Growing barley on the ground

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by roseyred, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. roseyred

    roseyred Songster

    Jun 5, 2014
    I recently ordered a 50lb bag of whole organic barley from countryside organics
    idk why the link says cracked its the link to the barley.
    so i want to sprout and i want to do it as easy and to create as much as quickly as possible.
    Its been real wet here so i thought growing it strait from the ground would be an option? I also have a sectioned chicken run and can close off a larger section for a week without much issue. Id like to get the racks and some trays eventualy but would this work for now? how would i do it? soak them first then just spread them around the ground? or would i have to bury them a little?
  2. VinceRusso

    VinceRusso In the Brooder

    Feb 3, 2015
    Norwalk CT
    We do sprout mung beans right on the ground and our chickens love it!

    To sprout the barley you could soak it for a few hours, spread it evenly (not heaped anywhere buy single grain) on the ground and cover it with a tarp. There is no need to sew it in the soil. Between the water the damp ground offers and the tarp it should sprout pretty quickly, like 3-5 days.

    Experiment with a small patch and see how it works out for you. Good luck!
  3. Spangled

    Spangled Songster

    Jan 12, 2012
    Serenity Valley
    This is similar to your other response.

    I read this in a book written by an old timer (around 1900?) and then tried it myself.

    Get a board. Roughly hoe up an area of soil about the same size. Sprinkled the grain a single layer thick over the soil. Roughly hoe again to get some of the grain covered with soil. Give the area a good soaking with the hose. Cover the area with the board for about 5 days. Remove the board and the hens will eat the sprouts on top and will scratch for the rest.

    You'll have to adjust how many days you need based on warmth and how quickly your soil dries out, etc. The hoeing doesn't have to be all that fancy. And some weeds also don't seem to make that much difference.

    I used a 4" x 1" x 10' board. Worked great. But it was spring/summer. I don't do it any more because my chickens have free range access to grass anyway, so I figured what was the point?

    Bad news: The chickens had it all finished in a day. I think it's mostly for hens that don't get to free range so that they can have some living feed which the old timers used to say was necessary for high hatchability ... you know, for the eggs to hatch in the spring. Now, the feed supposedly has all the vitamins added necessary for hatchability.

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