Hydroponic fodder effects on lactating dairy cows

The findings from a significant 2021 study evaluating the effects of hydroponic forages on Jersey lactating cows offer fascinating insights. This research, spearheaded by Dr. Alvaro Garcia, a former professor and dairy extension specialist at South Dakota State University, is crucial for anyone keen on understanding hydroponic fodder’s impact.

The study reveals that cows consuming harvested feed demonstrate enhanced performance when they graze on green, lush pastures for a minimum of a few hours. Observations from early feedings suggest that hydroponic forages similarly improve feed intake, rumination, and nutrient digestibility.

Hydroponically sprouted grains provide benefits by delivering easily digestible protein and carbohydrates, notably containing a high concentration of sugars. This rapid breakdown of nutrients fosters microbial growth in the rumen, which, in turn, aids in releasing nutrients from the other components in the diet.

Cows that were fed a diet incorporating hydroponic forage exhibited changes in both digestion and behavior. Introducing hydroponic forage altered their eating and ruminating habits, leading to increased time spent chewing feed.

For a comprehensive understanding, you can read the full report here.