Thursday, February 28, 2013

Growing (green) Fodder for Chickens

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I really want to grow my own green fodder for my chickens this year, so I've been investigating all the nutritional aspects and how-to to get growing in my own suburban backyard.

But this is not just for chickens!
Goats, sheep, horses, and cattle will love it.

Packed full of vitamins and minerals that also saves on fodder costs. $$$

It can be as easy as growing sprouts in a jar - but in a larger tray...or hydroponically.

Remember growing seeds in cotton wool or on a piece of damp paper towel at school?
No soil required!

Direct sunlight is not required either.
But they can be placed next to a window or left on the kitchen bench.

Any seeds that your animals or poultry would normally consume can be grown in this manner.

Flax is said to be a little trickier to use as it can go goopy and more prone to going mouldy. Wheat, barley and oats are often the favourite seed of growers.

To begin, make sure that your seeds are:
  • Clean
  • Not coated
  • Not mouldy
  • Not pearled

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How to start growing your own fodder


Starting with 2 flat trays or ice cream containers.

Simply soak you seeds in a container that has holes, set inside another container without holes.
The water level must be twice that of the seed. Rinse your seed well before leaving to soak. The water should be clear. The next day, give your seeds a good rinse and spread evenly out on the tray/container.

Seed Germination Temperature is ideally 17-18ºC (60-65ºF) to 21ºC (70ºF), so long as it dips below 21ºC over night. If it is too warm mould will grow, so the cooler time of year is preferable. Choose your storage place wisely.

Every morning, give the trays a good rinse in the sink (the tray with holes will be nestled inside the other tray without holes, so remember to separate them for this part). Place them back on their shelf.

It is better to slightly over water than under water, just make sure that the grain is perfectly drained so that they are not sitting in water when they are put back on their shelf.

Rinsing is usually done only once or twice a day.You want the seeds to be moist INSIDE but not overly wet on the outside for very long or it will promote the growth of mould.

In 6-8 days your harvest should be ready.



Nutritional Information


Oats vs. Wheat
Courtesy of SkipThePie


A big thank you to everyone on www.backyardchickens.com forum for all the fantastic growing information. I am particularly indebted to forum user, pawtraitart. Thank you♥


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