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BOTH OF THE FOLLOWING ARE EXCELLENT FOR OLDER HORSES & OTHER LIVESTOCK WHICH HAVE TEETH/MOUTH PROBLEMS OR PROBLEMS WITH KEEPING ON WEIGHT
SPROUTED BARLEY GRASS
. soak barley more than 24 hours as this may lead to fermentation resulting in waste of grain.
. overfill seed trays with layers of barley as the grain needs space to develop roots. Overfilling can also lead to moulding of some grain which may not sprout under these circumstances.
. overwater the grain as the water may become sour and smelly which could affect consumption by animals. Where possible use a garden pump up pressure spray to spray a fine, controlled mist over the grain. As the plants grow the water requirements will gradually increase.
This recipe converts 1kg dry whole barley into approximately 7kg - 10kg of barley grass within a 7 - 10 day period. The entire product (grass and roots) is fed to the animal so there is no waste product. This is highly nutritious and provides high protein and fibre requirements whilst encouraging weight gain and warmth. As soon as the grain has sprouted leaves it is safe to feed to your animals but you can leave it to develop into longer grass once you have established how much you need to develop for continuous supply. As one seed tray is used, immediately have your 12 hour soaked barley ready to replace to continue your planting cycles.
. As many polystyrene broccoli boxes with lids (make sure that the lids are not broken) or other waterproof boxes as you can obtain to ensure a continuous supply of food for your animals. (For one horse of 15hh a guide would be approximately 2 seed trays at 3kg each per day). Tape the lids of broccoli boxes to the bottom part of box (to make what was the lid waterproof) then cut in half to make two seed trays.
. 1 x 40kg bag of whole barley (yes the stuff you plant in the ground!) It's cheap and available.
. Wire netting - 1cm (0.5 inch)gauge - enough to cover tops of boxes to prevent mice or birds from eating seed.
. Soak enough barley to use all your seed trays initially. 1kg of barley will provide enough seed for 2 broccoli-type seed trays. Using warm water in a bucket put all your barley seed in and cover with water. Soak for approximately 12 hours - slightly longer won't be a problem.
. Place approximately 0.5kg soaked barley in each seed box and gently smooth over so that a single layer of barley covers the bottom of the seed tray - you may require less than this depending on size of box. Repeat until all seed trays used.
. Place seed trays in a shed or under cover (even a tent will do)but some place where kangaroos and animals will not disturb.
. Water gently morning and night. Seeds should begin sprouting within 24 - 36 hours. DO NOT ALLOW SEEDS TO DRY OUT OR BECOME FLOODED.
. The day before feeding out, have another batch of soaked seeds ready to fill empty seed trays to ensure a good cycle. Cycle of seeding will be dependant on number of animals being fed and availability of seed trays.
. Let seeds develop until a good 2cm (1 inch) sprout has developed (or longer where possible) then lift out mat of grass and feed. The grass can also have other nutritional feeds added to it such as the following supplement.
If feeding barley grass alone, ensure that 2 oz of salt and the same of dolomite per day is sprinkled on the grass just to help with other mineral requirements.
Add 500-600gm cracked corn (maize) to approx 1200ml water (allow about 4 cm above grain) and 1 tablespoon salt.
Bring to boil, stir regularly. Simmer until liquid is thick like porridge consistency. Stir up cover and let stand for the day – use at night for extra internal warmth.
Thoroughly mix together in large container
1 X 4 kg bucket COPRA MEAL
1 X 4 kg RICE BRAN
800 gms SALT - DON’T USE POOL SALT - (preferably iodized – can be purchased very cheaply through food distributors supplying bakeries etc. in 25kg bags). A full grown 15hh horse needs about 50gms (2 oz) salt/per day.
100 gms POTASSIUM CHLORIDE - obtainable in kg amounts from rural produce stores
OR ADD ˝ CUP APPLE CIDER VINEGAR TO MAKE UP QUANTITY OF LIQUID REQUIRED FOR DAILY RATION
800 gms CALCIUM (superfine LIME – NOT aglime or builders lime)
100 gms Magnesium
OR 500gms DOLOMITE + 300gms CALCIUM
Copper sulphate (Yates garden variety is pure) = 1 teaspoon
(copper sulphate is very unpalatable and dangerous. 1 Teaspoon over the period of a week’s rations is sufficient for the average horse. It will help reduce worm burden besides providing essential copper)
FOR EACH HORSE at 15hh (REDUCE PROPORTIONATELY FOR PONIES & YOUNG STOCK)
DAY 1 - 7: 1 cup (250gm) supplement + 1 cup warm water - mix together
WEEK 2 – increase by half cup (total 1.5 cups or 375gms) supplement & 1.5 cups warm water - mix together
WEEK 3 – increase by half cup (total 2 cups or 500gms) supplement and 2 cups warmWater – mix together
Continue this increasing process every week until you are feeding UP to 8 cups a day for the horses in very poor condition. The amount fed can be reduced back once proper condition has been achieved.
4 cups per day (1 kg) should be about right for your horses in good condition and medium/light work.
This supplement really helps horses (and other animals including cows. alpacas and even dogs) through the winter months, particularly for older animals needing internal body fat and warmth and who may have bad or no teeth.
REMEMBER !! YOU CAN DO THIS WITH JUST A BIT OF EFFORT & HOPEFULLY IT'S ONLY FOR A FEW MONTHS.