Hydroponic Fodder for horses...

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Jubilee Farm, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Jubilee Farm

    Jubilee Farm Senior Member+

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    Does anyone here use it as the primary source of feed for their horses? If so, would you mind sharing your thoughts and any positives or negatives that you've observed?

    The last few years at the state fair and a few 'horsey' events, there have been sales reps. showcasing their systems, the benefits etc.. I admit I haven't ever really been interested in more than a passing glance at their displays in the past - but as another source of discussion last night, it was mentioned - now I find myself a little more curious about the ease of growing/feeding and the benefits.
     






  2. Pumpkin

    Pumpkin Senior Member+

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    I would want to know what type of chemicals, fungicides and fertilizers were used to produce the crop. I have a neighbor that grows several things in their hydo greenhouse. I know they cannot advertise as organic because of the chemicals they use. I'd be leary of the hydro forage, personally.
     
  3. JBandRio

    JBandRio Senior Member+

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    Sure, you can use it. How much money ya got? ;)

    If you're concerned about chemicals/etc, are you asking the same questions about the hay you buy? :) Of the hard feed? What about any alfalfa pellets? Alfalfa can get treated pretty aggressively for blister beetles.
     
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  4. horsiehuntersam

    horsiehuntersam Senior Member

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    Hydroponic systems do not have to be the grossly overpriced pre-made things you can buy. It is very easy to make your own hydroponic system - you just have to decide what "style" you want, which usually depends on the type of plant you want to grow. What are you looking to grow for your horses? Bubble buckets are the easiest/cheapest method, but I can't think of anything you can grow in there that you would feed to horses. I grew a tomato plant in each bucket. Ebb/flow, NFT, bubbleponics, passive systems, and top-feed drip systems are the most common types. Google search for them and you should be able to get a concept of what each method is like. You will need a common aquarium pump (except for with the passive system), and a few other items from the hardware store, but hydro systems are not difficult to build. The nutrients are a little pricey, but they will last harvest, after harvest, after harvest. Some solutions call for as little as 1/2 TB per gallon; it all depends on the plant. It just takes a bit of research, but hydroponically grown plants give a much higher yield, and the taste is not comparable to traditionally grown. I have grown herbs (basil, chamomile, cilantro, thyme, stevia), tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, and okra hydroponically all on either my small apartment patio or in my mom's very small suburban backyard.
     
  5. JBandRio

    JBandRio Senior Member+

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    No, of course they don't have to be expensive systems, but to grow the typical 80lb or so a horse would need to eat in a day to meet his quote, you're not looking at some little operation.

    If you want to feed a pound or so as a treat or supplement, obviously that's different, but it's nothing more than a treat at that point :)
     
  6. goatlady

    goatlady Full Member

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    Didn't Ian Millar feed something like that? I remember going when Big Ben was alive, and the groom talking about it, but it was a long time ago, I can't remember it all now.

    Bonnie.
     
  7. Jubilee Farm

    Jubilee Farm Senior Member+

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    I'm talking about a system something like http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/ExternalPageView?pageKey=EXTERNAL_PAGE_3017 - it isnt the price of equipment/supplies i'm concerned about, but rather, if anyone here has actually used feed produced from something like this, are you/were you happy with performance? Barley grass has been suggested as a basic crop, of course, encouraging you to grow and feed anything you like - what would you personally grow? According to all the information I have, you feed at the same basic rate as you would regular feed (2% of body weight) the link I reference is for a unit that would presumably feed a minimum of 6 average horses a day.

    LOL Its purely for information sake ;) Current class (ranch management) has me thinking about all sorts of options that weren't discussed 'main stream' my first time around in school (20 years ago lol) Hydroponic Fodder was a specific discussion that got brought up again yesterday (in a personal discussion) - I'd like to be more educated in this area, but even teachers don't seem to be very educated beyond text LOL doesnt seem to be a whole lot of/if any operations (at least around here) that actually use it... which makes it more and more interesting to me to want to learn about ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  8. horsiehuntersam

    horsiehuntersam Senior Member

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    ^ That is an NFT system, which is very efficient. I've only grown human-sized quantities. I can't imagine having enough yield for a horse! You would need a large system. I would love to see pics of such a thing!
     
  9. tinychispas

    tinychispas Registered

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    Fodder Solutions T12

    I joined this forum just so I could post some pics of the system I am purchasing in a few weeks. It's made by a licensed dealer in Rough and Ready California.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  10. Eugene Cassels

    Eugene Cassels Senior Member+

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    All I see for pictures is X's
     






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