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FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Provide a well rounded diet without commercial feed, including discussions of the methods and merits of growing fodder.
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Re: FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#46  Unread postby Miss M » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:57 am


grumpy wrote:Miss M.

Not at all..by all means do what you think is best. I was wondering "why"
I hadn't had a lot of responses...LOL... :x
I suppose a "Much Better" title wouldn't hurt none.....would it. :P

:lol: I kept wondering if the title might be an issue, actually from the time you started the thread. I should have said something then. :) I've changed it, so hopefully more people will find it now.

And Maggie has made it a Sticky, which I'd also been thinking about. :P

Thank you for the info about the over-seeded flat, and the area and depth of the flats, as well. I'll continue paying attention as your fodder experience continues through growouts and taste tests. :)

I have an area in the school room I think I can sacrifice for fodder. But before I can do that, I have to build some bookshelves and cabinets to hold everything that is in that area right now.
We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
- James Madison

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Re: FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#47  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:52 am


This is a great thread, and I have enjoyed it a lot, I am waiting to see how it works for you, as far as growout time for 5 lb fryers, -- I think it is wise of you to keep some pellets in the diet as you start this change, to keep a vitamin /mineral source available. -- I was very optimistic years ago when I tried this type of thing, but could not get the " faster" growth rates my employers were looking for, so we had to explore "other options". But -if it had been for my own animals, I would have continued the project -as the slightly longer grow out times were off set by a reduction in feed costs.-
- any way-- thank you for a great thread.
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#48  Unread postby grumpy » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:06 pm


michaels4gardens wrote:This is a great thread, and I have enjoyed it a lot, I am waiting to see how it works for you, as far as growout time for 5 lb fryers, -- I think it is wise of you to keep some pellets in the diet as you start this change, to keep a vitamin /mineral source available. -- I was very optimistic years ago when I tried this type of thing, but could not get the " faster" growth rates my employers were looking for, so we had to explore "other options". But -if it had been for my own animals, I would have continued the project -as the slightly longer grow out times were off set by a reduction in feed costs.-
- any way-- thank you for a great thread.


Thanks Michael,
and you're very welcome.

This has been a learning experience for everyone concerned. Myself included.
I didn't have a clue how this was going to turn out when I started.
I had a hunch I could do it, but one never knows. Even if it had failed miserably,
we all would have learned a few things.

I think failures should be shared just as much as successes. Lord knows, I've
had my share the last several years. But, that's okay. It may save someone
else the frustration that I've experienced.

Take for instance, those flat-nosed feeders I made. WOW....way too much
work, time, and effort. I "ain't" gonna do that again. I learned my lesson
that some things are cheaper bought than made. Thanks, but no thanks,
never again. LOL.

As for the fodder experiment.........we did pretty good. :D :D
We all learned a few things.

grumpy.

__________ Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:06 pm __________

Say Hello to Chip......He's a unique kind of a guy. Sorta "ugly".....But cute
in his own way. For sure he loves his daily biscuit.
Image

Down to the very last bite.. :P "Don't mess with me while I'm eatin' man."
He's an English Spot, New Zealand White cross.
Image

Start them out young, and you'll have no problems. Some of my older does
"refuse" to eat their portion.
Here's a litter of 11 youngsters about 12-13 days old. At least they're tryin'.
Except one over in the corner...........he's poutin'.
Image

This is Rose....she'll eat her biscuit every time. One of her youngster's is
helping her out.
Image

Hope you enjoyed,
Thanks for lookin'.

Grumpy.
Last edited by grumpy on Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#49  Unread postby Sagebrush » Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:24 pm


I think chip is cute, even though he looks to be molting.

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Re: A begining. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#50  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:33 pm


grumpy wrote:With fodder costing under a nickel per
pound versus pellets costing 27.5 cents per pound, it's easy to see the potential.


A pound of fodder has a lot more water weight than pellets.

One of the ways that pet food companies bump their "meat" content in dog and cat food is to list "fresh" chicken, beef, or whatever, as opposed to "meal" which is already processed and dried.

I would try to figure the cost based on dried, more nutrient dense product rather than fresh to see if it really is worthwhile.
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Re: A begining. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#51  Unread postby grumpy » Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:52 am


MamaSheepdog wrote:
grumpy wrote:With fodder costing under a nickel per
pound versus pellets costing 27.5 cents per pound, it's easy to see the potential.


A pound of fodder has a lot more water weight than pellets.

One of the ways that pet food companies bump their "meat" content in dog and cat food is to list "fresh" chicken, beef, or whatever, as opposed to "meal" which is already processed and dried.

I would try to figure the cost based on dried, more nutrient dense product rather than fresh to see if it really is worthwhile.



The exact same point made earlier this afternoon by the extension agent.

Of which, we agreed to disagree. My only objective in this whole process
was to come to a point that I could provide a food-source that was "wholesome"
and "equitable" in food value to a pellet. A "pellet" that I must take for
granted is "healthy" because....It says so on the label.

Maybe I'm wrong. I'm not scientifically educated enough to know DM from
any other type of "M". If I can provide a source of protein my stock will
eat and enjoy, then I've succeeded. "True"....it's a labor added that requires
more time and energy. I've spent the entire evening reading through countless
reports and studies concerning this very thing. "Dry Matter" comes up more
times than I've got fingers and toes. But, to what end should we be concerned
with? I'm at a loss when asked this type of inquiry. If the stock consumes
it and flourishes, then have we not succeeded?

The agent commented, "Well, it's 98% water. Remove the water and
you've got nothing."

My reply kind of shortened his breathing. "A cornstalk is nothing more
than a kernel of corn? Is that what you're saying?"

"Well, yes, it's worthless as food."

"What about silage?" Hasn't its growth changed its value?"

Round and round we go. That single seed of Barley "changed" when it
sprouted. To what degree and value, I'll leave that up to the scientists.
All I know is, thus far, most of the rabbits like it more and more each day.
They are noticeably eating fewer and fewer pellets, I can feed a portion
of Fodder along with a portion of pellets and they'll eat the green-stuff first.
Leaving a noticeable amount of pellets in their feeder by the next morning.

It's far too early to make any blanket statements. Maybe in six months, I
can come to a reasonable conclusion about time versus costs versus
overall health. Technically and scientifically the experts may be correct.

Just don't tell the Bumble-Bee. LOL. :D :gnight:

grumpy.
Author of Historical Romance Novels: The Trilogy of: Box of Dreams, Scarlet Dreams, and Shattered Dreams.
My newest work: Now in publication. Redemption Road.
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Re: FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#52  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:27 am


I noticed that the rabbits eat until they are full, and there is more nutrient in a cup of pellets then there is in a cup of fodder, so-- "theoretically" rabbits should not do nearly as well on fodder as they do on pellets, but-- somehow ,they do grow very well anyway . -If I remember right ,the fodder / pellet raised rabbits were les then a week behind the pellet only raised rabbits. and-- raised at a significant feed cost advantage. so -- things are not always as they seem to be, and, -there must be some other factors at work, beyond our understanding, or the ones that seem so obvious to us.
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Re: FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#53  Unread postby grumpy » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:22 am


Thanks, Michael.

I know for a fact, that when I started out on this deal, I was extremely angry. I have never felt the degree of impotent anger over being unable to do anything more than watch my rabbits slowly and painfully die one by one. Although destined for the dinner plate, I had done my very best to raise my stock in an environment that I "thought" was nearly perfect.

From the last week of March till the third week of June, I had only one focus. That focus was to provide a better and safer food for the rabbits. I'd read about "fodder" previously and honestly thought, "It wasn't worth the time and the effort." But, hauling 5 gallon buckets full of dead rabbits out of the barn, quickly changed my mind. "Man.......something's got to give, or I'm quitting this nonsense." was my thought at the time

I spent untold hours on this site going over the "Fodder-Thread" time after time. But, to be honest, I could see it wasn't on the level I wanted to be. I wasn't after a couple of pounds per day. I wanted 25, 50, 75, up to 100 pounds per day. That was my initial mindset. Producing enough feed "MYSELF" so I wouldn't have to take someone else's "WORD" their food was safe for my stock. Once I cooled down a little, I realized my original intent was in error. I had other situations that I must consider.

I sell a goodly number of young brood stock to folks. I want them to have only the very best rabbits I can produce. A rabbit raised 100% on fodder, "Ain't gonna cut it." as I'm sure the new owners wouldn't be set up for this type of feed production. So, I started re-adjusting my way of thinking. Pellets, unfortunately, must remain in some small portion part of their diet. I hated it, but realized it was unavoidable. I'm one, very-old, very hard-headed, very-cantankerous, S.O.B. LOL. :) :) But, I'm honest enough with myself and with others to confess this about yours truly. I didn't come by the nickname, "Grumpy" by accident. I worked very hard to earn it.

I must admit losing that number of rabbits in such a short amount of time, opened my eyes. I realized, "I'm not perfect, although my intentions are, and I'm going to make mistakes. Costly mistakes." A lot has changed since the last week of March, 2014. I'm a little wiser and little more humbled over the disaster that occurred. But, mostly a great deal more distrustful when it comes to feed companies. Yet, I've got to "share my bed" with them, so to speak, a little. I'll continue to use "Country-Acres" as a portion of the herd's diet. It's not the best feed, but it's the feed I've had the least amount of problems with. So, uncomfortable as this is, this feed brand and I are joined at the hip by a tenuous thread.
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Re: FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#54  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:45 am


I look forward to reading about your birth to market, [growout] time, and a comparison to your "pellet only" growout times.
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Re: FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#55  Unread postby grumpy » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:39 am


26 days have elapsed since the introduction of fodder into the Rabbitry's
diet. It's still far too early to come to any solid conclusions, but I have made
some very interesting observations.

My older bucks, 4 to 6 years old, still refuse to hardly even sample it. The
younger studs in the group, 1 to 2 years old, seem more accepting of this
new type of food source. Even my older does are beginning to come around.
Which really surprised me because at first they'd bump it with their noses'
and not touch it after that.

I've noticed a marked decrease in pellet consumption with the grow out
fryers. It's well over 25%. I'm pleased with this, as this group is by far the
largest consumer of food in the rabbitry. They'll have pellets and brome hay
continually in front of them, but when it comes time to feed the fodder, you'd
think they are starving to death..!! I'll feed each pen of six fryers about
12-14 ounces of fodder as their evening snack. By early the next morning
all that remains is a small divot of dried rootstock about the size of a silver
dollar.

In general.....the herd "appears" to be in better, overall, general health.
Again, this is an early observation but one that I find satisfying. I think this
is headed in the right direction. The fodder production itself is quite successful.
I've lost only a small portion of the biscuit a couple of times due to
questionable appearances. I excise that portion and dispose of it. Thus far,
the most I've had to throw away is a couple of 4" squares out of three trays
of fodder and that only happens about every third evening.

Last night, I made a change. I intentionally "short-fed" everyone on their
daily pellet ration. While making sure every pen had adequate fodder as their
food source for the overnight hours. This morning, I'll begin feeding the
pellet ration, instead of feeding it in conjunction with the fodder at night.
Hopefully, the "old-timers" will increase their acceptance of this new food source.

It's difficult to accurately calculate the need for the proper amount of fodder
on a daily basis. Last week, I sold 53 head of fryer-stock. Yesterday, 26
more head went out the door. The numbers continually fluctuate which
makes it a pain in the patooty at times.

BTW: I shared a few photos of the fodder set-up on a F/B group. I got over
135 likes and 65+ comments..........which were mostly questions about my
procedures.
grumpy.
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Re: FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#56  Unread postby Sagebrush » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:10 am


So glad to hear that they are doing well and that they older stock is starting to take a liking in it. I have been thinking about doing this with my herd, just on a much smaller scale.

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Re: FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#57  Unread postby Miss M » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:40 am


I've been waiting on pins and needles for you to give us an update, Grumpy! :P

It's great to hear that your early results are looking so good! :D
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Re: FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#58  Unread postby grumpy » Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:59 pm


Got some more pics to share......imagine that. LOL.

I located a nice A/C unit and installed it in the window of my fodder room.
Image

It takes me a little while, but eventually I "come-around" and use my head
for something other than a Hat-Rack. Getting the proper "fall" to the flats
was easy as pie......once the light came on.
I just use the frame and set the edge of the flat on it. Total fall is about
4 inches. Which is more than enough.
Image

Today's total weight of the fodder was 18 pounds....2 ounces.
The original Dry-weight of the seed was 3 pounds...6 ounces.
That is a 537% increase in weight. Not bad.....not bad at all.
Image

Image

Thanks for looking. Have a nice day.
Grumpy.
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My newest work: Now in publication. Redemption Road.
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Re: FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#59  Unread postby Miss M » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:42 pm


That is just incredible! :)

Are those just regular fluorescent lights up there? And do you move all the trays up a level every day, so the trays closest to harvest are the ones under the lights?
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Re: FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#60  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:26 am


thank you, I am quite interested in this , and your results, at some point you may be able to do a feed cost comparison / lb of rabbit shipped., -- that would also be quite interesting.
I can not remember just how much we saved when trying this years ago, but I do remember I was proud of the result, and disappointed the "company" did not want to continue the program.
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