History of Sprouting for Animal Feed

Did you know there is an ancient method of feeding animals that is making a resurgence today?  Have you ever wondered where sprouting systems got their start? Scroll through the timeline below for a bit of education, you may be surprised!

  The first patents for grain sprouting systems started to appear in the early 1900's. Many of these were sprouting for a short time period for poultry feed. As time went on the systems advanced to produce taller sprouts. The changes included climate control, various methods of draining trays and efficient means of watering. Patents mentioning light sources for the sprouts (which is only necessary after several days) started as soon as 1923. As electrical technology was improved, so did the equipment. In the 1950's to 1960's leaps and bounds were made in sprouting technology. Fodder shredding equipment and fully automated systems were developed.

This might make you wonder, where is this equipment today? The answer is, it's back! Although the technology at the time was good for sprouts - it was also good for hay and corn production. Whereas small farms once produced these products by hand, mechanization took hold with new balers, tractors, harvesters, and other equipment. This reduced prices of feed and created a lack of demand for sprouting systems before they had a chance to solidify their place in agriculture. So here we are, nearly 50 years since a fully automated fodder system was patented, and we're at it again! Only this time, we're armed with more nutritional knowledge and data on the benefits of feeding sprouts. Sprouts are beneficial all the time - not just when traditional feed prices go up. Increased health, fertility rates, meat quality, and overall animal performance are just a few things reported by those using sprouts for feed. In addition, new scientific research has proven how fodder digests in ruminant animals. As our slogan says, "Animal Nutrition is No Longer Cut and Dried."