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Feeding fresh green all year round

Cattle are not meant to be in areas of tight confinement and fed a ration that is not part of their “natural” diet. All intensive feedlots use antibiotic feed additives in their rations that “modify” the bacteria in a cows stomach so the animal can eat the large amounts of grain without dying of grain poisoning.

When grains, seeds and nuts are germinated, their nutritional content alters, converting complex starch to simple natural sugars. Cattle, chooks, sheep and pigs all enjoy the entire sprout, including the leaves and the roots and benefit from the significantly higher protein, vitamins and enzymes than the grain itself. 

There is an amazing increase in nutrients in sprouted foods when compared to their dried embryo.

In the process of sprouting, the vitamins, minerals and protein increase substantially with corresponding decrease in calories and carbohydrate content. These comparisons are based on an equivalent water content in the foods measured. Analysis of dried seeds, grains and legumes shows a very low water content. But this increases up to tenfold when the same food is converted into sprouts.

The increase in protein availability is of great significance. It is a valuable indicator of the enhanced nutritional value of a food when sprouted. Carbohydrate molecules are broken down during sprouting to allow an absorption of atmospheric nitrogen and reforming into amino-acids. The resultant protein is the most easily digestible of all proteins available in foods.

Sodium is essential to the digestive process within the gastro-intestinal tract and also to the elimination of carbon dioxide. Together with the remarkable increase in vitamins, sodium materially contributes to the easy digestibility of sprouts. Dried seeds, grains and legumes do not contain discernible traces of Vitamin C, yet when sprouted, ascorbic acid is absorbed from atmospheric elements during growth.

Ascorbic acid is essential to break down protein during digestion.

During sprouting, much of the starch is broken down into simple sugars such as glucose and sucrose by the action of the enzyme 'amylase' making the sprout mats very easily digested by even very young calves. Proteins are converted into amino acids and amides. Fats and oils are converted into more simple fatty acids by the action of the enzyme lipase.

As the process of germination ends and sprouting begins, the gas producing quality of legumes is reduced significantly. Sprouts contain a lot of fibre and water and support natural digestion.

What's the benefit of feeding sprouted grains to cattle?

It is fairly straightforward to make your own sprouted seeds or grains.  Simply place the seeds or grains in a large pot overnight.  After they have soaked overnight, pour them out into shallow agricultural trays.

Stack the trays on well ventilated shelves in bright light, but out of direct sunlight. (a greenhouse is ideal) Spray rinse the seeds or grains two to three times a day until the sprouts are lush and well formed.

A large mat of sprout ‘fodder’ forms after 8 days.

It may take a few days for animals to get used to the different feed, but once your animals taste these high protein bricks of sprouted grain, they will LOVE them.