It is well known that a cow only gets 20% of the energy produced through digestion of a grain based diet such as alfalfa and maize to produce milk.
Hydroponic fodder is so much more easily digestible, full of nutrients and enzymes that the energy spent on this digestion process would be far less with the resultant extra energy being diverted to milk production and growth.
Independent trials and studies also point to improved milk yields and content:
• La Serenisima
A leading Argentinean dairy conducted trials with 500kg Holsteins over an 8 week period. A group fed with up to 12kg of fresh hydroponic sprouting barley per day improved the volume of milk produced by 11% with an increase in milk fat by 23 %
• Ohio State University
Extended trials over 29 years indicate that dairy cattle fed freshly mown grass outperformed cattle fed with grass that was allowed to dry with increased milk yield of 28% and improved fat content by 14%.
• Stanton University etal (1997)
Trials indicate that animals grazing on fresh grass have higher levels of CLA (unsaturated fatty acid) in their milk and meat than those consuming conserved forage.
• Elgersma etal (2004)
Holstein Friesian dairy cows were fed on pasture then had a phase on a winter diet of maize/silage. The change in diet dramatically altered the FA composition of the milk. UFA decreased and SFA increased. The beneficial n-7FA rumenic acid + Vaccenic acid reduced by 80% within a week.
• Improved weight gain
• Improved fat and marbling
• Improved general well-being in the herd
• Improved coat condition
• Improved fertility
Our farmers tell us that when winter feeding their bulls sprouting fodder as an integrated part of their diet they achieved a 41% increase in weight versus the control group fed on a normal winter diet.
In turn the benefits for the health of animals turn into benefits for the farmers with better prices at markets and more meat per animal at the abattoir.