Monday, February 10, 2014

Fodder: say what?

So I have been involved in the Beginning Women Farmers and Ranchers of Texas: Holistic Management International group since September. We have met two days a month and I have gotten acquainted with 30 other ladies from all over the state who are equally excited and full of great agriculture pizazz.  

I have learned so much and made so many great friends through this program.

Anyway one topic that I had heard of but never done is growing fodder for chickens. 

What is fodder anyway? Well it's sprouted grain before it reaches it's 2nd set of leaves. Usually 8-10 days depending on the crop. 

Why would anyone do this you ask? Fodder can turn 1 pound of feed into 6 pounds just with a little time, water and light. 

In the interest of cheapening up my feed bill I decided to start growing fodder for my girls. 

Instead of just scratch grains they are getting to eat the seeds, roots, and the green shoots grown from whatever seed or grain I choose. 

I found a 25 pound bag of black oil sunflower seeds at the feed store for $13 and decided they would be a fun first seed to try out. Most people use wheat, oats or barley. 

You can spend a lot of money on fodder systems or you can use a little southern ingenuity and see what your have laying around that will work to sprout seeds. 

Instead of buying expensive sprouting trays and lights I am just using an old clear plastic storage container and a south facing window for some sunshine. 

 I can't wait to feed my hens their first batch. If you soak one pound each 24 hours your can essentially turn 25 pounds of feed into a month supply instead of just a week supply. 

Have you tried fodder for your livestock? What species? and what type of seeds did/are you using? 

 Day 2 

Day 8


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  2. I LOVE that you are trying this!!! I was considering it for my Longhorns. I'm trying to figure out the cheap version of the trays and lights. For my herd it would require a formal setup with a commitment for space to do it in. I haven't figured out the logistics of feeding a herd from the "woman power" perspective either. I can't wait to hear how manageable this is for you. Can you post pics of your plastic storage container?