed an inexpensive grain hay or something similar with high fiber. At this point hay is needed primarily for the digestive system, not nutrition. Introducing fodder can also reduce or eliminate, grains, expensive supplements, etc. This will cut costs well more than half (before introducing the cost of fodder of course)

Fodder isn't a "one meets all" for nutrition either. Performance horse owners for example will add some black oil sunflower seed in with the barley. This boosts the protein level of the fodder to the levels they need. It can be customized for your needs.

Lynn Straumman with the Gypsy Rose Ranch has been feeding fodder for about 3 years now. http://www.ghswest.com/gypsyhorses/ In her case, the system paid for itself within a year and half! If you can catch her, I recommend talking to her. (contact info on her website)

Cost effectiveness varies for everyone. If you have horses on pasture and feed very little hay, the benefits may only be nutrition. If you'd like to determine whether or not it can be cost effective for you, add up your hay, grain, and supplements for one horse. Figure our how much you're spending now, and plug some numbers in here: http://www.foddersol.../roi-calculator

Let me know how it looks for you! Reno, NV is not far away. You're welcome to come visit our manufacturing facility and see the biscuits up close.

Edited by SimplyCountry, 05 October 2012 - 11:13 AM.


#19 Quartermutt

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 12:39 PM

missyclare - The horses will eat the entire mat of sprouts, roots and all. The roots grow together forming a thick mat, with sprouts on top. Essentially there is no "seed" left. What may look like a seed in pictures, is an empty and soft shell. I wish I had a biscuit for you to feel!

Quartermutt - You are absolutely correct, fodder cannot completely replace hay for horses. What it can do, is reduce the amount of hay needed, as well as the need for expensive quality hay.

If we take your example below of 20lbs of hay vs 10lbs of hay, you have effectively cut your hay cost in half. In most cases that is a quality alfalfa hay. We do not recommend feeding alfalfa with fodder. Instead, it's recommended to feed an inexpensive grain hay or something similar with high fiber. At this point hay is needed primarily for the digestive system, not nutrition. Introducing fodder can also reduce or eliminate, grains, expensive supplements, etc. This will cut costs well more than half (before introducing the cost of fodder of course)

Fodder isn't a "one meets all" for nutrition either. Performance horse owners for example will add some black oil sunflower seed in with the barley. This boosts the protein level of the fodder to the levels they need. It can be customized for your needs.

Lynn Straumman with the Gypsy Rose Ranch has been feeding fodder for about 3 years now. http://www.ghswest.com/gypsyhorses/ In her case, the system paid for itself within a year and half! If you can catch her, I recommend talking to her. (contact info on her website)

Cost effectiveness varies for everyone. If you have horses on pasture and feed very little hay, the benefits may only be nutrition. If you'd like to determine whether or not it can be cost effective for you, add up your hay, grain, and supplements for one horse. Figure our how much you're spending now, and plug some numbers in here: http://www.foddersol.../roi-calculator

Let me know how it looks for you! Reno, NV is not far away. You're welcome to come visit our manufacturing facility and see the biscuits up close.


I've seen the the biscuits at various feed stores.

Here, having to switch from alfalfa to grass just about negates the savings on only feeding half as much hay. Grass hay is more expensive than alfalfa.

I don't feed alfalfa, no supps (except se), no grain. Between one horse and 4 goats, I am feeding 20# of grass hay a day and 1/4c of goat pellets per goat; the horse gets a half to a lb of pellets to keep him out of the goat's pellets. Alfalfa is actually CHEAPER here than grass hay, but if I fed alfalfa, every one would be fatter than they already are.

Costs are:
2 50# bags of goat pellets a year = $35
1 250# barrel of horse pellets a year = $65
100 bales of hay per year = $1450 to $1850 depending (just the prices for grass I looked last month, alf would have been $1000-$1200)
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#20 timerb

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:53 PM

The thing that bothers me with the fodder analysis the he calcium/phosphorus ratio. It is 1:3 ...horses need 1:1. The calcium can be higher, but it should not be the reverse. So horses would need some sort of calcium supplement or alfalfa hay to supplement.



#21 timerb

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:53 PM

The thing that bothers me with the fodder analysis the he calcium/phosphorus ratio. It is 1:3 ...horses need 1:1. The calcium can be higher, but it should not be the reverse. So horses would need some sort of calcium supplement or alfalfa hay to supplement.



#22 SimplyCountry

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:33 AM

That is true with fodder, the calcium/phosophorous ratio of fodder alone isn't ideal.  We don't ever recommend feeding 100% fodder however.  Once you add in the roughage, this typically evens out to a 1:1.  If by chance the roughage will not do this, a mineral supplement is recommended.