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Frequently Asked Questions – The Fodder-Pro Feed System

Designing the perfect Fodder-Pro Feed System to meet your needs is simple with the help of any of FarmTek’s knowledgeable fodder specialists. If you’re full of questions, but aren’t quite ready for a sales call, take a look at the answers to our frequently asked questions on our fodder systems. We’ll be here to answer any other questions you may have, and to help you design your own system when you’re ready to take the plunge!

All About Fodder

1. What is the digestibility of hay compared to fodder?

Fodder Day 8Hay is a dead, brown feed. It has a digestibility of about 30% while fresh grown fodder has a digestibility of 75% to 80%.

2. Do you have to use the fodder everyday or can it be stored?

The beauty behind fodder is that it is a fresh, live, green feed that is harvested on a daily basis. It is recommended that you utilize that feed within 48 hours. If you are traveling with your animals, fodder can be stored in a cooler.

3. How much of the fodder is water weight?

It depends on the type of seed and how you spread it in the channels. If you contact us, we can provide you with some feed and forage reports on some of the trials that we’ve done.

4. Can you let the fodder grow past seven days for more poundage?

In our trials we didn’t see a tremendous increase in poundage after the seven day mark. We tried it with many different types of seeds growing for eight days, ten days, fourteen days, etc. From what we saw in our trials, we feel that the seven day mark is really the optimum amount of time. It’s where you get the best bang for your buck, especially nutritionally.

5. How do you determine how much to feed animals like horses?

The rule of thumb for feeding fodder is 2% of the animal’s live body weight per day. We recommend consulting a vet or animal nutritionist before adding fodder to their diet. Fodder is a dietary supplement, feeding dry matter or roughage is still required for balanced nutrition.

Our Fodder-Pro Feed System

1. How is the product shipped?

The system ships on a pallet and you will need to be present when the product is delivered.The Fodder-Pro Feed System

2. Is assembly required?

Yes, assembly is required. The system comes palletized and we provide detailed assembly instructions with great pictures. If you have any questions, we’re here to help, so give us a call and we’ll walk you through it.

3. Is there any inorganic fertilizer added to the system or are the plants simply living off their seed energy reserves for the seven-day grow cycle?

Seed energy reserves, or seedling “battery packs,” provide all of the nutrients that a plant needs for the first two weeks of life. Since you’re harvesting after seven days, adding fertilizer is not something you need to worry about.

4. What is the output from the fodder system? How many pounds are produced daily?

Depending on the seed you’re using, you can anticipate about 125 lbs. per day from the Mini system and 250 lbs. per day with the Full system.

5. Can I try a small-scale trial program before going large scale?

Absolutely! We highly recommend that our customers test the water before jumping in with both feet.

6. I am interested in a large system. Can I expect the same production yields?

The yields will not be identical to a smaller system, but they are comparable.

7. What is the maximum size system you can build?

Any size. We custom-build these systems to meet the needs of your specific application.

8. If you use multiple seeds to balance nutrition, do you partition trays or levels and clean separately?

No, you can use multiple seeds in the same tray. Some seeds do grow faster than others, but in our trials we found no negative effects to the slower growing seeds and by the end of the 7-day growing cycle, we still had a uniform, lush fodder mat.


1. How much do seeds cost and where can I purchase them?

Seed in fodder trays.
The cost depends on a number of variables including the type of seed and the supplier you choose. There are several nationwide seed distributors that we recommend, including Agway Inc., Crop Production Services, Southern States Cooperative, US Seed, All Star, Pioneer and Hancock Farm & Seed Co.

2. What type of seeds have you used in your trials?

We have done trials on several types of seeds. Our trials include alfalfa, barley, rye, wheat, oats, sorghum, buckwheat, field peas, clover, sunflowers and more! We have had success with most of our trials, so if you have questions give us a call and we’ll be happy to tell you what we saw.

3. Are there alternatives to bleach to sterilize the seeds?

Yes, there are a few alternatives to bleach. You can also use chlorine, hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to sterilize the seeds. Sanitizing the seeds is a crucial step. You want to make sure that you remove any dirt, bacteria or mold spores from the seeds before you put them in the system.

Growing Environment

1. What type of structure do you recommend to house this system?

Nutrient-rich fodder.Any type of structure. We have customers put them in old out buildings, sheds, hay barns or even in their basements. Ideally, this system will be housed in a greenhouse, but there are a lot of options available. Here at FarmTek, we aim to build to your location. If you have a spot where you think it will fit, give us a call, talk us through it and we will make all of the necessary environmental recommendations from there.

2. Can you help me design housing for this system?

Absolutely. We can provide you a complete turnkey solution custom designed for your specific needs.

3. How stable does the temperature need to be?

For the best results, we recommend that the temperature stays between 63° and 75°F.

4. Will I need grow lights?

It is highly recommended that you utilize grow lights at some point during the fodder growth. This will assist with photosynthesis and produce a fodder mat that is thicker and more lush.

5. What type of grow lights do you recommend?

A full spectrum grow light is going to give you the best results as it is the closest to natural sunlight. We can provide everything you need, whether it is just the bulbs or an entire lighting system.

6. How do you integrate lighting in this system?

The standard system does not come with lighting, but integrating lights is easy. How we integrate the lighting system depends on where the system is housed, your geographic location and the type of lights you want to use.

Livestock and Horses

1. How long does it take livestock to adapt to the fodder diet?

Horse enjoying fresh fodder.
Fodder is something you want to wean your animals on to over time. It should take about 7 to 10 days for your animals to adequately adapt to the fodder.

2. Have horse owners reported a decrease in the need for concentrates or grain while using fodder?

You will see a marked decrease in the need for supplemental feed, but before making an absolute transition to a fodder diet we do recommend consulting with a vet or nutritionist. This will ensure that your animals are still receiving the balanced diet and ration that they are used to.

3. What is the recommended seed for dairy fodder?

Dairy is a very unique industry. We recommend speaking to a vet or nutritionist. It’s going to depend on the type of dairy that you run. If you don’t have a vet or nutritionist that you work with, you can reach out to a local university extension office. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, give us a call and we can help you find the information you need.

4. Will milk production increase?

The increase is dependent on your animal’s current diet. We encourage you to seek the advice of a trained veterinarian or an experienced nutritionist to make sure you have the most balanced ration in regards to milk production.

5. I’ve never fed barley hay to any horses. How do we know that barley fodder is good for them?

We tested it. We have forage reports on a number of seeds from our trials.

If you would like more information or to see a forage report, please contact one of our fodder specialists at 1.800.327.6835 ext. 1267.

30 Comments Post a comment
  1. pradeep #

    Very informative , keep up your good work.
    Can the system be used to grow green leafy vegetables like coriander , mint etc.What are the changes?

    October 25, 2012
    • The fodder system cannot be used to grow mint and coriander. For leafy greens, we recommend our hydroponic lettuce system (STK#110830).

      December 21, 2012
  2. Audrey #

    How many sq. ft. of growing trays are needed to produce enough fodder to replace the equivilant of feeding 200# of daily dry hay?

    Pounds of oat seeds needed?
    Pounds of barley seeds needed?
    Pounds of rye grass seed needed?
    Pounds of whatever you may have information on?

    October 30, 2012
    • Audrey – Fodder is not meant to be a hay replacement, but to supplement it. It can be used as a grain replacement. It is recommended that you feed 2% of the animal’s body weight in fodder each day. As for the pounds of seed needed, any seed you choose to grow has a 7 to 1 ratio. For every one pound of seed you use, you will get seven pounds of fodder. Let us know if you have any more questions!

      December 21, 2012
  3. Karin Stafford #

    I’m interested in your fodder system, primarily for horses. Are there any training (Southern California area) seminars, or books to give me more information and knowledge on your product.

    Thank you, Karin

    February 8, 2013
    • Karin – Our website, is very informative. You can also attend one of our workshops in Dyersville, IA or view one of our online webinars. You can sign up at

      May 14, 2013
  4. chedly latrech #

    Merci,beaucoup!!beaucoup de vos renseignements,-est-ce l’abris du fourrage FODDER(orge) peut etre en plastique transparent, sachant que la température du sud tunisien varie entre12 et 22 degré l’hiver et entre 27 et 40 degré pendant l’été? . Merci encore

    May 29, 2013
    • We can make most any location fodder appropriate with a few basic accessories. To discuss your application further please contact Abigail at

      June 24, 2013
  5. patience purisa #

    what is the quantity of fodder required per pig weaner per day


    January 30, 2014
  6. Kamaa mainaa #

    Plz i live in kenya (nairobi africa )and i would like to know how you can help me to start this kind of hyroponic fodder.

    March 5, 2014
    • Hi Kamaa,

      Please contact one of our international sales specialists at 1.860.289.7261. They will be able to help you.

      March 5, 2014
  7. Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?

    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Thank you

    September 20, 2014
  8. richard knipe #

    Iam considering putting a system into a 15ft by 30ft shed heated by biomass to feed cattle and horses Ineed to know every thing and a quote to start strait away Iam putting a new build and would like to finace it all together

    September 24, 2014
    • Hi Richard,

      This sounds great and we would love to help you out. I forwarded this on to our fodder specialist. They will be able to answer all of your questions and get a quote going for you based on your needs.


      September 26, 2014
  9. I see you cant use this system to grow leafy greens, but what about growing microgreens in the fodder system?

    Thank you,

    March 5, 2015
    • Chelsea,

      Our FodderPro Feed Systems are great for producing microgreens. We produce our own microgreens here in a FodderPro System and we have had many customers see great success while using them as well. However, we have recently introduced the GT80 Series Microgreen Table which is ideal for smaller scale microgreen production. Our FodderPro Feed Systems are best suited for producing microgreens on a large scale. Depending on what you are looking for, we have a solution for you.


      March 9, 2015
  10. Tim rouse #

    Can fodder be grown in an aquaponics system?

    March 10, 2015
    • Hi Tim,

      Yes fodder can be produced using an aquaponics system, however aside from the novelty of doing it, we do not see it as a highly recommendable practice. If you see dramatic yield increases, certainly it is worth it, but since fodder is so simple (spread seeds and add water), it’s almost best to not over complicate it. People do produce fodder with aqauponics, but one major concern to us is that there are some regulations regarding aquaponic crop production that raise some red flags. Particularly, there are laws stating that the edible portions of plants should not come into contact with the water in an aquaponics system. Since the animals eat root mat and all, we are a little unsure of the safety of this practice, but there is no documented evidence stating that aquaponics fodder is bad.

      Hope this helps!

      March 13, 2015
  11. Neil #

    What is the cost of a large scale fodder system?

    February 25, 2016
    • Hi Neil,

      We can design a system to meet any production need. For in-stock designs, we have a system capable of producing 1,150 pounds of fodder per day. That is our FodderPro 3.0 Commercial Feed Module. This system is priced at $14,095.00. We also have significantly smaller systems, including one that produces just 60 pounds of fodder per day which is priced at $1,695.00. Depending on your needs, we can also design a custom solution to meet any production scale. You can find all of our in-stock Fodder system designs on our website,

      We hope this helps!

      February 29, 2016
  12. Leslie bacchus #

    Love ur system I’m from a small island in the Caribbean called Antigua and I think ur system is jus wat we need for our drought that is never name on face book is leslie hotskull bacchus

    March 29, 2016
    • Thank you for the compliment Leslie. If you are ever interested in discussing the opportunity to add one of these systems to your growing operation, please contact a Fodder Specialist by phone at 860.528.1119. We hope to hear from you soon.

      March 30, 2016
  13. Charlie #

    Hi guys, big fan of your work and systems. I am trying to understand what fodder replaces in a horse’s daily diet. For instance, daily my horse gets 9kg of crashed mixed dry food (2% body weight) that contains amongst others, barley seeds, corn seeds, pieces from carob tree fruit and also feed clover hay (1.5% body weight). By feeding 2-3% of body weight of fodder per day (thinking of growing barley+alfalfa together), does it replace the dry food? I understand hay is important for digestion and for preventing colic

    May 14, 2016
    • Hi Charlie,

      Thank you for the question. Fodder is not a complete feed replacement, it is instead a feed supplement. You would not be able to replace your dry feed completely, but you would significantly reduce the amount of dry food required for your horse to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Fodder is a highly digestible feed, so your horse will still require dry feed in their diet, but less dry feed overall as they will be eating fresh fodder as well.

      Thank you.

      May 16, 2016
      • Charlie #

        Hi Justin, thanks for the reply. when you say “dry feed”, you refer to the dry hay or to the dry mixed seeds/supplements we buy in bags?

        thank you

        May 16, 2016
      • That is correct Charlie. You may also see hay referred to as roughage from time to time as well. All mean the same thing though; purchased dry hay or feed mix.

        Thank you.

        May 17, 2016
  14. Charlie #

    Do we know the daily average water usage of a 375lbs/day Fodder Pro 2.0 and the new version 3.0?

    May 18, 2016
    • Fodder should receive water for 2 minutes every 2 hours. In a typical 2 minute watering cycle, you can expect to use anywhere from 9-11 gallons of water, which is less water than what is used in an average 10 minute shower.

      Thank you.

      May 19, 2016

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Frequently Asked Questions 2.0 – The FodderPro Feed System (part 2) | FarmTek Blog
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