Chicken Fodder


Yeah I know not to creative of a title, give me a break it’s been a long day. Fodder has been a topic of mine before, this morning on my feed run I took some pictures of my set-up and am going to share them with you all. Fodder

I tried the inexpensive black nursery trays you can buy at the hydroponics store but they kept cracking on me.

Fodder2

Now I am using restaurant prep trays, I got lucky and a friend was able to snag these from a local restaurant that was going to throw them away due to minor cracks in the rims. Apparently the health department feels they could harbor bacteria. I did check at a local restaurant supply store and these go for $10-$14 a piece which is a bit spendy but would probably be worth it if you were doing this for a lot of chickens and for a long duration.

Fodder3

 

To convert these to sprouting trays I drilled a BUTT-LOAD of holes in the bottom. Probably somewhere between 50 and 75-3/32″ and 1/8″ holes in each one. I also broke half a dozen bits from trying to hurry. The trays get wet down and allowed to drain once a day and are producing a good tray on an 8 day cycle. Over at BYC they have an enormous thread about fodder . After reading the 113 some-odd pages and over 1100 posts you will basically find out that the whole purpose is to stretch your feed by making the nutrients more bio-available which is basically the same thing fermenting feed accomplishes. If your interested in fermenting feed check out this post  over at Scratchcradle Heather really knows her stuff! As for supplies I bought a 50# bag each of Red Wheat and Barley back in November and have just about finally used it all up. Until the last 2 weeks I had only been producing a tray every other day but am now up to a tray a day. I soak 3 cups of seed for 24 hours or so before dumping into a drilled tray, usually I see roots by the end of day 2 and by day 4 there is teeny tiny greenery popping up. After that the growth rate takes off, on BYC they claim a 7 day grow out but for me 8 days gives a nice tight mat that the chickens have to work at a bit to tear apart. The final day of growth I actually pull the mat out of the bin and let it sit out on an open tray without being watered, why? because I only have 7 bins and it works.

 

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6 thoughts on “Chicken Fodder

  1. Veru interesting. Great idea. Should make chckens very happy.

  2. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time! Where do you grow yours? Does fodder need a lot of light to grow?

    • Max says:

      I grow mine in my laundry room. It’s about 65 degrees in there and has a single compact fluorescent bulb (the ones that screw in a regular light socket and are supposed to replace a 100 watt bulb) overhead.

  3. whimgirl says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. Because of your blog I have been reading a ton about fodder and fermentation. I am so going to try these techniques.

  4. [...] people accomplish their goals.  My favorites include Scratch Cradle, The Modern Homestead, and The Fruity Chicken. As I read more and more, I find an almost cyclical relationship.  One of my favorite posts about [...]

  5. […] more refined during the winter until I thought I had a fairly efficient system as outlined in my Chicken Fodder post this past January. Over on BYC the thread “Growing Fodder for Chickens” is what […]

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