SRF-Livestock Feed Sprouter
Moving your pasture indoors eliminates the worries about drought, snow, insect infestation, poisonous weeds, or overgrazing. It also enables the livestock to grow quicker by eliminating their need to spend endless energy searching for something to eat.
SRFs compact, self-contained Alternative Feed System units operate on an average power cost of $2 per day. The system uses only .5 to 1.0 gallons of water to produce 2.2 lbs of green grass, whereas conventional growing methods require approximately 21 gallons of water. The irrigation water can be re-used for animal hydration.
These units will produce highly nutritious feed at a per-pound cost of $.03 - $.06 cents. Additionally, dependence upon rain or soil moisture content is eliminated as this unit is a controlled growing environment. Spring pasture quality green grass fodder is available year around.
Any animal that forages will consume the feed sprouts produced. For example; Cattle, Horses, Goats, Sheep, Hogs, Chickens. Turkeys, Deer, Rabbits, Zoo animals and many more enjoy this soft, moist, nutritious fodder.
Alternative Feed System Units
AFS-4 unit for 1-2 horses
AFS-16 unit feeds 6-8 1,100 lbs animals on average.
AFS-172 unit shown on truck feeds 63 1,100 lbs cows/horses
Sprouts ready to feed
The Feed Systems are available in modular sized fully transportable container in a various range of sizes. We can also provide custom-sized commercial systems specific to the individual producers needs.
These units are available in sizes as small as a refrigerator for small farmers on up to large units for big commercial farms and ranches. They are easy to ship and easy to use. The amount of water, lighting, heating and cooling are all pretty much dialed in for the customer, so they just have to plug their alternative feed system into a 110-volt outlet, hook up their water, put the seed in the tray and begin operating.
The units include a 45 gallon water tank (75 gallons for the AFS-172), shelving and trays, lighting and irrigation systems controlled by a computer. The tank has a float and check valve and will allow the system to always have enough water to run the 24 hour cycles. The 3 foot x 3 foot trays are very solid and are a heavy duty ABS plastic. The user puts seeds into the trays, turns on the system and around six days later harvests lush green "mats", weigh 15 - 18 pounds, look like sod grown for lawns but without any dirt attached and are packed with nutrition.
|The feed is harvested in a sprout mat that is completely edible and high in nutrition. The entire process, from seeding of the growing trays to actual fodder feed, takes only six days. Growth is achieved in a totally controlled environment which gives the producer the ability to provide a consistent high nutrient 100 percent organic green feed to their animals regardless of weather or unstable market prices.|
Animals consume all of the mat--the roots and the green roughage--so it minimizes waste on feed. You have a highly nutritional feed that's high in moisture, so there's a better hydration rate and better nutritional absorption into the bloodstream. It's easier for the animals to digest.
Customers have told us that their livestock come running when they see the wagon or trailer with the fresh green grass sprouts. The livestock relish the fresh green grass as much as it is beneficial for their nutritional requirements. The soft green grass is also better for older livestock who may have trouble eating the hard hulled grains.
We recommend feeding the sprouts on day 6 or 7 because that is when the sprout/seed is at it's optimum nutritional value.
Sprouts are highly digestible. Adding sprouts to a diet improves digestion and absorption of food and uses less energy to do so. Grains contain Enzyme inhibitors to preserve the seed. Sprouting eliminates these inhibitors making it easier to digest the nutritional properties. Sprouting:
- Converts starch to sugar (better for ruminants)
- Increases enzymes, vitamin levels, amino acids, and fatty acids.
Even better, the AFS requires no pesticides or fertilizers.
Unit on Wheels
Horses grazing on sprouts
Fodder in snow
Brand New AFS-4 unit for small farms:
|L x W x H
|AFS-4||22||1-2||3.4 x 3.4 x 6.2||400||3||1-2|
|AFS-16||90||6||9.8 x 4.5 x 7.9||1600||12||6||Yes|
|AFS-24||Special order only. Call for information||10|
|AFS-33||180||12||9.8 x 7.75 x 7.9||2000||24||12||Yes|
|AFS-50||Special order only. Call for information||18||.|
|AFS-66||360||24||19.2 x 7.75 x 7.5||2500||48||24||No|
|AFS-99||540||36||19.2 x 7.75 x 9.1||2800||72||36||No|
|AFS-115||Special order only. Call for information||42|
|AFS-172||945||63||19.2 x 10.9 x 10.5||4500||126||63||No|
|Model #||This represents the tons of fodder produced in a year. For example, AFS-16 = 16 tons of feed (fodder) produced per year.|
|Sprouts /day||The pounds of sprouts produced per day.|
|Mat #||The number of 15-18 pound mats produced per day.|
|Dimensions||The shipping dimensions in feet|
|Weight#||The shipping weight in pounds|
|Grain#||The pounds of grain started each day|
|#Cattle||The number of Yearling cattle fed per day. 1 mat / cow|
|Trailer||Can this unit be ordered as a trailer for portability?|
AFS- unit pricing starts at around $5,300 plus shipping. Some units are custom only.
Custom systems can be built to meet larger livestock capacities.
Depending on the size of the system purchased, a typical operation takes from only 15 to 120 minutes per day to harvest, clean and seed the AFS unit.
Because all aspects of the environment are controlled, this Alternative Feed System (AFS) reproduces growing conditions that allow the seeds to go from germination to the optimal nutritional value of that plant without having to battle drought, flooding, extreme temperatures and other vicissitudes of nature.
The systems irrigation is designed to provide maximum germination and sprouting of any seed that is placed in the system.
The systems have four foot bulb lighting and will have LED lighting as well.
These Alternative Feed Systems are designed for optimum operating results when outside temperatures range from 45 degrees Farenheit to 98 degrees. Units placed in locations where these termperatures are not maintained will be subject to additional water supply/drainage preparation and will in some cases increase utility costs, affect the growth cycle and maintenance somewhat.
The optimum location of this unit would be inside a building with 110 volt, 30 amp electric system and water connection via a running water hose source.
The units can be placed out in the open, connected to an electrical power source, with the water reservoir filled daily if necessary.
A forklift with an 8 foot extenstion, 10 feet for the AFS172, will make unloading the unit from the truck fairly simple. Caster wheels can be installed to the skids if a concrete floor is present, otherwise the forklift can be used to move it into position.
The units are essentially plug and play with almost everything already installed and tied down for shipment. Remove the paper work and a few small items, level the unit and slope it about 3 1/2 inches for drainage. Hook up the water, power, add the seeds, prime the water pump (1 1/2 gallons of water) and switch it to automatic.
Research has shown that Barley seed produces a highly nutritious grass fodder, but you can use any type of seed in any combination - oats, wheat, sweet peas, soy, mung--and you can fine-tune a mixture for the nutritional needs of your animals.
The nutrient levels of the various seeds sprouted will vary some but not much over all. Of course the quality of the seed plays the largest part of how high the levels are. For example; grains (barley, wheat, oats) on average will have on a low end 12% protein and 24% on the high end of proteins. Fibers are usually around 11%-18%.
Almost all your various sprouts including legumes/grasses will have similar levels as grain. When mixed/blended it will push up the levels by 5%-10% on average. So the nice thing about these systems is that you can base your feed off of what is available in your area, price, and easily get what ever you are sprouting tested and then you can dial it in to exactly what nutrient levels you want to achieve and very cost effective.
When grain is ground/cracked it has a determinate shelf life and will quickly go rancid. It can become rancid even before you buy it at the feed store and before it’s turned in to pellets or mixed in a bag.
Note: It is very important that you use only seeds sold for feeding and not use seeds sold for planting that may also contain fertilizer, insecticides or pesticides embedded in the seed.
The ph is not a huge factor in the sprouting and we do not recommend any fertilizers as it just increases the cost of input. You will achieve a good solid crop without it. If you choose to use a booster you can, it will not hurt the crop and yes it will increase the yield weights and nutrients. But you must consider where the break even cost point is when adding additional inputs.
We do recommend adding chlorine or hydrogen peroxide to the water to help keep the system clean and control any possible mold issues.
Based on suggested Fodder nutritional data for cattle feed:
Day to day feeding: 1% of animals total body weight per day. For an 800 pound animal you would feed approximately 8 pounds or 1/2 of a mat.
Finishing Weight feeding: 3% of animals total body weight per day. For a 1200 pound steer you would feed approximately 36 pounds or 2 mats per day.
We also recommend providing about one-half this amount of dry hay to add roughage and improve the nutritional value of each feeding.
For more information about the nutritional value of sprouts see the Review of Published Literature link.
The water is dispensed by a controlled spray system and conserves water usage extremely well.
The waste water is simply good water that has not been absorbed by the plants. The water outlet (drain) can be routed to a water tank for your animals or you can dispose of it down a drain. The systems have a 2 inch drain spout that you can connect any length of hose or pvc pipe to.
Some answers to Frequently Asked Questions from the manufacturer
1. How do I decide what amount of sprouts and hay to feed to my livestock? I've read the chart but would like some more information.
It depends on the size of the dairy cow, and so if your cows average 1500 lbs, feed 20-30 lbs of sprouts with 15 lbs of dry matter hay or other roughage on average. The key is for the farmer to start out feeding what he is comfortable with and then he can adjust the ration up or down.
2. How much grain and hay would be replaced by the sprout system.
For every 1 lb of grain put in the system you will average 7.5 lbs of harvested crop. So you have a 7.5:1 ratio benefit vs. if you are feeding straight whole grain ration which of course is a 1:1 ratio. So when a person is buying a ton of whole grains at $400 per ton you can then use the above ratios and see the economical savings. Also there will be on average a reduction of dry matter (hay) ration by anywhere of 10% to 50%.
Plus you will see a reduction in manure, better overall health conditions of the animal and increased production of butter fat % in the milk. And there are other underlying benefits overall.
So in short you will with out a doubt see a cost saving on the input side of up to as high as 50% and an increase in profitability on the output side.
Click Additional Questions and Answers FAQ for some more questions and answers.
You may already be spending as much on feed as you would on feed and purchasing an AFS unit. To check:
1. Multiply 2 pounds x the number of livestock fed x $/pound of grain.
2. Add price of 6-8 pounds of hay and any supplements, cost of 45 gallons of water, plus $1 or $2 for electricity to determine daily cost for fresh green grass feed using an AFS unit. Then compare this daily cost with your current daily cost.
Multiply both costs by 30 to obtain your average monthly costs. Compare price and quality. Payments may be stretched out over a period of time.
Unsure about feeding Sprouts to your Livestock?
The operation and product are almost exactly the same as the large Livestock Feed Sprouters. The difference is in the price and quantity. The Mikrofarm autosprouter costs $214.00 and produces one pound of sprouts daily or five pounds every five days while the Livestock Feed Sprouters produce from 22 pounds to multiple tons per day. You'll find that your livestock really like the sprouts and how easy it is to grow.
Available in the continental US.
Delivery currently will take from 4 - 6 weeks after deposit.
For additional information about these efficient systems and prices, click firstname.lastname@example.org and include:
- the number and type of livestock that you plan to feed, (riding horses, milking cows, yearlings, calves, hogs, chickens, etc.)
- the size of the unit that you are interested in learning more about
- your address (City and State).