Hydroponic is the process of growing plants without soil. Hydroponic system is very economical way of growing fodder these days specially for goat and cattle farming. As we know in goat farming reducing feed cost is the key to success in this business hence this hydroponic farming of growing fodder plays vital role in reducing the fodder cost to almost 90% result in total profit.
The fodder grown in this system are rich in its nutritional value which provides essential nutrients to the cattle which is highly required for the proper growth and weight gain of cattle.
Now I am going to explain how to setup this hydroponic farming system
Unlike its name hydroponic is very simple process of growing plants, when we think of hydroponic a sophisticated image comes in mind whether the system consist of some machineary or something which is not true, actually hydroponic is only soaking seeds in water for few days and leaving it for seed germination, provided temperature and moisture is maintained.
Hydroponic system for growing green fodder
- Hydroponic plastic trays.
- Rack or stand to keep trays.
- water sprinkling setup
- Greenhouse shade cloth.
Its very easy easy to setup the hydroponic system all we need a rack to keep our trays and automated water sprinkler which sprinkle water on trays in regular interval of time so as to maintain the temperature for faster germination.
We can minimise the cost by making wooden or bamboo racks.
Setting up the hydroponic system
- First we need to select the land where we want to setup this system depending upon the quantity of fodder requirement we select the area of land.
- After land selection its time for giving it a greenhouse shape, greenhouse shade cloth is needed for fencing the area.
Hydroponic green fodder is very economical here we get 6-7 kg of green fodder in just 1 kg of grain in 7 days which reduces our feeding cost to cattle at great extent, milk yield and weight gain in cattle also drastically improves.
Following are the steps to follow:-
Day 1:- Grain selection.
First we have to select grain for hydroponic green fodder basically we use maize, wheat, rice, barley, corn etc. take one kg of grain divide it in two i.e half kg in each tray clean the grain from dead seeds or broken seeds.
Wash the grain twice with the sodium hypochlorite chemical solution, its better to leave the grain for 30 mins in the solution then drain and again soak it in fresh water for 24 hours.
Day2:- Placing soaked seed in the hydroponic trays.
Completely Drain the soaked seed leave it for 4-5 hrs in open fresh air, place it in the tray and keep in the rack for 48 hrs for its germination.
Day3:- Maintaining temperature by proper water sprinkling.
Once the seed is germinated proper water sprinkling is required on regular intervals. Also temperature should be maintained in order to germinate seeds properly.
Now leave the sprouted seeds in the tray for 4-5 days with regular water sprinkling i.e every hour or depending upon the surronding temperature and climate if the moisture in air is sufficient then need not to sprinkle water on every hour basis. After 3 to 4 days it will look as follows.
After certain growth of fodder it can be directly taken out of the tray. Make sure you take out the sprouted grain which is fodder now with its root do not cut the top grass try to feed this nutitional fodder to your cattle.
Once your hydroponic fodder is ready you can feed it to your cattle. Sometime cattle don’t like this fodder at the beginning you have to make them habituated to this so that they may adapt the fodder later and eat regularly. Very soon you will see the health benefits of it cows will increase milk yielding and goats will gain weight .