100% YES, you can replace Conventional green fodder by hydroponic fodder.
In below table, Nutrient content in hydroponic maize fodder, hybrid Napier, conventional maize fodder and maize grain is shown
- You can see that if you compare green fodder on dry matter basis with each other, there is a small difference between hydroponic maize fodder (13.82%) and Hybrid Napier (18.67%) or conventional maize fodder (20.03%)
Comparing hydroponic maize fodder, hybrid Napier or conventional maize fodder with maize grain(89.58%) doesn’t carry any sense , the reason maize seed(non-living) is in a non-digestible form and rest of the green fodder(living) is in digestible form.
The small difference of dry matter between hydroponic fodder and hybrid Napier fodder or conventional maize fodder can be adjusted by any other dry fodder (hay, cereal straw, barley straw, oat straw, wheat and rice straws) which is rich in dry matter.
- Hydroponic fodder is a rich source of protein (16.35 %), almost twice than hybrid Napier (7.00%) and 34 % more than conventional maize fodder (10.86 %).
- Hydroponic Fodder is rich source of Ether Extract (3.63 %) (Fat % Fatty acids), almost 48% more than hybrid Napier (01.89%) and 51% more than conventional maize fodder (01.79%)
- In case of crude fibre,hydroponic fodder (15.47%) is approximately half of hybrid Napier (35.90%) and conventional maize fodder (26.42%). You can adjust the deficiency of fibre intake of cattle’s by any other source of fodder which is rich in fibre. Fibre rich fodder is available in very cheap cost in market (hay , dry fodder , cereal straw , barley straw, oat straw , wheat and rice straws ).The fibre intake in cattle’s diet should ideally be about 30-35% of total daily dry matter intake .If there is not enough fibre in their diet there will not be enough chewing during eating and ruminating , and therefore enough saliva is not produced leading to a drop in ruminal PH and hence increase the risk of ruminal acidosis in cattle’s .
- If we focused on major nutrients like protein and fat , Hydroponic maize fodder is far better than any other green fodder ,it is observed that in dairy farmers who are practicing hydroponic fodder in there farm they are saving 50-70% on cattle’s feed and concentrate which are rich in protein and fat
- If somebody is practicing Hydroponic fodder at their farm they are not just replacing conventional green fodder , dry fodder or any other poor quality forage but they are also going to save good amount of money which they are going to spend on expensive cattle feed and concentrates .