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Trisha in WA June 28th, 2012 13:13

sprouting seeds as feed
Hi all. I am new to this forum, but not new to cattle. I currently have a Jersey cow and a couple of calves. I also raise rabbits for meat and chickens for eggs.

We started sprouting wheat and barley last fall for the rabbits and cow in particular. I sprout the seeds for 6 days in a sort of shelf system that my hubby and I built.
I use this as my concentrate when my cow is in the milking stanchion. This along with beet pulp and alfalfa hay keep her is lovely condition.
I have taken my rabbits completely off pelleted feed and give them sprout mats and alfalfa hay as their diet. They are doing great.

Anyone else here sprouting as a major part of your cows concentrate diet?

Trisha in WA August 3rd, 2012 19:00

I started using the sprouted wheat and barley last year when my cow was VERY late in lactation and it did in fact increase her milk production. She has since gone through her dry period and freshened in April. She is now feeding her calf and has taken on a foster calf and they are all doing great!

To me it just seems a more natural feed than unsprouted grain. You don't have the ph change in the gut like you do with unsprouted either.

So far so good.

Rhodie August 4th, 2012 20:29

It is an interesting experiment, though it does make sense to use plant material rather than seed (grain) we have selected so many modern breeds to rely on expensive grain. I have always used breeds that flourish on grass and browsing not needing expensive subsidised feeding.

Trisha in WA September 23rd, 2012 14:50

Hi Rena!
Sorry for the delayed reply. Been a busy summer and fall.
I bought boot trays (those plastic trays that look like large cookie sheets) at the Dollar Store, had hubby build a frame for them...drilled holes in one end and put the trays at a slight incline so the water would drain out. My set up is 4 trays wide and 5 trays tall. I soak the grains for 12 hours before they go to the sprouter system. So they are 6 days old. I'd like to get a more professional set up going this winter so I can grow them 7 or 8 days and get better growth. We do fine with what we have, but after a year of doing this, I'd like to move up to the next level.
My animals are doing VERY well on it and it is not only less expensive than traditional grain, but MUCH more nutritious.

mrtomcruise April 18th, 2013 11:26

My best sprouting results have been with garbanzo beans (chickpeas), wheat and rye berries, sunflower seeds and mung beans. This may be a reflection of the local conditions and suppliers...........

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