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  • #20952 Reply
    Member: GA Bob HaylesBob Hayles

    I’m considering using sprouted barley as feed for my pigs, but cannot find any information on how it compares pound for pound with regular 16% commercial feed from the nutrition standpoint. I’d like the answer to 2 questions:

    1. Pound for pound is it nutritionally equal to or better than commercial feed, and…
    2. If equal…if one pound of sprouted barley is equal to one pound of feed, is thatpound of barley sprouts measured wet, just out of the growing tray and still dripping, or is it dried sprouts? That is a HUGE difference.


    #20955 Reply
    Member: WI NorthernMarshNorthernMarsh

    During my fodder experiment I tried barley, wheat, and oats. I had the best luck with oats as far as growth and cleanliness. Which really didn’t hurt my feelings, when I was younger we raised a couple hogs on barley…let’s just say the end product was less than desirable with a funky texture and an even funkier taste. (just food for thought) A big thing to watch for also is mold, you get mold and that batch is shot and you’re back to square one.

    To be honest, I never measured mine, I was growing it t 13×9 cake pans with holes punched in the bottom for excess water to drain out of. All of my animals (rabbits, chickens, goats, sheep, and the hogs) all loved it and did well on it, but I had to use it more as a treat than a diet change as with my trial production I wasn’t producing enough to actually *feed* everybody.

    There’s a lot of research out there on fodder vs dry and there are proponents on both sides of the argument that are convinced their way is the best. It appears to me, from the reading I’ve done, that sprouted fodder has a higher digestibility ratio than the dry/ground grains, but I didn’t feed it long enough to actually form a verifiable conclusion for myself.

    Here’s a few links I came up with for you:

    I do know that once I get the infrastructure set for continuous sprouting on a larger scale than my testing was done in I do want to give it another shot. If for no other reason than to give them some fresh greens during the winter months when all they have access to is hay and our grain mix.

    #20968 Reply
    Member: Tennessee AvatarMaureen Leavitt

    To the Northern Marsh Farm Author – Your comment regarding “funky” scares me as I am supplementing my feeders with some soaked barley. Can you give me a little more detail? Was the barley the sole food source? Was this with Large black hogs? I toured a farm that supplemented with barley and they said it was a taste that they liked. They sell their pork at a public shop. I’m curious….


    #20971 Reply
    Member: WI NorthernMarshNorthernMarsh

    Good morning Maureen,

    No, they weren’t LBPs. These were either Chester White or Duroc feeder pigs that we were raising at the time. The barley was a supplemental feed, even back in the 80s we were raising pigs on pasture (hah! Who knew pasturing pigs would become a thing? It was just how we’d always raised them) so they were getting their forage as well as the barley.

    As far as the funkiness, I really don’t know how to explain it other than it had an off putting flavor and smell, and the meat was fairly mushy, not grained or marbled like our typical pigs were. If I can remember, I’ll ask my Ma tonight when I stop over and see if she can remember some better details for you.

    I just did a quick search to see if I could track down some further information for you, but, apparently we’re the only ones in the world who noticed a different taste in barley finished meat, but, I did find a couple sites that claim barley finished pigs tend to have a smaller loin, harder fat, and a lower iodine count in the fat (

    Honestly, if I had a ready source of barley I would probably try it again with a couple LBP as an experiment just to see how it converts with them, but, I definitely wouldn’t try to sell it to a customer without having tried the meat again myself.

    Best of luck,


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