A year ago, Michael and Marci Fassel, managers of Silver Quarter Acres, a horse boarding and training facility in Golden, introduced a new feed source to their horses — one which has improved the health of their horses, increased food supply and …
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A year ago, Michael and Marci Fassel, managers of Silver Quarter Acres, a horse boarding and training facility in Golden, introduced a new feed source to their horses — one which has improved the health of their horses, increased food supply and income.
“We started using fodder for the nutritional value, rather than the economical because horses are performers,” Marci said.
Fodder is a low-cost, hydrating, nutritious and drought-proof, living feed source made from barley seed mixtures. Grown in a hydroponic unit, fodder germinates from seed to sprouts in six days, allowing feed to be grown and harvested daily. Each mat of fodder starts out as two and a half pounds of barley seed, which is then watered for 17 seconds every hour, 24-hours a day, for six days. On the sixth day, the fodder has become 18 pounds of barley sprouts, and is harvested and fed to animals, with its full nutritional value.
A tender grass, this natural feed source is feed to domesticated animals, such as cows, goats, sheep and horses, and helps keep them hydrated and healthy.
“Fodder amplifies or supercharges everything they’re eating,” Michael said. “They (their horses) can extract more nutrients from the grass and alfalfa when they eat fodder.”
Most of the horses boarding at Silver Quarter Acres eat a diet of grass, alfalfa hay and fodder daily, as they need a mixture of roughage, or dried feed like alfalfa hay and hydrating feed like fodder.
A serving of fodder is nine and a half pounds and is rich in vitamins and nutrients. Every serving has a small fat content, has 20 percent protein, 11 percent fiber, and contains more than a gallon of water.
According to the Fassels, with its high nutritional value and water content, animals that eat fodder regularly are able to digest food better; they eat less and are at less risk for diseases such as founder or impact colic.
“It’s new to the U.S. and not as widely distributed,” Marci said, “but what’s interesting about it, horses don’t have any reports of founder or impaction colic with this feed.”
With the technology discovered during a season of drought in Australia around 15 years ago, fodder has swiftly become a leading feed source for farmers, ranchers and livestock owners around the world.
“It’s refreshing,” Michael said. “It’s like with humans, it’s better for you to eat fresh food than processed food.”
For more information on Silver Quarter Acres and their fodder program, visit www.silverquarteracres.com.
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