ATTENTION DAIRY FARMERS!
Feeding sprouted grains to dairy cattle is not a new concept. Many dairy farms across America and throughout the world have switched over to this system with great success! As we know, cows are ruminants and they were designed for eating grass. It is a well documented fact in veterinary studies that consuming grain causes feet problems, infertility, and mastitis. We've discussed this on our nutrition page. If you'd like to visit that page, click and you will be able to see all that information.
Feeding sprouts to dairy cattle offers very dramatic advantages including:
· Lower feed costs per cow
· Increased revenue per CWT
· Increased milk volumes
· Dramatically increased fertility rates
· Substantially lower involuntary cull rate
· Greatly improved herd health
· Reduced need for mineral supplements
A US Dairyman feeding sprouted barley grass at only 1% body weight (recommended 3%), reported the following results:
· 100% Higher conception rate (28% vs. 14%)
· 85% conception rate in one month (20 of 23 cows innoculated on 1st attempt)
· 75% Lower involuntary cull rate (4% vs. 16%)
· Virtually eliminated acidosis and laminitis
· Eliminated veterinary bills
· No longer use of any copper sulfate
The benefits of feeding sprouts begin with the overall health of your herd! We know you strive for exceptional animal husbandry and we believe that in today’s world, we can help you achieve that, as well as improved business success!
Not your everyday headline, right? But whether we’re talking about growing calves big and healthy or simply putting fresh, healthy milk on the store shelves, quality always comes first! Milk producers know that you get paid more for higher butter fat and protein content in milk.
Dairy Cattle eating grass mats from one of our systems are producing just that kind of milk! In one study of milk production, with a diet of barley grass mats versus one of “normal” feeds such as grain, hay or silage, a group of 60 cows on a barley grass diet increased milk production by 10.07% over the control group. In addition, the group fed barley grass produced a butterfat content of 14.26% higher than those fed a regular diet.
Not only that, but SCC levels are remaining steady or decreasing among tested herds over a one year period. Dairy farmers, you know the costs and added burdens of mastitis can reach anywhere from $200 per cow, per year, and up. Now that’s good news!
Higher Fat and Protein in Milk
Sprouted grain benefits
Stimulated immune system
Reduction of digestive diseases and bloat
Stronger bones; stronger, healthier hooves
10 - 20 times more vitamins than in grain
Significantly higher absorption of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
Increased protein absorption
Decreased acid in the animals’ systems
To restate all the information contained here and on the "Dairy Example" page very simply, cows were created to digest grasses and forage plants! Their digestive systems were not created to consume a high grain diet. When cows eat the kinds of food they were made to eat, the end product is much healthier for human consumption. Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) dairies feed as much grain as possible. A very common feeding regimen in this type of dairy is 50% DMI (dry matter intake) grain, 50% DMI chopped hay or silage. They do this to "maximize milk production". However, as we've read, this decreases the health of the cow so significantly that each cow must be replaced every 1.5-3 years! (This value comes from the National Agricultural Institute, May 2013) The quality of this milk is very poor, reflecting the health of the animal it came from! When we, in turn, consume this product, we can't assume our health would be a whole lot better.
To sum it all up...
Feed Costs Continue To Be On The Rise...
The Billings Gazette from Billings, Montana had the following headline in its February 24, 2013 issue: "Dairy Farmers Cope with High Feed Costs". In that article, Manhattan, Montana dairy farmer Ted Flikkema said that when he began raising holsteins for his dairy, corn was $90 a ton. It is now up to $300 per ton. He went on to say that dairy hay is now $200 a ton. Mr. Flikkema feeds 23,000 pounds of corn and hay per day. It is not difficult to see that this is not sustainable for any person trying to operate a dairy farm.
The Bottom Dollar
We’ve looked at improving the health of your animals and we know that with improved health comes an increase in profit. Imagine decreasing mastitis and laminitis, therefore cutting veterinary costs as well as less involuntary culling of your herd. You’re saving a whopping amount of money right there! But that’s not all...
Dairy farmers who have recently moved to the sprout-feeding system are finding that it takes about two pounds of barley grass to replace one pound of grain to maintain a cow's milk production. At 28 cents for a pound of grain, compared with 4-5 cents for a pound of barley grass, it's a very significant savings!
Let’s break that down further:
Let’s say that you feed 15# barley grain per cow per day. That’ll cost you $4.20 per cow per day. (Barley prices are figured using a current national market average of $0.28 per pound.)
If you were to buy 18# of grain and place it in one of our units and grow it for 6 days, you’d have enough fresh, green, highly digestible and absorbable feed for 4 dairy cows. How much will that cost you? $7.04 ($5.04 for grain, $2 electricity)
Let’s talk about our AFS 172 unit. You can feed 31 dairy cows per day with this machine at an average cost of $37.28 per day. If you were feeding those same 31 cows grain, unsprouted, your daily cost is $130.20. (That’s not including the vet bill for the laminitis and mastitis.)
You are saving $92.92 a day! The cost of our AFS 172 is $38,940. Saving $92.92 a day means this machine pays for itself in 419 days! In just 1 year (365 days), you’ll save $33,915.80!