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The Biological and Economical Feasibility of Feeding Barley Green Fodder to Lactating Awassi Ewes


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The objective of this research was to investigate the biological and economical values of hydro-ponic barley (HB) on lactating Awassi ewes. A total of 48 lactating ewes were used in a feeding trial in two groups. The first was fed a regular lactation TMR ration while ewes in the second treatment were fed similar ration except that regular wheat hay was totally replaced by HB for 120 days feeding trial. Results of the experiment showed that the green fodder yield in 8 days germination cycle was 7.5 kg per 1 kg barley grains of green fodder. HB had no effects on feed intake (FI), body weight changes, milk yield, and milk composition; however, HB had positive effects on ewe's health conditions, mortalities, conception rates and abortion. In conclusion, HB can be used as feed for lactating sheep as cost of feed can be reduced by 42%.
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Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 2015, 5, 99-105
Published Online April 2015 in SciRes.
How to cite this paper: Saidi, A.R.M.A. and Abo Omar, J. (2015) The Biological and Economical Feasibility of Feeding Barley
Green Fodder to Lactating Awassi Ewes. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 5, 99-105.
The Biological and Economical Feasibility
of Feeding Barley Green Fodder to
Lactating Awassi Ewes
Abd Rahim M. A. Saidi1, Jamal Abo Omar2*
1Al Barakah Sheep Farm, Tulkarm, Palestine
2An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Email: *
Received 28 February 2015; accepted 26 March 2015; published 31 March 2015
Copyright © 2015 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).
The objective of this research was to investigate the biological and economical values of hydro-
ponic barley (HB) on lactating Awassi ewes. A total of 48 lactating ewes were used in a feeding tri-
al in two groups. The first was fed a regular lactation TMR ration while ewes in the second treat-
ment were fed similar ration except that regular wheat hay was totally replaced by HB for 120
days feeding trial. Results of the experiment showed that the green fodder yield in 8 days germi-
nation cycle was 7.5 kg per 1 kg barley grains of green fodder. HB had no effects on feed intake (FI),
body weight changes, milk yield, and milk composition; however, HB had positive effects on ewe’s
health conditions, mortalities, conception rates and abortion. In conclusion, HB can be used as feed
for lactating sheep as cost of feed can be reduced by 42%.
Hydroponic Barley, Awassi Ewes, Performance
1. Introduction
The technology of green fodder production is especially important in the regions like Palestine where forage
production is limited [1]. The green fodder is produced from grains, having a high germination rate and grown
for a short period of time in a special chamber that provides the appropriate growing conditions [2]. The adop-
tion of this technique has enabled production of fresh forage from oats, barley, wheat and other grains [3].
Over recent years, severe shortages in food supplies for livestock have been experienced in Palestine as well
Corresponding author.
A. R. M. A. Saidi, J. Abo Omar
as many other countries in the region, mainly, due to repeated droughts as well as shortages of water for irriga-
tion [1] [4]. Many projects to produce forages have been established during the last two decades to cover some
green and dry forage needs in these countries [4]. However, scarcity of adequate fresh water supplies may pose
challenges for sustainability of the field projects especially with utilizing ground water for irrigation, which is
consumed in large amounts as these countries are characterized with very high rates of evapotranspiration and
soils of low capacity to retain water.
It is well documented that feed costs make more than 75% of total production costs of sheep projects [1].
The majority of sheep raised locally are of the Awassi breed [5]. It is a fat-tailed breed. Under the extensive
and semi intensive sheep production system that is adopted by farmersat large scale, feeding sheep in the off
season results in great expenses on concentrated and roughage feeds.
This study was undertaken to determine and assess the biological and economical characteristics of HB and
its effects on the performance of lactating Awassi ewes under Palestinian conditions.
2. Materials and Methods
The study was composed of two parts, first was to construct a hydroponic system for the assessment of HB bio-
logically and economically, the second is feeding trial using lactating Awassi ewes.
2.1. The Hydroponic System
The production of HB was conducted under temperature controlled conditions (22˚C ± 1˚C) and natural illumi-
nation at growth chamber at the project site, Tulkarm city, Palestine.
The hydroponic system is composed of a hydroponic chamber with an area of 33 m2. The chamber is com-
posed of metal frame and shelves. Shelves in the chamber hold 126 trays with capacity of chamber to produce
approximately one ton of green fodder per growth cycle (8 days). Plastic trays with dimensions 90 × 30 × 4 cm
were used for growing barley grains. These trays were obtained from the local market of Nablus city, Palestine.
An air conditioning was used to control temperature inside the growth chamber which was maintained at 22˚C ±
1˚C. The relative humidity in the growth room was 65%.
2.2. Plant Material
Barley (Hordeumvulgare) grains were obtained from the local market of Tulkarm city, Palestine. Seeds were
subjected to a germination test to check for their viability before being used; the result of the germination test
was 80%.
2.3. Treatment of Seeds before Planting
Seeds were cleaned from debris and other foreign materials. Then the cleaned seeds were sterilized by soaking
for 30 minutes in a 20% sodium hypochlorite solution to control the formation of mould. Planting trays were al-
so cleaned and disinfected. The seeds were then washed well from residues of bleach and resoaked in tap water
overnight (about 12 hours) before planting.
2.4. Seed Planting and Irrigation
Seeds of were sown in the planting trays which have holes at the bottom to allow drainage of excess water from
irrigation. The seeding rates used in this experiment were about 1000 g of barley grain per tray. Trays were irri-
gated manually with tap water twice a day (early in the morning and late in the afternoon) at a fixed rate of 500
ml/tray/day. Drained water out of irrigation was collected in plastic containers which were placed under each
planting tray and measured.
2.5. Fodder Yield
After 8 days from seeding, the fodder total fresh and dry fodder yields were recorded and ratio of produced
green fodder: initial planted seeds weight was calculated. A representative fresh plant samples (about 200 grams)
from every tray were taken at harvest, oven-dried at 70˚C for 48 hours, and weighed to compute the moisture
content. Fodder samples were collected from d-3 to d-8 of germination for later chemical analysis. Costs of in-
A. R. M. A. Saidi, J. Abo Omar
puts (barley grain, water, electricity, labor) were recorded then cost of kg HB was calculated.
2.6. Performance Trial
The feeding trial was conducted at a sheep farm at Tulkarm, Palestine where 48 lactating Awassi ewes were
used. Ewes were randomly chosen from the sheep flock at a private sheep farm. Ewes were in second and third
lactation seasons at start of the experiment. Ewes were separated and fed individually throughout the feeding tri-
al. The green barley fodder was fed as part of total mixed ration (TMR) (Table 1).
Ewes were randomly divided into two experimental groups with 24 ewes in each group and 6 replicates for
each experimental group in a complete randomized design. Group 1 served as control group and fed a regular
lactation diet. Ewes in group 2 were fed a total mixed ration where (HB) was incorporated instead of wheat hay
(Table 1). Rations fed to ewes in control group were formulated to meet the recommended requirements by the
NRC [6] while rations in the second were than the NRC recommendation.
Daily feed intake was recorded along with feed refusal. Feed and refusal samples were taken for later analysis.
Ewes’ body weight was monitored on biweekly basis. Milk production was measured daily. Milk samples were
collected weekly for milk quality assessment. The duration of the performance trial was 120 days.
2.7. Chemical Analysis
Hydroponic samples as well as ration samples (intake and refusal) were analyzed for the proximate analysis
fractions (DM, CP, ash, ether extract and crude fiber) as well as for ADF and NDF fractions using AOAC [7]
Milk was analyzed for DM, total protein, casein and fat using Gelbert procedure.
2.8. Statistical Analysis
Analysis of variance was performed using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) [8]. Differences among the
means were determined by the Duncan’s multiple range test with a significance defined at P < 0.05.
Table 1. Ingredients and chemical composition of rations fed
to Awassi ewes.
Diets ingredient composition Control HB
HB 0 40
Concentrate (18% CP) 45 45
Wheat bran 30 15
Wheat straw 25 0
Chemical composition
Dry matter 90 36
Crude protein 14.0 12.0
Crude fiber 13 14.4
NDF 34 35.4
ADF 29 11.9
Ash 6 4.5
Calcium 1.5 2.2
Phosphorus 0.6 1.1
Cost/ton (NIS) 1510 1064
A. R. M. A. Saidi, J. Abo Omar
3. Results and Discussion
3.1. Biomass of HB
Results of this study showed that the green fodder with lush vegetation can be produced in 8 days from planting
to harvest using hydroponic technique. The net green product was 7.5 kg HB/kg barley grains (Table 2). This
value is similar to that reported previously [4] [9]. However, Kruglyakov [10] reported a production up to 10 kg
of fresh green fodder out of 1 kg of barley seeds. The green fodder yield depends on type of grain and the grow-
ing conditions [9] [11]-[14].
The green fodder yield varies according to type of grain. It was reported by previous research that 1 kg of
barley grains produced a green fodder yield ranging from 7 to 10 kg [9]-[14] indicating that barley and wheat
were the most appropriate.
The chemical composition of HB is shown in Table 2. The germination of barley in this study resulted in
about 18% loss in DM. Shtaya [9] showed that the germination of wheat for 5 to 7 days resulted in a 17% loss of
total DM while a 25% loss in DM of wheat after 12 days of sprouting. Peer and Leeson [15] (1985) and Chung
et al. [16] (1989) reported dry matter (DM) losses ranging from 9.4% - 18% with sprouting cereals from 5 to 7
Fiber content, for example, increased from 3.5% in cereal barley grains to 6.5% and 8% in a 5 and 8 d green
barley fodder, respectively.Fiber content, for example, was reported to be increased from 3.75% in cereal barley
grains to 6% in a 5-d green barley fodder [16]. The nutrient composition of green fodder was changed by the
growing cycle [17].
This study showed that the increase in CP content from d-1 to d-8 was almost 40% in HB when barley was
sprouted (Table 3). Morgan et al. [18] (1992) and Peer and Lesson (1985) reported that protein content of green
fodder is similar to barley grain, where the crude protein was higher in the green barley because of the relative
decrease of other components.
Morgan et al. [18] found that the ash and protein content of sprouts increased from day 4 corresponding with
the extension of the root, which allows mineral uptake. The absorption of nitrates facilitates the metabolism of
nitrogenous compounds from carbohydrate reserves, thus increasing crude protein levels.
Table 2. Chemical composition of HB (DM basis).
Nutrient HB
Dry matter 18.3
Crude protein 19.8
Crude fiber 10.4
NDF 35.4
ADF 11.9
Ash 3.6
Calcium 3.2
Phosphorus 4.1
Table 3. Changes in nutrients contents during the germination process (%DM).
Day 0 Day 3 Day 6 Day 8
Crude protein 12.0 13.0 15.9 19.8
Crude fiber 3.5 4.9 6.5 8.0
NDF 13 19.0 28.0 35.0
ADF 6.0 7.8 8.9 11.0
Ash 2.2 2.9 3.0 3.6
A. R. M. A. Saidi, J. Abo Omar
3.2. Cost per kg HB
The calculated production cost per 1 kg HB is 0.21 NIS. The main inputs were considered in calculation of HB
cost (Table 4). Compared to the traditional roughage regularly fed to local sheep there is a saving of about 0.79
NIS/kg. The cost per ton of rations used in the feeding trial was 1510 and 1064 NIS for the control and HB ra-
tions, respectively.
3.3. Performance Trial
There are some arguments about the use of the sprouting grains for convenience of green forage production in
hydroponics system to be as part of feed in livestock feeding systems [9] [19] [20]. Sole feeding of green fodder
did not support the expected production traits in the animals whereas feeding in conjunction with dry fodder im-
proved its utilization [19].
However, results were not consistent. These authors noted that the dry matter (DM) intake of green fodder by
feedlot cattle and dairy cattle were low due to its high moisture content. However, Tudor et al. [20] reported an
improvement in the performance of steers when given restricted hay diet plus 15.4 kg fresh hydroponics green
fodder (about 1.8 kg added DM). It can be concluded that the biological and economical viabilities of production
of green fodder will depend on sprouting systems, type and quality of the grain, particularly the germination rate,
culturing conditions, management, and the local conditions [21].
Several researches have been conducted to determine the feeding value of green fodder [9] [11] [15] [22].
3.4. Feed Intake
The feed intake was similar by ewes under the feeding treatments (Table 4). However, the observed intake in
this experiment was similar to what was reported from previous research [9] where ewes fed similar level of HB.
There are several factors described as influencing feed intake as milk production level, condition, temperature,
shearing, type and quality of forage, pasturing system, breed, concentrate ration.
3.5. Ewes Body Weight Change
Ewesaverage live weights under different feeding groups were increased during the entire feeding trial. Body
weight of ewes fed the regular lactation diet gained similar to ewes fed the different forms of HB (Table 4).
The HB had no effect on ewesaverage weight. Although level of CP in the HB ration was lower than the
level recommended by NRC, ewesperformance was positive. This might be due to the effects of increased nu-
trients and the low antinutritional factors in HB. Tudor et al. [20] (2003) reported that most of the trials on li-
vestock performance from hydroponic sprouts show no advantage to including them in the diet, especially when
it replaces highly nutritious feeds such as grain. Cuddeford [17] describes some possible advantages of hydro-
ponic sprouts for horses. Morgan et al. [18] found that pigs fed 4-day-old sprouts gained significantly less weight
than those fed barley grain.
3.6. Milk Yield and Milk Chemical Composition
Milk yields and milk composition are presented in Table 5. Milk yield was not affected by HB. Milk protein,
Table 4. The economical results of the experiment.
Control HB Sig.
Number of ewes 24 24 -
Weight change (kg) 6 ± 0.2 5 ± 0.8 ns
Average daily gain (g) 86 ± 8.8 77 ± 5.9 ns
Daily feed intake (kg) 4.7 ± 0.09 4.4 ± 0.1 ns
Cost of 1 kg, feed NIS* 1.61a ± 0.06 1.06b ± 0.09 Sig
Cost/ton, NIS** 1610a ± 20.2 1060b ± 17.9 Sig
Rows of different superscripts differ significantly at P < 0.05.
A. R. M. A. Saidi, J. Abo Omar
Table 5. Composition of milk from Awassi ewes fed HB.
Control HB
Milk yield, g/d 1102 ± 20 1090 ± 18
Protein before 4.0 ± 0.3 4.2 ± 0.2
Protein after 4.9 ± 0.3 5.5 ± 0.4
% change 1.4 ± 0.3 1.3 ± 0.1
Fat before 5.1 ± 0.5 5.0 ± 0.2
Fat after 5.8 ± 0.6 6.1 ± 0.3
% change 1.0 ± 0.05 1.1 ± 0.06
TS before 16.0 ± 2.2 16.0 ± 2.6
TS after 15.8 ± 1.0 16.2 ± 0.09
% change 0.2 ± 0.01 0.2 ± 0.02
milk fat and total solids (TS) were also not affected by feeding HB (Table 5). Slight improvement in these pa-
rameters was observed in all treatment but was not significant. The relatively low averages of milk yield rec-
orded can be explained by that the experiment was started one month after initiation of lactation and the general
fair conditions of ewes used in the experiment. Milk yield observed in this study was lower compared with other
findings reported by previous research when ewes fed HB [9]. Grigorev et al. [23] showed that replacing 50%
of the maize silage with 18 kg of hydroponic barley grass increased cowsmilk yields by 8.7% although milk fat
was depressed.
3.7. Conception Rate, Abortion and Health Status
The rate of conception was the same in ewes in different feeding treatments.
No cases of abortion were observed in the experimental ewes. Adequate levels of vitamin A (carotene) might
be the explanation of maintaining pregnancy while consuming this type of diet. No signs of disease or health prob-
lem were observed during the feeding trial. The survival rate in experimental ewes was 100%.
4. Conclusion
HB can replace regular roughage in lactating rations as part of total mixed rations. No negative effects on ewes
body conditions and productivity were observed. However, significant reduction in feed cost can be achieved
when feeding rations incorporated with HB.
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... The OM, especially starch, may be consumed to support metabolism and energy requirements during sprout [36]. A study by Saidi and Jamal [4] showed that sprouted barley did not affect the bodyweight of ewes. However, Ata [1] found that lambs fed 62% sprouted barley as part of the total mixed ratio (TMR) had a higher total weight gain, average daily gain, average daily intake, and better feed-to-gain ratio than TMR (control diet). ...
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The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of freshly sprouted barley on the growth of lambs, in addition to its nutritional value and digestibility. In addition, sprouted barley digestibility and rumen fermentation were studied in vitro on a dry matter (DM) basis. A total of 45 three-month-old Awassi lambs were randomly assigned to five treatments of sprouted barley (0, 25, 50, 75, 100%) diets. Bodyweight, weight gain, feed intake and feed efficiency were recorded every two weeks. Nutrient analyses were performed on feed, faecal, and urine samples. DM and non-fibrous carbohydrates were measured. Digestibility of DM, organic matter (OM), and neutral detergent fiber (NDF), as well as gas production, pH value, ammonia-N, and volatile fatty acids (VFAs), were determined in vitro using continuous culture. The results showed that final bodyweight was lower (p < 0.05), while feed intake and the feed-to-gain ratio were increased (p < 0.05) in sprouted barley treatments. Nutrient analysis indicators of sprouted barley treatments (25 to100%) were lower (p < 0.05) for DM, crude protein, acid detergent fiber, lignin and ash, and higher for total digestible nutrients, NDF, fat, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and net energy than the traditional diet. In the in vivo study, the digestibility of nutrients in sprouted barley treatments was improved (p < 0.05), while the diet (sprouted barley 100%) had the lowest digestibility of DM, OM, and NDF compared with the other treatments in the in vitro study. In conclusion, the addition of sprouted barley improved digestibility, and fermentation characteristics, while having a negative effect on growth. Further studies are recommended for optimal growth performance.
... Similarly, Naik et al. (2015) found 1% increase in EE content of the hydroponic fodder and mentioned that might be attributed to the rise of (Naik et al., 2015). In case of hydroponic barley, CF content was 3.5% at day 0 and increased 6.5 to 8% in days 5 and 8, respectively (Abd Rahim and Omar, 2015). The ash content of wheat seed at day 0 was 2.3 g and 0.7 g more (p = 0.001) at day 8 than that of the day 0. Similarly, hi-tech machine grown hydroponic wheat fodder contained 0.6g/100g DM more ash than that of wheat seed reported by Kantale et al. (2017). ...
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This study was conducted to investigate the changes in morphology, biomass yield, chemical composition and production cost of Hydroponic Wheat Fodder (HWF) with the advancement of growing days. The HWF was cultivated at low cost sprouting house at the Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) Dairy Farm, Mymensingh, Bangladesh. Firstly, wheat grains were collected, washed and then soaked in tap water for 12 h. Thereafter, grains were wrapped with a gunny bag for 24 h for germination. Then, grains were spread out in trays and irrigated using tap water up to 8 th day morning. Biomass yield, morphological, nutritional parameters and cost of production were determined daily from each of the eight batches (day, 0 to 8) in the sprouting house. An increasing trend was seen in biomass yield, plant height, root length and root number of HWF with the days of advancement and found highest on 8 th day (p=0.000). Biomass yield was increased 6 times during this 8 days cycle. On the contrary, a decreasing trend was observed in cost of production (0-5 th day) and found lowest (BDT. 5.00) value in day 6 th-8 th (p < 0.001). A strong positive (r=0.891-0.989) correlation exists between biomass yield and morphological features (p < 0.001). Whereas, cost of production negatively (r=-0.857-0.946) correlated with biomass yield and morphological parameters (p < 0.001). The dry matter content of HWF reduced (p <0.001) gradually from day 0 to 8. The crude protein, ether extracts and minerals (calcium, phosphorus and magnesium) content of HWF increased positively from day 0 to 8 but nitrogen-free-extracts and organic matter declined (p < 0.001) gradually. However, morphology, biomass yield, chemical composition and production cost of fodder were similar between the days of 7 to 8. Finally, farmers might grow HWF up to 7-8 days as a new source of livestock feed.
... As sprouted grain had different catalysts and enzymes that make the nutrients in available forms and reduce the viscosity of digesta, thus resulting in improved nutrients digestibility and utilization. Conversely, no significant improvement in feed intake, body weight, milk production, and composition was reported in Saidi and Abo Omar [97] for feeding barley fodder to ewes (Awassi). A summary of these studies in terms of impact on nutritional values, feed intake efficiency, feed conversion ratio, and DM content is also presented as supplementary materials in Table A1. ...
Hydroponic fodder production in controlled environment (CE) settings have gained more focus in recent years due to the shortage of agricultural land for food production and the adverse effect of climate changes. However, the operation costs and dry matter issues are the major concerns for the sustainability of fodder production in the CE. This study provides a comprehensive literature review on techniques and control strategies for indoor environments and watering that are currently used and could be adopted in the future to achieve the economic and environmental sustainability of controlled environment fodder production (CEFP). The literature indicates fodder production in the modular system is becoming popular in developed countries, and low-tech systems like greenhouse are more prevalent in developing countries. The optimum temperature and RH range between 16-27°C and 70-80% to get efficient biomass yield; however, minimal research has been conducted to optimize the indoor temperature and relative humidity (RH) for efficient and higher efficiency fodder production. Besides, the water-saving techniques and optimal lighting spectrum need to be studied extensively. Automating and monitoring in CEFP system could reduce operating costs and improve quality and yield. Overall, this industry might have great potential for livestock production. Still, more strong research needs to be conducted to answer nutritional concerns and reduce the capital and operating costs for CEFP.
... Most reports found in the literature about the effect of sprouting on the nutrient composition of barley grains refer to grains sprouted in the dark during about 48 hours for malting purposes [16][17][18]. However, few and incomplete information is available on changes in the nutrient composition of barley sprouted in germinator chambers with continuous light. ...
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The objectives of the current study were (1) to evaluate the effect of sprouting on protein, amino acids, fats, fatty acids, starch, total soluble carbohydrates, and ß-D-glucan content of barley grains and (2) to know the content of these nutrients in the morphological fractions of sprouts: green shoot, residual structure of sprouted grain (RSSG), residual structure of sprouted grain plus unsprouted grain (RSSG plus UG), and root fractions and to determine the proportion of each of these fractions (on fresh and dry basis) in the sprout biomass. Barley grain was sprouted in a commercial germination chamber for a period of 6 days. Raw grain was used as a control. Results showed that crude protein, ether extract, total soluble carbohydrates, and cellulose content increased, whereas starch and ß-D-glucan content decreased in sprouted when compared with the control grain. Amino acid and fatty acid profiles were also affected. Thus, aspartic acid, threonine, alanine, valine, isoleucine, lysine, and tryptophan content increased and only that of glutamic acid decreased after sprouting. Regarding fatty acids, an increase in the relative concentration of C18 : 0 and C18:3n-3 and a decrease in that of C18:1n-9 were detected. Partitioning of sprouted barley into three morphological component fractions showed that the residual structures of sprouted grains plus unsprouted grain fraction made up 82.9% and 93.6% of sprout biomass, on fresh and DM basis, respectively, and the remainder was provided by the root fraction, 10.3% and 3.2%, respectively, and by the green shoot fraction, 6.8% and 3.1%, respectively. The three morphological fractions differed in the content of the most analyzed nutrients.
... It is possible to obtain grass in a few days with hydroponic systems in a germination machine (Sarıçiçek et al. 2018). It has been reported in some studies that the nutritional values of green feeds grown were the best on the 7th day (Akbağ et al. 2014, Saidi andOmar 2015). After that day, energy levels and organic matter contents decreased, and the amount of structural carbohydrates increased (Gebremedhin et al. 2015, Karaşahin 2014, Fazaeli et al. 2012. ...
... Since couple of decades ago, hydroponic fodder production technology has been advocated as a solution for conventional green fodder production challenges and as climate change adaptation strategy (Muthuramalingam et al., 2015;Saidi and Jamal, 2015). On the contrary, other group of authors argue that profitable use of sprouting grain as a feed source for commercial cattle production to appear unlikely (Sneath and McIntosh, 2003;Dung et al., 2010) or totally have no advantage (Fazaeli et al., 2012). ...
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A cross-sectional single visit multipurpose survey was conducted in Gondar, Mekele, and Tachi-Gayint to understand the suitability of hydroponic fodder technology to urban and peri-urban dairy farms. A total of 436 households who own at least one crossbred dairy cow were randomly selected and interviewed using semi-structured questioner. The study identified zero-grazing as the main feeding system practiced by large proportion of dairy owners. Conserved crop residue and hay were the main bulk feed available in both dry and rainy season followed by agro-industrial byproduct in dry season and green feed in rainy season. Feed shortage was the primary problem impacting dairy production. Purchasing feed, culling less productive animals, and feeding less or using alternative feed were the copping strategies employed for feed scarcity. Hydroponic fodder production practice was low (6.9%) due to lack of awareness, high cost of seed, and labor shortage. However, greater proportion (56.7%) of dairy cattle owners having experience of using hydroponic fodder witnessed that it improved milk production, calf growth, and animal's body condition. Unlike urban respondents who have suspicion on the feasibility of the technology, large proportion (83.2%) of peri-urban consider production of hydroponic fodder as a good opportunity and ready to grow if the technology is cost effective and proven to increase milk production without affecting animal health. Although majority of the required facilities for hydroponic fodder production exists in the study area, seed cost and information on the effect of the fodder on productivity and health of animals limited its wider adoption and use. Hence, future research should focus on identifying cost effective technologies and knowledge on effect of feeding such fodder on animal productivity and health.
Conference Paper
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Climate variability in arid and semi- arid regions that represents a large sector of Arab region and East African. This change led to high decreasing in rain rates and consequently water shortage. In addition to high full price and machine costs, all of that increase usage of hydroponics system. This system constructed for producing pest organic animal forages. In this champers, we can control internal condition by using some electronic devises that give the optimum spurting conditions without adding any aid components. This spurting champers can produce a large amount of green fodder from the smallest unit area and lese water and full usage. The hydroponic method need optimum range of temperature, humidity, lighting and irrigation water, so this method is the optimum for producing large amount of animal fodder with minimum amount of water (save about 90% irrigation water, fertilizers and mechanical works). It is save soil and under soil water from chemical fertilizers pollination. The aim of study is to study the effect of some weather parameters as temperature, humidity and lighting; some engineering parameters as selves height and its effect on produced material from quantity and quality. The treatments include: four experiments of temperature 20, 22, 24 and 26 ºC; four experiments of humidity 55, 60, 65 and 70, %; four duration of lighting times 96, 120, 144 and 168, hours.; four experiments of shelves heights 30, 35, 40 and 45, cm. The measurements include: Some chemical and physical analysis as: Protein percentage; Ash content; N, %.; P, %.; K, %. and Length of plant. Temperature of 26º C and humidity of 70, % were the best treatment for plant length, wet weight, N percentage and Protein percentage. It wasn't any different between Temperature of 26º C and humidity of 70,%; and other experiments of temperature and humidity in percentage of P,%; K,% and ash content, %, while it were lower in dry weight. That was related to the effect of increasing temperature and humidity that were very significant. The effect of increasing temperature and humidity were higher on physical and chemical perpetrates of plant, that increasing economic benefits of barely spurting under Egyptian local condition. This temperature and humidity didn’t need huge amount of energy for spurting rooms. Lighting time of 168 hours was the best on effects of plant length, wet weight, dry weight, N, P, K and protein percentage, while the best ash content was at 144 hour. There was any difference between shelf height experiments, but the optimum shelf height was 35 cm. Shelf height of 35 cm permit good lighting, ventilation, increasing number of used shelves and consequently increase unit production. By observation, the best plant dry weight was at the second and the third experiment, but didn't get the pest plant length. That is related to non-spurting barely seeds, little of roots side extension and the amount of seeds were higher than roots. At lower lighting time, the yellow plant color was related to lower lighting time. So, we recommended using: A temperature of 26 ± 1 ºC, humidity of 70%, and lighting time of 168 hours and shelf height of 35 cm.
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Using alternative water resources such as tertiary treated sewage wastewater is considered very important to produce crops (e.g., green forage) due to irrigation water shortage, especially in arid and semiarid regions like Jordan. Moreover, growing forage hydroponically is now becoming popular in drought prone areas to produce green fodders in large quantities with less water use. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of irrigation with tertiary sewage treated wastewater (WW), tap water (TW) or mixed WW with tap water (WW mix) on barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) fodder yield, quality, and water use efficiency (WUE) under hydroponic conditions. A hydroponic system was developed with four shelves and used in this study. The results showed that barley forage can be produced in 9 days from planting to harvest in this system. Using WW in irrigation has effectively increased the yields of green and dry fodder, and the green forage yields obtained were 224, 276 and 320 tons/ha under irrigation with TW, WW mix and WW, respectively. The higher fodder yields obtained with WW than TW or WW mix, probably due to the higher nutritive value of WW especially N content. However, plants irrigated with WW used water more efficiently than those irrigated with other water types, when used 1.26 m3 compared to 1.56 m3 water in TW to produce 1 ton of hydroponic green fodder. Proximate and mineral nutrient contents of dry fodder were significantly higher in plants irrigated with WW than with TW in respect to crude protein, acid and neutral detergent fiber, and N, K, Mg, and Na contents. Heavy metal (Cd, Pb, and Ni) contents in barley fodder were higher in plants irrigated with WW than those irrigated with TW, but their levels did not reached the maximum allowed levels by FAO for edible crops. The results of this study revealed that hydroponic green barley fodder could be irrigated safely with tertiary treated sewage wastewater to produce high yields and less water use. Moreover, use of treated wastewater in irrigation of green forages in hydroponic system considered as useful alternative disposal method of wastewater without the risk of accumulation of heavy metals in the soil.
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In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries, where water is a major limitation in crop production, using alternative water resources such as tertiary treated sewage effluent (TTSE) is one way to produce crops, especially fodders which consume sizeable share of the limited irrigation water. Barley (Hordium vulgare L.) is a popular fodder in the region with good adaptability to wide range of climate and soil. A laboratory experiment was conducted during 2009 using complete randomized design with four replications in order to evaluate yield, water use efficiency (WUE) and quality of barley fodder irrigated with TTSE under hydroponic system. Barley seeds of a commercial grade with good viability (80-85%) were sterilized with 20% sodium hypochlorite solution to control fungal growth. Seeds were sown in stacked trays in a temperature controlled room. Trays were irrigated daily with either tap water (T1), or tap water mixed with TTSE at 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% (T2 to T5) and with TTSE only (T6). Plants were harvested 9 days after sowing. Plant height, green and dry fodder weight, the germination percentages and the amount of water used were recorded. Representative fresh green fodder samples from each treatment were oven-dried at 70 o C for 48 hrs and analyzed. Crude protein, Crude fiber CF, acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and lipid concentrations were determined. Results indicated that germination percent and yield of barley increased as the concentration of TTSE in irrigation water increased, however, the increase in WUE was not significant. Proximate chemical analyses indicated that there was no significant effect of treated sewage effluent on moisture, CF, NDF, ADF, or fat (ether extract) of the barley fodder. It was concluded that barley produced by TTSE maintained all its fodder quality and that it can be produced commercially for feeding livestock.
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Barley grain was sprouted in a still hydroponic growing chamber for 6, 7 and 8 day periods and sampled for chemical analyses, protein fractions, in vitro digestion and metabolisable energy (ME) determination. Productivity measured on the basis of the input-output balance of barley grain and GF yield. Results showed that CP, Ash, EE, NDF, ADF and water soluble carbohydrate (WSC) were increased whereas OM and non fiber carbohydrate (NFC) decreased (p<0.05) in the GF when compared with the original grain. As the growing period extended from day 6 to day 8, the CP, Ash, EE, NDF and ADF were increased but NFC and WSC reduced (p<0.05). The non protein nitrogen was increased but true protein decreased (p<0.05) in GF in comparison to barley grain, however no differences was shown among the growing periods for protein fractions. The potential (b) and rate (c) of in vitro gas production shown a decreasing trend (p<0.05) by sprouting the barley grain up to 8 days. The amount of OM and ME of GF, obtained per kg of cultivated barley grain, were lower than those of the original grain.
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This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of barley green fodder produced by hydroponics system on the performance of feedlot calves. In a completely block randomized experiment, 24 cross bred (Holstein × Local) male calves were assigned randomly to one of the two treatments (diets) that were either control (grain barley) or hydroponic barley green fodder (BGF) that was included to provide 22.8 percent of the total diet on dry matter basis. Seed grade barley was grown in a hydroponics chamber system where the growth period was adjusted for 6 days. Body weigh gain was not significantly different between the treatments, but the animals that had received the control diet had higher (P< 0.05) dry matter intake than those fed BGF diet. There was a tendency (P= 0.199) toward differences in feed efficiency due to dietary treatments. From economical point of view, feed cost increased up to 24 percent when the calves were offered BGF, because of the costly production of hydroponics green forage. Although the mass production of fresh fodder was about 4.5 times per kg of barley grain, this was due to water absorption during germination and growth period. Nevertheless, the dry matter obtained was less than the initial barley grain and further dry matter losses were found in the green fodder. These findings suggest that green fodder had no advantage over barley grain in feedlot calves, while it increased the cost of feed.
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Effects of form of olive cake (OC) on growth performances and carcass quality were studied on forty-eight Awassi lambs. All lambs were male with an average body weight of 29.5 kg (S.D. = 2.3 kg) at the beginning of the experiment. Animals were randomly divided into four groups of 12 lambs each. Lambs in each group received individually corn–soybean meal (SBM) total mixed rations (TMRs). Rations were incorporated with a fixed amount (149 g/kg DM) of OC of different forms: crude OC, a product of the three centrifugation extraction procedure (control group), alkali treated, ensiled and pelleted. All rations were isonitrogenous and isocaloric. The growth experiment lasted 10 weeks. In the following week, all lambs were slaughtered. At termination of the experiment, lambs fed crude, alkali treated or ensiled OC rations consumed more feed and gained more weight (P<0.05) than those fed the pelleted OC. This same trend was found for the feed conversion (FC), carcass and empty body weights (EBWs). However, external (hide, head and feet, HHF) and thoracic organs (heart and lungs, HL), gut and liver weights proportional to EBW (g/kg) were not affected by the form of OC. The form of OC had no effects on muscle (P=0.4) and bone (P=0.21) tissues. Carcass, pelvic, kidney fats and total carcass fats weights when expressed as g/kg EBW and the percent of carcass fat of total body fat (TBF) were lower in lambs fed the pelleted OC compared to those offered the other forms of OC. However, the subcutaneous, inter muscular and TBF fats weights (g/kg) were comparable among lambs in different OC form rations. Results from this work suggest that the treated OC had no advantages compared to crude in regard to parameters investigated in this research.
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In order to analyze the productive and reproductive behavior of lactating Salers cows with calf there was used hydroponics green fodder (HGF) as supplement from may 1st to July 2 of 2002. There were 35 cows used with 42±4.55 open days. They were paired according to the calving date and randomly assigned to one of two treatments: rangeland forage plus HGF as supplement plus green fodder (GF) and rangeland forage plus irrigated prairie forage (PF). The consumption of forage was 1.07 and 1.32 kg/DM/d of GF and 2.66 and 0.88 kg/DM/d of PF in may and june, respectively. Both groups were bred with fertility tested registered Salers bulls. The cows on PF lost weight (P
Peer, D.J. and Leeson, S., 1985. Feeding value of hydroponically sprouted barley for poultry and pigs. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 13: 183-190. Barley was sprouted hydroponically for 1-7 days under controlled conditions. Met.ab- olizable energy (ME) concentration of dried barley sprouts was determined with mature White Leghorn cockerels. There was a significant linear decrease (P < 0.05) in ME of the sprouts with increased sprouting time. Digestibility of dry matter (DDM), protein (DP) and energy (DE) of raw 4-day sprouts was determined with pigs, as were the weight gain and feed efficiency of the animals. Day 4 sprouts were- significantly (P < 0.05) lower in DDM, DP and DE than ground barley, but were superior in these characteristics (P < 0.05) to whole barley. Young pigs (18 kg live weight) fed on 4-day sprouts gained significantly (P < 0.05) less weight than pigs fed on ground barley, although feed efficiency was the same for both barley types. Results from the above experiments suggest that digestibility decreases as sprouting time increases. It would appear that drying and grinding the sprouts improves their di- gestibility.