Monday, December 12, 2016

Fodder System

Here is another look at what our cows are eating in the dead of winter.

We provide them with plenty of high quality hay and what little grazing the pasture is able to provide this time of year. We would all prefer to have milk from lush green pastures year around.  With our new fodder system we are able to provide a
taste of spring even in the most extreme weather of the year. The Barley is soaked and sprouted in the trays pictured. No nutrients are ever added to the water. All of the nutrients needed for the first 7-10 days of life already exist inside the seed. The seeds grow from germination to 8 inches tall in 7 days. Our system waters the seed bed several times per hour. Lest you think we waste that water, the water that drains from the trays is then routed to an outdoor drinking tank for the cows on pasture. The fodder is pulled from the system and fed to the cattle after 7 days of growth.  The cows absolutely eat this stuff with a vigor that I seldom see them eat with, it is both interesting and hillarious. (I will try to get a video of them eating and post to Facebook). We believe that lush grass is the key to great milk, and in the times of year that make pasture grazing impossible, this system provides a nice substitute. It is even a nice compliment to grazing in the growing season. If you are a cow, there's just nothing that can replace young tender greeen grass, and now we can provide that all year long.