Hydroponic horse feed is not only better for your horses’ health, but it is more affordable than hay, alfalfa cubes, or other dry feeds. Grow sprouts for as little as $0.03 – $0.05 per lb. With today’s rising cost of animal feed, start saving on your horse feed today.
Fresh sprouts grown in a FodderTech system offer nutritional advantages for horses. Horses are grazing animals. Adding fresh grass to horses helps them to better health and performance.
Feeding sprouts to horses offers:
Here is what horse owner’s incorporating sprouts are saying about FodderTech sprouts:
Within a couple of weeks the FodderTech sprouts gave them back their top line, a healthy shine to their coats, filled them up, and completed their vitamin and mineral requirements – with correct equine analysis and balancing. We have reduced our feed bill by 60%. Every one of our horses looks forward to eating the Fodder. I recommend that all horse owners, especially performance horses, seriously consider giving their horses fresh sprouts every day. The superb digestibility of the FodderTech sprouts helps to significantly reduce colic and ulcers. The lack of dust from dry feed in turn helps with the respiration and will reduce vet bills.
– Jill Harris, Spanish Bit Riding School
Race horses were fed sprouts over the course of a 3 month trial. Here was the response of derby horses consuming FodderTech sprouts:
Sprouts were not grown for a few weeks (sick operator) and the placing had an immediate reduction down to just 7%. Once the system was put back into operation the placings returned up to 15% for the herd.
We can say with a high degree of credibility that after being fed with our sprouting fodder… the win and place ratio was better than ever before. In my opinion the system provided by FodderTech is the best and safest growing method when it comes to feeding valuable horses.
– Brian Rowe, Licensed Race horse trainer for 25 years
The health benefits of sprouted fodder are hard to ignore. Everyone from ranchers to high-level competitors are seeing a difference in their horses and you can too, while also cutting your feed bill by more than half.
This list of benefits is specific to horses, but is certainly not limited to them as you’ll see many of these same benefits in any of your livestock.
Less Recovery Time Required After Hard Work: As with any athlete, recovery time shines a light on how healthy and resilient the body is. The longer it takes the body to recover the farther behind an athlete gets in his/ her training. The same is true with horses. A healthy horse that needs less time to recover after hard work is a must from ranch horses to racehorses.
Reduced Instance of Colic and Ulcers: Not only is colic a serious issue among horses, but ulcers continue to be a growing problem among show horses who deal with high-stress environments on a regular basis.
Reduces Inflammation: Inflammation is the body’s was of protecting itself while it goes through the healing process, but when left uncared for it can become the root cause of many health issues in both horses and people. Prolonged inflammation can cause everything from arthritis to chronic digestive issues. This also speaks to the recovery time of a horse. The less inflation the body has to deal with, the quicker the recovery will be.
Improved Hoof Health: We all want our horses to have better hoof health. Barefoot and shod horses both have a great deal of stress put on their hooves whether it’s out on trails, working the ranch or competing at the highest levels of competition. A stronger hoof benefits every horse.
Improved Behavior and Temperament: Who wouldn’t want their horses’ behavior to improve? Even the best behaved horses can use an attitude adjustment every once in a while. So why not let their diet improve their moods?
Higher Energy Levels: Some of you are thinking “my horse doesn’t need more energy, he needs less!” I hear you, but an even level of energy is much different than the strung-out horse. We just talked about improved behavior. Mix that with a healthy amount of energy and you have a well-balanced horse ready to do its job.
Improved Coat Gloss and Appearance: Put down that $25 bottle of shampoo, the extra high shine lacquer and the tub of oil. Just feed fodder. You want your horses’ coat to be healthy from the inside out not just appear to be healthy. Not only will your horse enjoy his nutrient packed diet, you’ll save hundreds a year.
Stimulates Appetite: Is your horse a fussy eater? Does he/she refuse to eat at times? Fodder is a reliable appetite stimulant especially during hot conditions when your horse is more prone to heat stress.
Chavan and Kadam (1989) concluded that – “The desirable nutritional changes that occur during sprouting are mainly due to the breakdown of complex compounds into a more simple form, transformation into essential constituents, and breakdown of nutritionally undesirable constituents.” “The metabolic activity of resting seeds increases as soon as they are hydrated during soaking. Complex biochemical changes occur during hydration and subsequent sprouting. The reserve chemical constituents, such as protein, starch and lipids, are broken down by enzymes into simple compounds that are used to make new compounds.”“Sprouting grains causes increased activities of hydrolytic enzymes, improvements in the contents of total proteins, fat, certain essential amino acids, total sugars, B-group vitamins, and a decrease in dry matter, starch and anti-nutrients. The increased contents of protein, fat, fibre and total ash are only apparent and attributable to the disappearance of starch. However, improvements in amino acid composition, B-group vitamins, sugars, protein and starch digestibilities, and decrease in phytates and protease inhibitors are the metabolic effects of the sprouting process.”
According to the highly respected naturopath and herbalist Isabell Shipard (Shipard, 2005) – “Sprouts are a tremendous source of (plant) digestive enzymes. Enzymes act as biological catalysts needed for the complete digestion of protein, carbohydrates & fats. The physiology of vitamins, minerals and trace elements is also dependant on enzyme activity.” “Being eaten whilst extremely young, “alive” and rapidly developing, sprouts have been acclaimed as the “most enzyme-rich food on the planet”. Estimates suggest there can be up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than in fruit and vegetables, depending on the particular type of enzyme and the variety of seed being sprouted. The period of greatest enzyme activity in sprouts is generally between germination and 7 days of age.” “Grains and legume seeds of all plants contain abundant enzymes. However, while grains and seeds are dry, enzymes are largely inactive, due to enzyme inhibitors, until given moisture to activate germination. It is these inhibitors that enable many seeds to last for years in soil without deteriorating, whilst waiting for moisture. Enzyme inhibitors in some grains and legume seeds (for example trypsin inhibitors in raw soybeans and certain other beans and peas) need to be inactivated by heating or other processes, before they can be safely fed. However, heating, cooking and grinding processes can also inactivate certain digestive enzymes within grains and seeds. Fortunately, during germination and sprouting of grains and seeds, many enzyme inhibitors are effectively neutralized, whilst at the same time the activity of beneficial plant digestive enzymes is greatly enhanced.”
Morgan et al. (1992) found that – “The protein content of sprouts increased from the time of germination, as shown below. The absorption of nitrates facilitates the metabolism of nitrogenous compounds from carbohydrate reserves, thus increasing crude protein levels.
Chavan and Kadam (1989) stated – “Very complex qualitative changes are reported to occur during soaking and sprouting of seeds. The conversion of storage proteins of cereal grains into albumins and globulins during sprouting may improve the quality of cereal proteins. Many studies have shown an increase in the content of the amino acid Lysine with sprouting.” “An increase in proteolytic activity during sprouting is desirable for nutritional improvement of cereals because it leads to hydrolysis of prolamins and the liberated amino acids such as glutamic and proline are converted to limiting amino acids such as lysine.”
Cuddeford (1989), based on data obtained by Peer and Leeson (1985), stated – “In sprouted barley, crude fibre, a major constituent of cell walls, increases both in percentage and real terms, with the synthesis of structural carbohydrates, such as cellulose and hemicellulose”. Chung et al. (1989) found that the fibre content increased from 3.75% in unsprouted barley seed to 6% in 5-day sprouts.
An increase in lipase activity has been reported in barley by MacLeod and White (1962), as cited by Chavan and Kadam (1989). Increased lipolytic activity during germination and sprouting causes hydrolysis of triacylglycerols to glycerol and constituent fatty acids.
According to Chavan and Kadam (1989) – most reports agree that sprouting treatment of cereal grains generally improves their vitamin value, especially the B-group vitamins. Certain vitamins such as a-tocopherol (Vitamin-E) and beta-carotene (Vitamin-A precursor) are produced during the growth process (Cuddeford, 1989).According to Shipard (2005) – “Sprouts provide a good supply of Vitamins A, E & C plus B complex. Like enzymes, vitamins serve as bioactive catalysts to assist in the digestion and metabolism of feeds and the release of energy. They are also essential for the healing and repair of cells. However, vitamins are very perishable, and in general, the fresher the feeds eaten, the higher the vitamin content. The vitamin content of some seeds can increase by up to 20 times their original value within several days of sprouting. Mung Bean sprouts have B vitamin increases, compared to the dry seeds, of – B1 up 285%, B2 up 515%, B3 up 256%. Even soaking seeds overnight in water yields greatly increased amounts of B vitamins, as well as Vitamin C. Compared with mature plants, sprouts can yield vitamin contents 30 times higher.”
Shipard (2005) claims that – “When seeds are sprouted, minerals chelate or merge with protein, in a way that increases their function.”
Phytic Acid occurs primarily in the seed coats and germ of plant seeds. It forms insoluble or nearly insoluble compounds with minerals including Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc, such that they cannot be effectively absorbed into the blood. Diets high in phytic acid and poor in these minerals produce mineral deficiency symptoms in experimental animals (Gontzea and Sutzescu, 1958, as cited in Chavan and Kadam, 1989). The latter authors state that the sprouting of cereals has been reported to decrease levels of Phytic Acid. Similarly, Shipard (2005) states that enzymes of germination and sprouting have the ability to eliminate detrimental substances such as Phytic Acid.
Tudor et al. (2003) examined the feeding of hydroponically sprouted barley on a property in the Gascoyne Pilbara region of Western Australia, involving 17 Droughtmaster steers (15 – 18 months old and averaging 330 kg liveweight) which received low quality hay and barley sprouts over 70 days. These workers reported – “Over the first 48 days cattle ate 1.9 kg DM/head/day of sprouts (15.4 kg wet weight) and 3.1 kg DM/head/day of poor quality hay and gained 1.01 kg/head/day. Energy intake was 47 MJME/head/day, which was considered by nutrition standards to only be sufficient for low weight gains of up to 200g/head/day. This high performance could not be explained by energy and protein intakes.” “Traditional nutritional standards for feeding beef cattle cannot explain the liveweight gain observed. There was no obvious weight gain due to gut fill or compensatory growth. The better-than-expected performance may be associated with the readily available nutrients and associated enzymes in the 6-7 day old fodder being very rapidly utilised by the animal, immediately they are formed. They may not be included by the assay when in vitro DM digestibility is being measured. These nutrients could result in enhanced microbial activity and growth in the rumen, and consequently, better than expected utilisation of the poor quality hay that was also fed. Therefore, the fermentation of the young hydroponically sprouted barley may have provided far greater energy than was estimated by the in vitro DM digestibility assay.”
Chavan, J. and Kadam, S.S. (1989). “Nutritional improvement of cereals by sprouting.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 28(5): 401-437. Chung, T., Nwokolo, E.N., and Sim, J.S. (1989). “Compositional and digestibility changes in sprouted barley and canola seeds.” Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 39: 267- 278.Cuddeford, D. (1989). “Hydroponic grass.” In Practice 11(5): 211-214. Morgan, J., Hunter, R.R., and O’Haire, R. (1992). “Limiting factors in hydroponic barley grass production.” 8th International Congress on Soilless Culture, Hunter’s Rest, South Africa. Peer, D.J., and Leeson, S. (1985). “Feeding value of hydroponically sprouted barley for poultry and pigs.” Animal Feed Science and Technology 13: 183-190. Shipard, I. (2005). “How Can I Grow and Use Sprouts as Living Food ?” Stewart Publishing. Tudor, G., Darcy, T., Smith, P., and Shallcross, F. (2003). “The intake and liveweight change of droughtmaster steers fed hydroponically grown, young sprouted barley fodder (Autograss).” Department of Agriculture Western Australia.
Definition: The term “Nutraceutical” was coined in the 1990’s by Dr. Stephen DeFelice, who defined the term as: “A Nutraceutical is any substance that is a food or a part of a food and provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease.” In view of this definition, it appears reasonable to regard hydroponically sprouted grains and legume seeds as “Nutraceutical feeds”, when considering reported claims of characteristics conferring potential health benefits.
As reported by Shipard (2005) – “Sprouts can be a rich source of antioxidants, in the form of Beta-Carotene (a precursor of Vitamin-A), Vitamin-E, Vitamin-C and related trace minerals such as Selenium and Zinc. Antioxidants play an important role in assisting to protect the body from damage by free radicals. (“Free radicals” are highly unstable oxygen molecules that are increasingly generated under conditions of high physical exertion and also under conditions of poor nutrition.) As physiologically toxic agents, they have the potential to lead to pain and disease. Free radicals travel throughout the body in search of an electron “partner” and can “steal” electrons from healthy cells. In doing so, they have the ability to alter the structure of the vital biological entities DNA and RNA, which are required for the reproduction of cells. Antioxidant vitamins have an ability to neutralise free-radicals, by either taking away or donating electrons, thereby eliminating the unpaired electron.” The highest sources of antioxidant vitamins and minerals are undoubtedly legume seeds such as – FENUGREEK, ALFALFA, MUNG BEANS, CHICK PEAS and SUNFLOWER SEEDS. According to Shipard (2005), “Fenugreek is one of the oldest recorded medicinal herbs, highly esteemed by both east and west, and has been regarded as a treatment for just about every ailment known to man. Fenugreek has a beneficial action on cleansing the blood.” Other well accepted roles for Vitamins A and E in equine physiology include: Vitamin-A:
Possible roles for Vitamin-C include:
According to Shipard (2005) – “Sprouts help to “alkalise” the body and neutralise acidic wastes, thus assisting the body to heal itself and develop a stronger immune system. Just as most plants grow well in neutral pH soils, so too can animals be more productive if given alkaline feeds. It is believed that in an acid state, body cells cannot adequately take in nutrients and oxygen, and they cannot effectively expel toxins. An overly acid state reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that the cells can receive. When a cell is oxygen deprived, various types of serious health problems may be created.”
These conditions are most likely induced by a lack of salivary buffering brought about by inadequate grazing, low roughage intakes, high grain intakes and the stresses of high intensity training and stable life.Shipard (2005) continues to state – “Healthy cells are alkaline. An alkaline body is a clean system that is able to play a vital role in maintaining natural immunity and optimum health. Feeds are classified as “acid” or “alkaline” according to the chemical nature of the ash residue that remains following digestive processes. “Ash” relates to the mineral content of feed.” “Generally, all seeds, grains, legumes and nuts are acidic in nature. However, following germination, sprouts develop a richness of essential minerals that are alkaline in nature. Therefore, it is in the action of seeds sprouting, that they change from “acid” seeds to “alkaline” sprouts. Enzyme-rich feeds are also generally alkaline in chemical nature.”
According to Shipard (2005) – “Sprouts are a good source of Chlorophyll, which plays an important role in blood cleansing and building, as well as helping to regenerate the liver, detoxify and invigorate the body and energise the immune system. Chlorophyll has been found beneficial for strengthening the heart, intestines, vascular and lymphatic systems, lungs, glands and reproductive organs.” Additional sources of chlorophyll become increasingly important under conditions of drought and where poor quality hays or roughages form a large portion of the diet.
Shipard, I. (2005). “How Can I Grow and Use Sprouts as Living Food ?” Stewart Publishing.
From Section 1 and 2 above we can appreciate that: