How To Grow Hydroponic Fodder For Livestock

How to Grow Hydroponic Livestock Feed

How to Grow Livestock Fodder in a Hydroponic System. Our farm animals are deprived of the nutrient-dense spring and summer greens during the winter months. We grow hydroponic fodder to make up for the nutrients our livestock are losing due to the loss of greens.

What you need to know about growing livestock feed hydroponically is provided below.

How To Grow Hydroponic Fodder For Livestock


Microgreens that are grown for livestock are essentially considered fodder.

The seeds that are used to grow fodder come in a wide variety. Fodder is typically grown using cereal grains like barley, oats, wheat, sorghum, and corn, or legumes. They don’t have to be special seeds; the leftover mixed bird seed that I turned into fodder is shown below.

Barley is the most widely grown seed and the main crop I grow in my hydroponic systems. It provides the best overall value for money, in my opinion. Barley is available online, but local feed shops typically offer better prices.

All year long, livestock benefit greatly from fodder. It is simple to digest, giving your animals more nutrients while lowering the cost of feed. Feeding livestock improves their productivity compared to not feeding them. The meat from your livestock will be of higher quality and texture, and the yolks of chicken eggs will be darker and taste eggier. Additionally, cows will produce more milk and have more butterfat in their milk.

Systems for Growing Hydroponic Fodder vs. Purchasing

Hydroponic fodder growth does not require a sophisticated system. You might be able to construct a straightforward hydroponic fodder system for a reasonable price, depending on how much fodder you plan to grow and your DIY abilities.

A hydroponic fodder system can be constructed in a variety of ways. I purchased some small plastic crates and placed them in a 2x3x5 greenhouse to help maintain moisture as I built my system. I misted the seeds and fodder several times a day using a spray bottle because I lacked an automatic watering system.

Of course, investing in a hydroponic fodder system is the quickest and most straightforward way to get started growing fodder. With a small initial investment, you can reap the benefits of lower feed costs, healthier animals, and higher-quality animal production.

Hydroponic system with 24 6-foot-long channels, Fodder King 6-24, model number FK624


The additional benefit of purchasing a system is that since you are using it specifically for growing your fodder, it is frequently simpler to do so. Since I only have a few animals, I don’t need to gain enough weight just yet, lol.

How to Begin Growing Hydroponic Feed for Your Animals

When starting to grow fodder, it is best to do so gradually rather than all at once. By doing this, you will eventually establish a cycle where you can harvest fresh fodder every day. The next batch of seeds is being started as you are harvesting one tray.

picking up the seeds

Selecting your seed is the first step in growing fodder. I would advise using barley seed unless your animals have specific nutritional requirements that you’re attempting to meet. Barley seed is available at your neighborhood feed store or online.

your plants in water

The next step is to soak the seeds after choosing the kind of sprouting you’ll be doing. 24-hour immersion in water When starting to grow fodder, it is best to do so gradually rather than all at once. By doing this, you will eventually establish a cycle where you can harvest fresh fodder every day. The next batch of seeds is being started as you are harvesting one tray.

germination of the seeds

The seeds should be spread out in the bottom of the hydroponic system tray after soaking.To keep their moisture, seeds should be sown in a layer that is roughly 1/2 inch thick. They tend to mold if you spread them out too thick because there isn’t enough airflow.

Seeds for sprouting should be kept in a warm, low-light environment. Within a few days, the seeds ought to begin to sprout.

allowing the feed to grow

Maintaining the ideal levels of moisture, airflow, and light is essential for growing fodder. With my setup, I frequently misted my fodder throughout the day with a spray bottle. You could also install a timer or an automatic waterer to give your fodder water at regular intervals throughout the day.

Obtaining the feed mat

Although you can always harvest your fodder, I advise letting it grow for a few days. For me, this period of time worked with the schedule of having a harvest every day and allowed the fodder to grow to a good length for my chickens.

Not only is it simple to harvest the fodder, but it’s also really cool. A root mat is formed by the fodder’s roots growing together. Simply pull out the entire fodder mat from smaller systems, like mine, or roll the fodder up in long trays.


Growing fodder hydroponically is incredibly simple and well worth the effort. Fresh greens are a favorite food of farm animals, and the nutrients are beneficial to them all year. When it comes time to butcher, you’ll notice the quality difference in addition to the feed cost savings.

FAQ: Growing Hydroponic Livestock Feed

How is livestock fodder grown? Growing Hydroponic Livestock and Feeding Growing LivestockOvernight, soak grains in a bucket of water. There should be two inches of water covering the grains. Transfer the grains to trays after draining. Spread uniformly. Water each tray in the morning and at night. Within the first few days, you’ll notice roots, then greens.

How can hydroponic fodder be grown?

How to Grow Hydroponic Livestock Feed Depending on the type of seed, seeds are soaked in ordinary water for 4–24 hours to produce hydroponic fodder, which is then drained and planted in individual greenhouse trays to grow inside the greenhouse. 4 hours of soaking in ordinary water is sufficient for maize.

How does hydroponic chicken feed grow?

How to Grow Hydroponic Livestock Feed Hydroponically grown indoors in water, fodder is grown without the use of soil. Therefore, all that is required to grow hydroponic fodder is to add all the nutrients to a nutrient solution that is supplied to their roots.

What kind of feed is ideal for livestock?

How is livestock fodder grown? The best crops are sorghum and maize because they can be grown for grains and green fodder. Co-4 grass is a high-yielding variety with a protein content of about 11%. Brachiaria, which contains more crude protein than nappier grass, is a superior substitute for animal feed.

How much hydroponically grown fodder does a cow require per day?

How is livestock fodder grown? An excellent starting point is 2% of your body weight. That’s 20 pounds if your animal weighs 1,000 pounds. Keep in mind that fodder isn’t meant to be a complete meal.

The ideal seed for hydroponic fodder is… How can hydroponic fodder be grown?

Barley Barley has the best seed-to-fodder weight ratio of 1 pound of seed to 7 pounds of fodder, making it the most widely used seed for the production of fodder. Although barley is the most typical seed used, it is by no means the only one.

How much hydroponic feed is required for a cow?

How can hydroponic fodder be grown? For each cow, 10 kg of hydroponic fodder per day is thought to be adequate. A farmer can produce 570 kg of hydroponic fodder, enough to feed 57 cows, from 108 kg of maize seed. Barley seeds should weigh 2.3 kg.

Does livestock require sunlight?

How can hydroponic fodder be grown? Even though grow lights or direct sunlight can and will benefit your fodder, direct light is not necessary because the fodder can be grown with only ambient light. Remember that the rack will probably get wet during watering when assembling it to hold your sprouted fodder trays.

Is rice suitable as hydroponic feed?

How long does hydroponic fodder production take? Day 1 of Step 1: Choose high-quality seeds for your hydroponic green feed. You can choose from corn, wheat, rice, oats, or barley. Divide 1 kg of seeds into two equal portions.

Is hydroponic feed cost-effective?

How long does hydroponic fodder production take? Furthermore, it is more palatable and digestible and can be grown in low-cost devices using locally grown grains.Additionally, it has advantages in terms of economic value, year-round consistency in food supply, minimal land use, reduced labor demands, and natural animal feed. (PDF) Elijah Bekuma.

What crop can be grown hydroponically that is most profitable?

How long does hydroponic fodder production take? What are the 9 Most Lucrative Hydroponically Grown Crops? Basil. One of the most popular herbs in India is basil; it has a wonderful aroma and gives any dish the ideal flavor. Lettuce. Cilantro Spinach. Peppers. Onion in spring mint

Which feed contains the most protein?

How does hydroponic chicken feed grow?According to a laboratory analysis, Fagopyrum dibotrys had the highest crude protein (CP) content of all the fodder species (26.89%), followed by Polygonum molle (21.88%) and Hydrangea longipes (21.12%).

Which six criteria apply to hydroponics?

How does hydroponic chicken feed grow? Light, air, water, nutrients, heat, and space are the six things that are required. Both indoors and outdoors can be used for hydroponic growing. In either situation, plants require five to six hours of light per day, access to electricity, and a flat, wind-free area. A Quick Guide to Growing Food Without Soil Using Hydroponics

What can you grow hydroponically most easily?

How does hydroponic chicken feed grow? The simplest hydroponically grown produce is leafy greens, such as watercress, bok choy, spinach, and lettuce. Spinach. Tomatoes need a lot of light. Radish, green, pinto, and lima beans