Raw materials are always cheaper than value added products," said Capocci. "The barley is sprouted over the course of 7-9 days, which produces a high protein food that is nutritionally superior to processed pellets.
Granite Falls, WA (PRWEB) September 15, 2014
With numerous variable costs associated with daily operation, it has become a priority for farmers to keep a close eye on their bottom line. This vigilance has driven many farmers and ranchers to seek out innovative, cost saving methods to feed their herds. After an exhaustive 10 month testing period, Paca Pride Guest Ranch found by growing fodder mats, they could reduce hay consumption by almost 50% and completely eliminate the need to purchase commercially-processed animal feed for their alpacas, thereby saving hundreds of dollars a year on commercially processed feed.
When pasture grazing is not available to his herds during the winter months, owner David Capocci feeds his animals fodder mats, which are produced using American Hydroponics fodder trays. Capocci explains why he is using fodder: “Raw materials are always cheaper than value added products. We purchase locally sourced hay and barley to feed to our Alpacas. The barley is sprouted over the course of 7-9 days, which produces a high protein food that is nutritionally superior to processed pellets.”
The custom built system at Paca Pride is a model of efficiency that others, looking to learn about fodder, come to view. “The room can run itself,” remarked Capocci. “Our operation requires one person to work in the fodder room once a day performing a minimal chore set such as seeding, harvesting and cleaning trays. Irrigation is handled by an automatic system. Our system is watered 4 times a day for 2 minutes at a time. That equates to 48 gallons of water per day, which yields 75 lbs of fodder per day.”
David chose to go with American Hydroponics fodder trays for his sprouting application because of their strength and durability. Michael Christian, President of American Hydroponics remarked, “There is a difference between a traditional hydroponic setup and the sprouting application that David is using. Our trays are hand made right here and are made to withstand many applications and harvests. They don’t just last a few harvests, they last many years.”
When asked ‘Why American Hydroponics?’ David said, “During my 10 months of research I looked far and wide for the right kind of tray. Once I found the AmHydro fodder tray I knew it was the perfect piece of equipment for us. Many do-it-yourself trays have a few holes punched at one end for a drain. AmHydro’s tray has a large opening with a drain cap. This gives us the necessary flow rates to produce the consistent results we need in order to maintain our herd.”
Feeding fodder to a herd carries many benefits. “Beyond the feed bill savings is the overall health benefits to the animals. Fodder is the great normalizer for the animals. Fat ones get thinner, thin ones get fatter; it’s sort of a nice natural diet for them,” said Capocci.
About American Hydroponics
American Hydroponics of Arcata, Calif., provides state-of-the-art crop performance products and services for people to grow crops successfully, year-round for pleasure and profit in any environment, with an emphasis on conserving resources. American Hydroponics, co-founded in 1984 by Michael Christian, is known for its innovation by leading the industry with easy-to-use, high-performance horticultural products, greenhouse supplies, resource conservative equipment and knowledge. Their commercial products are 100% American Made, and are being utilized over 50 countries and all across the US.