1966-Voice Of The Tennessee Walking Horse 1966 May Voice RS - Page 62

SPROUTED GRAIN — SLOBBERING — FEEDING IRON - CASTRATING BY THE "SIGNS” Here are some recent questions relative to horses, along with my answers: Q. What is your opinion of sprouted grain, sometimes called "green feed” or hydroponics, as a feed for horses? (From an M.D. in Indiana.) A. If 1 had enough money to buy equipment for sprout­ ing grain, I would buy my wife a fur coat instead. Without doubt, sprouted grains will give an as­ sist when added to poor rations — and the poorer the ration, the bigger the boost. However, with our present knowledge of nutrition, efficient and balanced rations can be had without the added labor and expense of sprouting grain. But before proceeding, let us describe or define what’s meant by sprouted grain. According to Webster, "hydroponics (or sprouting grain) is the growing of plants, especially vegetables, with their roots immersed in an aqueous solution containing the essential mineral nutrient sales, instead of in soil.” In plain, simple terms, then, sprouted grain for feed is produced with water and chemicals, and without dirt. It is not new; it dates back over 400 years. Here is what the Michigan Agricultural Station found in a study of sprouted oats as a feed for dairy cows, as reported in the Quarterly Bulletin, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Vol. 44, No. 4, pages 654 to 665, May, 1962: 1. Increase in feed weight — The sprouted grain weighed from 4.2 to 7.5 times more than dry oats, but this increase was mostly water. 2. Comparative Analysis — In comparison with the dry oats, the sprouted grain showed 61% increase in fiber, 17% increase in crude pro­ tein, 15% decrease in nitrogen free extract and 8% to 23% less dry matter. o. Digestibility — The dry matter, energy, pro­ tein and TDN in the sprouted oats were less digestible than that in the dry oats. 4. Yield of milk and butterfat — No statistically significant differences in milk yield or butter- fat production were obtained when sprouted oats was compared with oats in a dairy trial. 5. Low energy dairy ration - When sprouted oats was added to a low energy dairy ration (one in which cows were fed only 1 lb. of grain to every 5.0 lbs. of milk; instead of the usual 1:2/2 to 3.0), a small increase in milk prod tion resulted. But, on this point, the Michi ^ State scientists reasoned, "Any form of tional energy would have produced a simfi 1 result...............this could explain some of th* results observed on farms.” ne 6. Cost — The sprouted oats cost over four tim more than plain oats, or similar grains. GS 7. Conclusion — As a result of this experiment the Michigan scientists concluded: 5 "The cost of sprouted oats was over four times that of the original oats or similar grains This high cost plus (1) loss in nutrients dur­ ing sprouting, (2) the decreased digestibility of sprouted oats, and (3) no observed increase in milk production when sprouted oats was added to an adequate ration, indicate that this feed has no justification for being included in any modern dairy ration.” I have reason to believe that the findings of the Michigan study are applicable to hors