Fodder for Broilers

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bigredfeather, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I am going to try and raise some broilers this year feeding them fodder. has anyone else done it and what were your results?

  2. Matrix Escapee

    Matrix Escapee In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2011
    Nothing but fodder?
  3. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    No, I would still give them some grain type feed.
  4. BoereMeisie

    BoereMeisie Cape Town Farm Girl

    Oct 21, 2012
    Atlantis, South Africa
    I just came across this thread through a google search wondering the same thing. Did you try it? How did it go? I'm ordering some broilers this week and also want to try feeding them fodder and some fermented feed.

  5. carlye828

    carlye828 In the Brooder

    Aug 14, 2011
    NE Ohio
    Also wondering if you tried this. I wanted to try this spring. It's going to be an experiment on how much fodder, how little grain, since feed cost is the main expense of raising broilers. Also, what breed did you do? I'm hoping I'll be successful since I'm leaning towards a heavy breed instead of Cornish x.

    Who knows. We'll see.
  6. ginab213

    ginab213 Hatching

    Jan 29, 2014
    Hello Chicken People,

    I am in the planning phases of our first batch of pasture-raised broilers fed a mix of grower ration + sprouted barley/field pea/wheat/soy bean fodder.

    We have been feeding our layers fodder successfully for 6 months, and I'm hoping that our broilers can and will prefer the (very nutrient and protein dense) fodder over the dry grower ration. My main concern is that they get the minerals they need (Fertrell) from enough intake of the dry ration. Another concern is the personality of the bird, will they tear up the fodder mat or will they turn to the grower ration out of sheer laziness? With our free-range layers, they will hunt and seek out seeds, bugs and worms all before returning to finish their fodder mats (except during Kansas winters, for obvious reasons.)

    Again, this is my first go both with broilers and with fodder-fed broilers, so it should be quite the learning experience. Since I'm not looking to lose money on this adventure, I am calculating costs and feeding birds as if they aren't receiving fodder. I have thought about using two pens, one that receives only grower ration and one that receives grower + fodder.

    Here we go!

    That guy Mike likes this.
  7. call ducks

    call ducks silver appleyard addict

    Mar 4, 2009
    waterville , canada
    Chickens get about as much from grass as we do.... If you were wanting to try meat poultry on a fodder system you should look into ducks & geese they are vastly more efficient on grass than chickens are

  8. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing


    Getting goslings on grass as early as possible is most definitely recommended. It is what they are intended to eat for the majority of their diet.

    Chickens on the other hand... They are more like browsers.. eat something here, eat something there... Don't feed them exclusively fodder. I wouldn't feed anything one type of grain (or green) exclusively.
  9. BoereMeisie

    BoereMeisie Cape Town Farm Girl

    Oct 21, 2012
    Atlantis, South Africa
    Feeding fodder along with fermented feed? Is that recommended or not? As in grow barley, wheat and BOSS fodder along with fermented grower feed and free ranging them?

  10. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Crowing

    Jul 29, 2013
    Cleveland OH
    CXs are a bird I would think would be exceptionally good for using fodder on because they just don't stop eating. Fodder, as most people should know, IS grains (usually mixed), it is just grains grown out for a week. The nutrient value per lb decreases, but the weight increases faster than that. So 1lb of grain turned into 2lbs of fodder may have something like 1.25X's the nutrient value from just adding water and sunlight. So less nutrients per pound, but more overall. (These are not accurate numbers, just an example of why fodder works in the first place.)

    A CX that is fed fodder will grow slower, much like a CX fed a restricted diet. But it should be that if you feed 1lb grains to 2 chickens per day, then sprouting that 1lb of grains should give them a faster growth if they still eat it all. Feeding chickens 1lb of grain VS 1lb of fodder the grain is more nutrient rich. So if you free-feed your CX's they will grow much faster on the grain/pelleted diet than on any fodder because they consume the same mass of feed, but the dry mass has denser nutrients.

    Since CX's just eat and eat and eat, if you intended to do a rationed diet it shouldn't be too hard to get them to clean up 2-3X's the original weight of the food if you were going to ration it anyhow. But if you're free feeding it is a waste.
    2 people like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by