Fodder Question 2: Alfalfa seeds with a white coating, what's that?

Sep 2, 2018
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Bought some Alfalfa from the local seed store to try to make some Alfalfa fodder for the Duckies. The seeds are coated in something white:

The coating washes away during soaking and this is how Alfalfa seeds should look like:

Now what is that white stuff?
And is that eventually toxic or harmful for birds?
 

BirdsBeesTrees

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Mar 10, 2019
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We had a $20,000 fodder system set up for 1100 pounds of fodder per day. We had to specifically get untreated seed for sprouting. We sold our system and now I just grow some in my basement in the winter.
 

gtaus

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Mar 29, 2019
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Bought some Alfalfa from the local seed store to try to make some Alfalfa fodder for the Duckies. The seeds are coated in something white:

The coating washes away during soaking and this is how Alfalfa seeds should look like:

Now what is that white stuff?
And is that eventually toxic or harmful for birds?
I'd check for any label on the seed bag and/or ask the local seed store if they know what it is. I get my barley seed from a local mill, but they provide feed ready grains for animal consumption. None of my barley or oats from the local mill were coated with anything.
 

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
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Northern Minnesota
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We had a $20,000 fodder system set up for 1100 pounds of fodder per day. We had to specifically get untreated seed for sprouting. We sold our system and now I just grow some in my basement in the winter.
:eek: 1100 pounds of fodder per day! You must have had some large livestock.

Anyway, I built a fodder tower out of scrap wood and used 10 Dollar Tree plastic dish bins. It provides me enough daily fodder for my 10 chickens. They get about 1/2 bin per day. My tower is small enough that I am growing my winter fodder in the bathtub in the spare bathroom. My girls tear into the barley fodder and seem to really enjoy some fresh greens in the winter. So it's all good for me.
 

BirdsBeesTrees

Here Chicky, Chicky, Chicky!
Premium member
Mar 10, 2019
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Iowa
:eek: 1100 pounds of fodder per day! You must have had some large livestock.

Anyway, I built a fodder tower out of scrap wood and used 10 Dollar Tree plastic dish bins. It provides me enough daily fodder for my 10 chickens. They get about 1/2 bin per day. My tower is small enough that I am growing my winter fodder in the bathtub in the spare bathroom. My girls tear into the barley fodder and seem to really enjoy some fresh greens in the winter. So it's all good for me.
Dairy farm, lots of cows. :)
 
Sep 2, 2018
4,180
15,392
1,147
Big Chimney, WV
My Coop
My Coop
I'd check for any label on the seed bag and/or ask the local seed store if they know what it is. I get my barley seed from a local mill, but they provide feed ready grains for animal consumption. None of my barley or oats from the local mill were coated with anything.
The label on the bag is almost worthless:

So i called the seed store and asked them and they said the coating is a mixture of Calcium-Carbonate (good for duckies), a fungizide (probably not good for duckies) and Rhizobium bacteria - these are the bacteria that are fixing Nitrogen out of the atmosphere - no clue what those would do inside of a duck's digestion system.
As i have thoroughly washed off the coating of one batch of the Alfalfa seeds (countless water changes until it stayed clean) i will feed the sprouts to the ducks. But the rest of the seeds will be sown into a duck-feeding station in spring.
Problem is that no store is selling uncoated Alfalfa anymore… :(
 

gtaus

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Mar 29, 2019
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I really don't know much about those chemicals. I just asked my local mill what grains they have available as animal feed that could be used to grow fodder. They only have barley, oats, and wheat that are good to be used as fodder for animals. If I was unsure about the fungicide or the Rhizobium bacteria being good for direct consumption of my birds, I'd probably plant the seeds under a grazing frame or something like that so the seeds can grow but the chemicals have a chance to break down in the soil.

Very nice pictures you posted of the wheat fodder. I have been encourage to try some wheat seeds next time I have to get some more seeds for fodder. Your wheat fodder looks much like my barley fodder; full, rich, dark green blades of grass.
 
Sep 2, 2018
4,180
15,392
1,147
Big Chimney, WV
My Coop
My Coop
I really don't know much about those chemicals. I just asked my local mill what grains they have available as animal feed that could be used to grow fodder. They only have barley, oats, and wheat that are good to be used as fodder for animals. If I was unsure about the fungicide or the Rhizobium bacteria being good for direct consumption of my birds, I'd probably plant the seeds under a grazing frame or something like that so the seeds can grow but the chemicals have a chance to break down in the soil.

Very nice pictures you posted of the wheat fodder. I have been encourage to try some wheat seeds next time I have to get some more seeds for fodder. Your wheat fodder looks much like my barley fodder; full, rich, dark green blades of grass.
I personally taste every bin of fodder before feeding it to the Duckies, if the taste is off it will be tossed and they get ½ cabbage that evening. (Until i run out of cabbage heads)
So far the Alfalfa bin is looking promising, it is the one at the bottom of the tower, so that its water won't taint any other bin and the water runs of clean. Tomorrow or Friday i will pull it out and place it at the window.
Wanted to sow Alfalfa last year, but somehow missed the right time. But this spring…
 

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