Many interesting side-effects have been noticed with the introduction of the vitamin-rich replacement diet.
Interesting story about the Chickens…
They (The people who introduced us to sprouting) have a single Americana bird that is about 14 years old and belongs to another of their daughters as a pet since she was little. A few months after they started feeding just the fodder they started getting little green eggs again, after not seeing eggs from that hen for the last 5 years or so. Pretty impressive. We have also noticed that after being on the fodder for a while, you just about need a hatchet to get the shells open, so they are getting plenty of calcium too.
What’s so impressive is that the barley for the animals is being grown in a purpose-built shed that’s only 8×8 feet big. Even more amazing is that less than half of the shed is being fully utilized for growing the barley.
A normal cow’s diet consists either of grass (hay) or corn. A normal cow that is fed corn its entire life may require up to 2,800 pounds of corn before it is butchered. This amount of corn will typically require *about* 14,550 square feet of farmland. This is extraordinarily high compared to the 4 square feet required for the barley sprouting operation. However corn-fed beef can’t hold a candle in terms of space required to feed compared to grass fed beef which ranges from 1-4 acres per cow (43,650sf to 174,600sf respectively).
Of course, it still takes normal acreage to grow the barley in the first place. However the space is generally quite low due to the fact that the sprouts are so dense in nutrition. The results of sprouting seem to indicate that you can take raise a cattle on LESS than 400 pounds of barley. This compared to 2,500 pounds of corn is a pretty amazing difference. The gain is still huge even considering the lower bushels-per-acre yield of barley vs corn (49.5bu/ac for barley and 150bu/ac for corn).