четверг, 2 июня 2016 г.

How to Grow Fodder to Feed Chickens, Ducks and Rabbits

How to Grow Fodder to Feed Chickens, Ducks and Rabbits

How to Grow Fodder to Feed Chickens, Ducks and Rabbits

We started sprouting lentils this winter. I am hoping to expand into more fodder systems this year.

My neighbor set up extensive fodder growing trays but his horses didn’t go for it. So he brought it all here for my chickens. Welp, they didn’t really go for it too much, either. But boy, did I love seeing the green in the midst of winter snow! So it was good for my spirits! He decided he wouldn’t go to the trouble again. Good luck with your fodder and your chickens. You are a good farmer!

We are planning on doing this later this year. I just picked up some peas to start sprouting after we get our birds in a few weeks.

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That was a great post and something I did not now so thank you for sharing them with us.

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Very innovative idea and great for saving costs.

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That looks like a great system! I it makes a huge difference in egg quality during the winter when greens are in short supply. We’ve actually been doing something similar with our pigs – fermenting/sprouting grains in whey. they love it!

An interesting article. So far we haven’t felt the need for this step, as our birds free-range during most days and get their greens that way, along with the grains we give them. But you bring up a good point about winter time. Certainly worth further consideration. I do hope you see and quickly fix one thing: “They then get greens with chloroform…” I assume you meant to type “chlorophyll.” Thanks again for the useful info.

thanks for catching that! changing it right now!

Hi Heather,

Nice post! I’m not a farmer and don’t raise chickens or other livestock, but I love eating sprouts. Never thought to call them fodder, but hey, why not? Sometimes my eating habits resemble grazing.

Anyway, I often sprout grains here in the kitchen, but in smaller quantities than you describe. Perhaps it’s time to step it up a notch.

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Thanks for explaining this all out, and giving so many tips! I pinned it

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I am learning all of this because I want to start raising chickens. My questions is this. If there are holes in the pan tso the water drains what about the seeds? Don’t they fall through the holes as well|. I started 2 cups of Red hard wheat in a bowl and soaled it for 24 hours and then drained it and rinsed it well. repeating for another 24 hours. At the end of 48 hours I had a very few tiny sprouts and the batch was starting to smell so I threw it all out. What did I do wrong?

you want to make the holes pretty tiny so the seeds won’t fall through after they sprout, they grow pretty fast and their roots will intertwine, making falling through the hole pretty uncommon.

What a great idea! I can’t wait to give this a try!

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I just started Laco- fermenting wheat berries for the girls. They eat it but not with the gusto I thought they would after seeing my friends girls go after hers. I may try this sprouting idea with plain water and see if they like it better.

Thanks for the ideas.

We live in town, so there is not a lot of access to the idea of free ranging outside the large pen, unless we are at constant attention. We love sprouting a mix of wheat/oats/milo. We also sprout barley. The chickens love it. Since we have access to free 5 gallon buckets, we just cut them off with a saw so we have a circle pan. This idea has so far been the best in terms of cost and durability. We started out with seed sprouting trays and quickly realized they won’t hold up. For our 12 chickens, we give them one circle tray every afternoon and their normal feed every morning with snacks as we come by them. It just makes sense. It increases the amount of feed, and quality of feed, in exchange for time spent soaking and watering which doesn’t take that long, so it’s a win. The cost of retail feed dropped dramatically. We still buy the 50 pound bags of all these various grains, but cost wise it has saved us a lot. We keep ours in the same little greenhouse as your picture. Nothing big and fancy but it works great.

Hi – and thanks for the informative post. Question – I hesitate using bleach to retard mold…wondering if the use of vinegar wouldn’t be just as effective. I’m thinking especially apple cider vinegar, which has health benefits of its own.

I think that ACV would work as well!

To the soaking water, I would add some Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide for controlling mold. It is totally healthy and will actually help with germination. Not sure what percentage or amount as I have only seen it mentioned but haven’t used it myself. But I would steer clear of bleach as it is extremely toxic to all life forms.

I’ve never heard of using peroxide! I’ll try that and see if it works as well!

Really? Bleach and Aluminum pans? If this is to make healthier eggs than I think I’ll pass. I’ve been doing a fodder system for years and did not use bleach or aluminum. We did plastic (which has it’s own problems) and kept a fan on it to keep the mold off. I am interested in trying ACV for mold. Thanks for the post and getting the word out about fodder.

Actually, she only uses 1/2 capful of bleach and that goes on the grain before it goes into the pans…I am sorry that wasnt’ clear But you are right, putting it into aluminum pans isn’t the healthiest idea. I think that using plastic along with ACV is what I plan on trying next. Please let me know how yours goes!

Where do you buy grain suitable for sprouting? Can I just buy a bag of barley from the local supermarket?

That’s where my friends gets her barley

You say this fodder system saves on feed cost. How much does the grain cost (for sprouting), vs. the usual feed? When I bought a bag of wheat berries, it was roughly a buck a pound. Chicken feed is significantly less than that. Granted, the greens in winter are a nutrition plus, but does it really “save”?

Just curious how the total economics play out.

it saves on feed cost (for me anyway) because in my area, a 50 lb. bag of soy free feed is $25, plus the time and gas it takes to drive and get it. I can stretch that with grains that I buy in bulk for $26 for a 50 lb. bucket.

I buy mine in bulk from our local co-op, so it winds up being $.50 a pound. That does save us, not just in feed costs, but in time and gas running to the store, which is over 50 miles one way for us.

What a great idea! We are planning for chickens next year and my 3-tier greenhouse won’t be used in the winter! I’ll grow some fresh greens. Where do you get the barley from? Is there a way to make sure it’s organic?

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I have a place locally that buys it in super bulk 2x a year (like the tune of 10 tons) as a co-op. I get it from her for about $.50 a pound for a 50lb. bucket. I would check with Wheat Montana or Honeyville, which are both online…

Wow, that’s an amazing option for keeping chickens going when you don’t have enough regular grass.

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I am a bit jealous, your chickens eat better food than we do! At Growing Futures Kenya we make our own food from waste sweet potatoes, coconut, cassava, and msimbi (probiotic sludge that forms as palm wine ferments).

I tried to grow my barley in a greenhouse in May but it gets too hot and all I grew were mold and flies! I gave pans growing well in my living room and will try the greenhouse again in the cooler weather this fall.

We soak and ferment but I don’t have the patience for sprouting. I forget to water them and they end up molding. I need to get better at it because it is fabulous!

Wow! That gutter waterfall system looks awesome. I’ve tried doing fodder in the past, but that looks super easy. Now I’m inspired.

Thanks Kathryn! Let me know if you try it!

Growing fodder is a cheap way to feed your chickens, ducks and rabbits throughout the year.

It’s a simple concept, really. Basically, it’s allowing grains to sprout and grow into their respective grasses for feed supplementation for poultry. The animals then get greens with chlorophyll, as well as the proteins from the grains and the sprouts.

You can either build a fodder system with pie pans, or you can build a fodder wall.

This wall required:

6 8 foot plastic gutters

6 gutter ends

a bucket

drywall screws

a wall you aren’t using with studs-this can be in a garage, a greenhouse or in your kitchen if you want

To make the wall, measure where the studs in the wall are.

Make markings on the gutters to position into the studs.

Attach one end of the first gutter into the stud, and angle the gutter so the opposite end is 1 1/2 inches lower than the top.

Place the gutter end on the higher spot.

Attach the second gutter approximately 3 inches lower than the one above and cap the opposite end

Angle the OPPOSITE end higher than the first gutter to create a “waterfall” effect.

Continue layering the gutters on the wall, positioning the opposite end to allow water to flow.

Then, prepare the grains.

You can get barley fairly cheap at a farm store, bulk foods store, or online here. You will want to soak the grains overnight in a bowl, covered with water and a Tablespoon of bleach to retard mold. The next day, rinse the grains well, and place in the top gutter. Start soaking another batch of grains and repeat daily until all the gutters are filled. (6 days) Watering is simple. Just water the top gutter well, and the excess water will flow into each gutter, watering all of them. The bucket at the end will catch any remaining water. (BUT, be sure to drain the bucket daily. It does get rather smelly if it sits more than that.)

Here they are around day 3.

And, around day 7, when the barley starts to look like this,

the fodder is peeled from the gutter and cut into squares with a sharp knife to be given to the poultry or rabbits. It’s like a carpet or mat that is all woven together. Each animal gets a chunk of the fodder daily and it’s split pretty evenly. The rabbits like the greens, but they don’t eat as much of the roots. The chickens and ducks love all the greens AND roots and enjoy their daily treat.

By rotating how the gutters are filled, you should need to only soak and grow one gutter at a time, allowing for one day off a week.

The fodder wall will grow very well as long as it doesn’t get too hot in the summer. If you use A/C, it should be fine. Otherwise, try a fan on it to keep it from getting too hold and molding fast.

Have you grown fodder? What are your experiences with it? Be sure to pin this for later!

Original article and pictures take http://thehomesteadinghippy.com/how-to-grow-fodder-to-feed-chickens site

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