Reducing Feed Cost in Poultry through Hydroponics

Hydroponics can be used to grow fodder for animals boosting their growth and reducing overheads, and be used to grow vegetables, tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers e.t.c for human consumption.

Hydroponic when used in poultry will reduce cost of feed, as feed is very expensive in the market. The shift to hydroponically grown fodder is an easy choice for poultry producers.

The Sprouted fodder is considered a complete ration for poultry as it contains all of the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed for optimal meat and egg production; however, the rate of inclusion in the diet must be regulated to boost productivity.

The benefits of using the hydroponic fodder are as follows;

1) Reduction in cost of production. 2) Faster growth rate for birds.

3) High quality and quantity of eggs. 4) Low disease incidence.

5) Limited space for production. 6) Low water usage. 7) Short growth time.

Cost implication of the fodder is minimal as 2kg of corn will produce 10kg of fodder in 7days, and one chicken will feed on 200gm of fodder a day.

The fodder for poultry should be harvested at day 4, as its succulent with less fiber content and easily digested; feeding fodder over 4days will result in reduced activity, low egg numbers and inappetence in birds.

The best method of incorporation is to use 70% of the fodder with 30% of the compounded feed and water should be available always.

How to make hydroponic fodder for poultry?

  • Select good grade and quality seeds.
  • Determine germination rate of seeds.
  • Wash seeds and soak with vinegar/bleach solution for 4hours.
  • Rinse with clean water and drain.
  • Incubate seeds.
  • Transfer to prepared trays.
  • Spray with nutrients 3 times a day.
  • Harvest at day 4 for poultry.

Hydroponic and Food Security

Food security refers to the availability of food in required quantities, quality and ease of access. The accessibility can be categorized on basis of affordability, availability and ease of purchase.The onus of food security is on producers; their rate of production coupled with the price has a lot of impact on the way food is accessed.

The agricultural sector is weighed down by so many factors that make production unstable and enough food inaccessible. The factors are

1) Inadequate land for growing crops and rearing livestock. 2) Cost of production.  3) Storage /processing 4) Transportation.

Land is the basic capital needed for production; hence the value it adds to production cost cannot be overemphasized. The production of food to cater for the growing population can only be achieved if other methods of production are practiced.

As demand for quality and nutritious food increases, Food security will entail using innovative measures to produce crops and rear animals. The use of genetics hampers on this production methods by using seed improvement, modified seeds and also new planting techniques such as hydroponics. This will not only ensure a rapid harvest but also reduce the cost of production as many crops can be planted in a column in smaller spaces.

Seeds can be cultivated in nutrient media instead of soil, and this is done in a controlled environment this system is referred to as hydroponics. This system enables farming even in your room or balcony or any small space thus eliminating need for large expanse of land to feed the growing population.

About the Author

Ojuri Bolanle a  Veterinarian and an entrepreneur.Interested in public health,genetics,robotics,research and business development. She can be reached via ojuribolanle@yahoo.co.uk.  You can read more on her articles here

One Comment

  • Uday Jagdale

    Useful information
    Can we gave only fodder to poultry or some commercial feed is require ?

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