Sheep and goats feeding on hydroponically produced fodder. Hydroponics farming uses 80 per cent less water making it ideal for places with scarce water supply. Photo, Hydroponics Kenya Facebook.
Livestock farmers save up to 70 percent of their resources on producing feed for their animals in seven days using hydroponic technology, a high-tech method of growing plants in water rich in mineral nutrients instead of soil as opposed to depending on conventional sources of fodder.
According to a study by a research published in Academia.edu, 90 per cent of livestock farmers in Africa rely on conventional animal fodder that requires for instance 10,000 square meters to produce 600kg of fodder, which requires an average of 60days to mature.
Smart farmers however have turned to hydroponic fodder which only requires 50 square meters to produce 600kg of much nutritious fodder in 6days which has the potential to increase milk yield by 12.5 per cent. This means of fodder production requires less labour, minimal water and requires no specific climatic condition or nutrients to grow.
RELATED CONTENT: Detergents give 100 per cent hydroponic fodder and kill germs
How to grow hydroponic fodder from maize seeds
Weigh 1.5kg of pest free maize seeds per tray
Clean them well using fresh water.
Wash them twice with sodium hypochlorite and leave it for 30min before draining and soaking it in fresh water for 24hours.
Drain all water and let the seeds breath for 2-3 hours and then place 1.5kg seeds in every tray
Leave them in the green house at a temperature of 60-75 degree Fahrenheit for 48 hours to germinate
Each tray will produce 6-8kg of green fodder measuring 25cm on the 7th day. It is estimated that 10kg of hydroponic fodder is sufficient for each cow per day. From 108kg of maize seed, a farmer is able to harvest 570kg of hydroponic fodder able to feed 57 cows.
RELATED CONTENT: ‘Iko-Lishe’ programme for hydroponic fodder production at low cost
How to grow hydroponic fodder from barley seeds
Weigh 2.3 kg of barley seeds.
Wash the seeds until water comes out clear.
Trash the ones that float.
Make a solution of 2.5ml jik and 2.5 liters of water and use it to soak the seed for 15 minutes.
Rinse the seed with clean water twice.
Soak the seed for 4 hours and make sure all seeds are submerged.
Take a basin with holes at the bottom and put seed inside and then cover with a piece of cloth be watering three times per day with plain water for 2 days and make sure water drains.
Transfer the germinated seed to the tray and spread evenly leaving a gap of 1 inch at the end where holes are, be watering 3 times per day using hydroponics nutrient solution as per instructions.
Harvest after 7 days and feed the animals.
Wash and sterilize the trays using jik solution and re-seed.
For more information contact Hydroponics Kenya on +254722956647/+254703286763