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

Post Number:#31  Unread postby grumpy » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:15 am


ckcs wrote:Looks great. I know fodder can save some coin but how is it as far as labor on your end? How much time do you think it would add to your week by doing it on a full scale?



Good point!! I've thought about the same thing. It's relative to size first and
foremost. There are days that I feed over 110 pounds of feed. My feed costs
me 27.5 cents per pound. That's right around $30.00 per day. It's expensive.

Starting out on this journey, I was kinda like a "chicken with it's head cut off"
going one way....then another. It took me a few days to develop any form of
routine. Now, it's better, much better time wise. There's still a few kinks in
the system that I'll need to work out to make it more streamlined and quicker.

It's a slow process, but getting better day by day. 20-30 minutes in the
mornings and about 45 minutes in the evenings when I process the fodder
into servable portions. So, about an hour per day right now. That 12+ pounds
of fodder cost me a shade under a nickel a pound. So, roughly 60 cents,
let's say. Now, quadruple that amount and you can see the savings involved.
If I can produce 50-60 pounds of fodder per day and feed it instead of pellets,
the savings will be very significant.

I seriously doubt I'll ever go completely to a fodder based diet. Number one,
you can have a "failure" in a days' production and the stock will go hungry.
We don't want that. Second: Sales of breeding stock will be going to folks
that feed strictly pellets and hay. We've got a problem of drastic diet change
right from the get-go.

I've little to no trust in feed milling companies. PROFIT is their bottom line
nowadays with little to no regard for the ingredients' quality they use. That's
definitely not good for a commercial producer. I am curious though as to the
quality of the fryers produced by a majority of their diet being fodder and hay.
It's GOT to be better. I'd eventually like to get to an 85% fodder, 15% pellet
diet with hay added for higher fiber. With fodder costing under a nickel per
pound versus pellets costing 27.5 cents per pound, it's easy to see the potential.

It's nearly impossible to raise the price of my product on the wholesale level.
But, if I can reduce my expenses, therein lies the potential for more money.
We'll see what happens over the next several months.

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

Post Number:#32  Unread postby ckcs » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:56 am


grumpy wrote:
I seriously doubt I'll ever go completely to a fodder based diet. Number one,
you can have a "failure" in a days' production and the stock will go hungry.
We don't want that. Second: Sales of breeding stock will be going to folks
that feed strictly pellets and hay. We've got a problem of drastic diet change
right from the get-go.

Grumpy.



That is a great point and one I hadn't thought of. Thanks for the very informative response.

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

Post Number:#33  Unread postby the reluctant farmer » Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:16 pm


Grumpy, thanks for all of the information you've shared. I grew fodder over the winter, but on a teeny tiny scale.I raise just enough rabbits to feed my family. It boggled my mind when I looked at the scale you needed to do--far cry from a few dish pans or other containers with drainage holes poked on the bottom. I've learned a lot from what you've done.

My buns have mixed responses to the fodder as well. Some really liked it, some toyed with it. My attitude was " hush and eat your vegetables". It was winter when there's not a lot growing, they are nutritious, and I figured they'd adjust, the same way they did when they transitioned off pellets. They did, though though the picky eaters still looked like they'd rather eat something else. Now, because it's so hot in summer and there is so much fresh fodder, I've not grown sprouted grain because I worried about mold. I may rethink that, with what you're discovering.

I notice a different flavour to fresh fodder/forage/grain fed buns vs pellets, which I like. But to be truthful, I may be looking for a difference and wanting to see it as better. It would be interesting to do a blind, side-by-side taste test comparison.

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

Post Number:#34  Unread postby grumpy » Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:45 pm


the reluctant farmer wrote:Grumpy,
I notice a different flavour to fresh fodder/forage/grain fed buns vs pellets, which I like. But to be truthful, I may be looking for a difference and wanting to see it as better. It would be interesting to do a blind, side-by-side taste test comparison.


TRF......

You've raised an interesting subject. One that I've been rolling around in
my mind for quite a long while. "Flavor---due to diet."

I'm an old-school fella with my roots tracing back into a historical family
of hunter/gatherer's. As far back as the early to mid-1800's my ancestor's
have been folks that lived off the fruits of the land. I've eaten just about
every kind of critter imaginable.
Some tasted pretty good.....Some didn't... :x :x :x

As a youngster I was raised on wild rabbits and squirrels. It was then that
I discovered something very NASTY and quite RANCID!!!
NEVER eat a squirrel or rabbit that's been eatin' hedge-apples. The smell
and taste would gag a buzzard.

Now..........let's go to the other end of the spectrum. What if.....while a
young rabbit was growing to market weight, their diet was slightly altered?
What would happen if by chance or by intent, they were given an "apple"
flavored additive in their diet? What if a light spraying of apple juice was
put on their daily fodder biscuit the last ten days before going to market?

Would that affect the delicate flavor of their meat in a very subtle fashion?
Would it even be noticeable? If it was, how would it affect the sales? These
are some of the issues I consider when growing for market. So, you may
have some very strong merit in your beliefs about flavor.

I know for a fact that meat can be changed by diet. Just try to eat a squirrel
that's been dining on Hedge-apples. You can't get past the smell. It's awful.

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.
Visit my website for more information. http://www.ekfelts.com

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

Post Number:#35  Unread postby the reluctant farmer » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:13 am


grumpy wrote:
You've raised an interesting subject. One that I've been rolling around in
my mind for quite a long while. "Flavor---due to diet."



I know for a fact that meat can be changed by diet. Just try to eat a squirrel
that's been dining on Hedge-apples. You can't get past the smell. It's awful.

Grumpy.

Grumpy, I've been trying to reply and my computer kept crashing! You know, that's true--up in the midwest, where my relatives live, the deer used to live off wild forage, branches in winter, and what bits of crops might be left over after dairy farmers hsrvested for their family fsrms. The venison had a distinctly gamey flavour--particularly the swamp bucks. :x But now, 40+ years later, most of the small family farms are gone and a lot of the farmers have converted to commercial crops of acres & acres of soybean and/or corn. The venison I got from there last fall was fat and tasted like beef to me-which made sense, since they are heavily feeding on the same diet being pushed in commercial lots. (I'm also concerned about how the genetically engineered crops will affct wildlife, since they're now the mainstay of the deer's diet.) So I'm probably not imagining the taste difference in the bun meat. I'd be curious about impact of food flavours on meat flavours as well. I'm also interested in if vitamin & mineral content are enhanced in the final meat product--say for instance, in your apple juice experiment, would not only flavour be enhanced but the meat would have enhanced vitamin c? I am curious about the idea, although I see the potential to go too far.
Last edited by Miss M on Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed duplicate. :)

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

Post Number:#36  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:54 am


I have noticed a different flavor in rabbits raised on sugar beet , carrot, J artichoke, and grass hay, [and it is not a bad thing] compared to pellets, but-- I also notice a different flavor in rabbits raised on a alfalfa / corn based pellet, compared to the alfalfa / wheat based pellets I use now. I have come to the conclusion that feeding the GMO field corn we have today, [and maybe corn in general], to rabbits is not a good thing. - I want to do a trial with flint corn [non GMO], and see if given a choice between wheat and corn, they will sort it out of their feed, and drop all of it under the cage like they do the "Dent" field corn.
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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

Post Number:#37  Unread postby mystang89 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:08 pm


Sorry, I just got a chance to look at this thread but how often do you change out the water? With the trays being tilted does the water make the seed slide to one side a bit? Also how many cups of seed do you put in there? Again, sorry if these answers were answered.

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

Post Number:#38  Unread postby grumpy » Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:35 pm


mystang89 wrote:Sorry, I just got a chance to look at this thread but how often do you change out the water? I use fresh water with every watering.

With the trays being tilted does the water make the seed slide to one side a bit? Only on the first tray. Afterwards, the root system holds itself in place.

Also how many cups of seed do you put in there?
18 ounces of Dry seed PER TRAY is measured then soaked overnight before being placed in the trays.

Again, sorry if these answers were answered.


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

Post Number:#39  Unread postby mystang89 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:54 pm


Thanks, how big are your trays?

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

Post Number:#40  Unread postby grumpy » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:25 am


mystang89 wrote:Thanks, how big are your trays?


They're the standard 1020 greenhouse trays with solid bottoms.
I drill the holes in the bottoms where I want them.
10" X 20" size about 2.75" deep.

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

Post Number:#41  Unread postby WildWolf » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:41 am


This is a great thread!! I have a tiny scale rabbitry and feed with no pellets, and in the winter fodder would be the majority of my rabbits' diets except for alfalfa hay.

Sorry if this was already answered, but how much sunlight are the seeds getting?

I'd also love to see the results of any blind taste tests you all do! I'm not sure how you would be able to measure something like Vitamin C amount. Unfortunately, I don't have the number of rabbits to do that, plus I have some household members who refuse to let me eat the rabbits.
The Wabbit Warren- warren of wonderful wabbits.

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

Post Number:#42  Unread postby grumpy » Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:08 pm


WildWolf wrote:This is a great thread!! I have a tiny scale rabbitry and feed with no pellets, and in the winter fodder would be the majority of my rabbits' diets except for alfalfa hay.

Sorry if this was already answered, but how much sunlight are the seeds getting?

I'd also love to see the results of any blind taste tests you all do! I'm not sure how you would be able to measure something like Vitamin C amount. Unfortunately, I don't have the number of rabbits to do that, plus I have some household members who refuse to let me eat the rabbits.


The lights are on about 10-12 hours per day. I've not gotten the timer
set up on the racks just yet.

The other questions you asked...........I don't have a clue!! :x LOL.
Ounce for ounce the fodder is on equal basis with a good pellet.
Plus...........you KNOW what the blazes is in that fodder. Can't say the
same for that sack of feed.

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

Post Number:#43  Unread postby Miss M » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:43 pm


This is great! And I see a few more members have found the thread. :)

Grumpy, do you mind if I edit the title to start with "FODDER:" so that people can see at a glance that this is a fodder thread?
We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
- James Madison

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

Post Number:#44  Unread postby grumpy » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:42 pm


Miss M wrote:This is great! And I see a few more members have found the thread. :)

Grumpy, do you mind if I edit the title to start with "FODDER:" so that people can see at a glance that this is a fodder thread?


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

Had my first "glitch" this evening. It was in one of the trays that I put far
too much seed in. Such a waste!! I found one small "spot" that
I wasn't quite sure about. It was about the size of a quarter. I just excised
it and went on about my business.

I think that's where a lot of folks have problems. They use far too much seed
in their containers. I use 18 ounces of Dry-seed and soak it for around 18
hours in water and a capful of bleach. I drain it, rinse it, drain it again.
Afterwards, I'll weigh it. Regular as clock-work that 18 ounces now weighs
32 ounces. And that's all I put into the flats which have 200 square inches
of surface. Like I said earlier, their about 2 3/4" tall.

By the sixth day, the root mass is even with the top of the flat and weighs
a little over 6.75 lbs. If I let it grow to the full 7 days, it would be over
7 pounds. Not bad for a pound and a smidge of seed.

By a miscalculation, I started with two flats on the first day. I figured 12
ounces per flat, for three flats. "Man!! That don't even cover the bottom of
the flat." I grouched. So, I cut one flat out of the equation for that day.
The two pictured are the first two that I grew.
Grumpy.
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My newest work: Now in publication. Redemption Road.
Visit my website for more information. http://www.ekfelts.com

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

Post Number:#45  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:21 am


Great thread, Grumpy! Thanks for taking the time to give such detailed information about growing fodder.
I think this needs a "sticky"! :)
Sojourning in 1894 . . .

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