Since we began raising dairy goats over a decade ago we have tried to provide the highest quality feed possible. Unable to acquire land for pasture, we could only yearn for the time when our beloved goats would enjoy fresh, green grass. Then in 2012 we discovered a technology that sprouts barley seed (called fodder). As the manufacturer describes the process, it goes "from seed to feed in 6 days". We could hardly contain ourselves as we learned more about how the system worked and the health benefits of fresh sprouts for the goats.
After researching the benefits and associated costs, along with the various technologies available at the time, we settled on the fodder solutions equipment manufactured in the US by Fodder Works. One can find a host of information on the web regarding fodder (check out https://www.fodderworks.net/). We'll simply give you a few observations from our own herd over the past years:
the goats seem to find great pleasure in eating fresh, green grass all year long (if we didn't have other chores, we could just sit and enjoy watching them eat--very entertaining!)
our kids experience exceptional weight gains as we raise them on mama's milk, fodder and a mixed hay pellet. After weaning, they continue to gain extremely well on just fodder and the mixed hay. We have not fed grain of any kind since Fall of 2012.
we measured as high as a 40% increase in butterfat percentage when comparing milk produced with alfalfa and grain versus fodder and mixed hay. The protein percentage remained relatively unchanged.
judges have commented on the great overall conditioning of our goats as well as the sleekness of their coats in contrast to other goats in the ring
our machine went down for a few days recently during a cold spell. Almost immediately we found the water buckets empty. This continued until we began feeding their daily ration of fodder. Fodder has indeed impacted the hydration in our herd.
You'll find much more information on the internet about the virtues of fodder. We simply feel very content to have green "pasture" available year round--especially when winter sets in with its freezing temperatures and blankets of snow. We love not feeding any processed feeds, and we have yet to miss the high costs of grain :)