I think if you're trying to grow fodder, rather than just sprouting the seeds, you something with a more tray-like shape. Over a pound of wheat in the bottom of a 5 gal bucket sounds like way too much. When I seed my trays I really just shotot for a layer thick enough I can't see the bottom.
Agreed. A flatter tray, more width than height, will allow more air flow, and you should get better germination. The seeds need to be more spread out; they need air.
Something like this: https://www.tigerchef.com/thunder-group-plfb005-14-1-4-x.html?mkwid=s_dc&pcrid=76619203762&pkw=&pmt=&plc=&gclid=Cj0KEQjwipi4BRD7t6zGl6m75IgBEiQAn7CfFwKAsmxdC--wgoVgfuLCmGSfvfhL7seB85quUCOk2FwaAoCL8P8HAQ