Fodder update

 The shelving units are 5 shelf units that are 72″ tall, 36″ wide and 18″ deep. We cut the vertical posts of these shelving units in half. By modifying the unit, it cuts down on the amount of space between shelves which works out just perfectly to accomodate the heighth of the tubs we use to grow our fodder in. We started with 2 units,  added a 3rd unit and split the vertical posts and shelves between the original 2 units. 

We do not use the standard black fodder trays. I found them to be a waste of money and were better suited for starting seeds in the greenhouse. What we did go with are storage tubs from Walmart that cost approx. $3 and come with lids (which we do not use). We drilled holes all along the valley inside the tub along one side. Our shelving unit sits away from the wall a smidge so that we can stagger our trays to drain off the front on one shelf and off the back on the one below it creating a fountain effect. The lowest tub that has collected all the upper drainage water flows into a 6″ gutter along the ground that drains into or sump.

The storage tubs fit absolutely perfectly side by side on our shelves without any wasted space. Using the standard black fodder tubs, only 2 fit side by side.

The storage tubs give me 1″ x 5″ more growing room than the standard seed trays which are 20″x10″ (of actual growing space, the trays are actually 21″ x 11″ and 2″ deep total).

We drilled drainage holes in our tubs on one side in the valley. A drill bit slightly smaller than the post-soaked swollen grains is ideal. Any larger of a hole and the grains will fall through. You want the drainage holes big enough to drain the water well so your fodder is not sitting in water. Allowing the fodder to sit in water will cause it to ferment and rot.

I find 1.5 quarts of pre-soaked grain spreads out very well in the tub post-soak. 1 quart weighs approx. 1.25- 1.5 lbs. For 4 of my fodder trays, I use approx. 7.5 lbs. of barley a day to feed all of the animals once a day.

FOdder shelving

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2 Comments to “Fodder update”

  1. Between you and Granny’s Best (http://grannysbest.blogspot.com/) I’m getting educated in supplementing with fodder. I’ve also been reading other places. One thing I haven’t figured out is just how much can this replace hay? Their seems to be some controversy on it.

    • I’m not sure I can fully say because I don’t completely know. However, if I had to guess, it would be anywhere from 60-80% less providing they were receiving the full amount of fodder based on weight and need (i.e. maintenance vs. other (i.e. lactating, growing, needing to put weight on, etc). The hay need not be nutritionally outstanding, though as I know you know, goats should not be fed moldy hay. It’s more just for the fiber and for something to do than for the actual nutrition. This all depends on how much of their maximum allowed diet is replaced in fodder (maintenance is anywhere from 1%-2% of body weight, growth is approx. 2% and working is upwards of 3%). Another good site is that of my friend in Georgetown, Ca. at http://quartzridgeranch.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/our-fodder-room/

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