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Growing fodder for chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by pawtraitart, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the interest of spreading my poultry feed budget, I'm growing fodder for my flock during the winter months. So far, for every one pound of seed, I'm getting 6 1/2 pounds of green fodder. They eat the seeds, the roots, and the green shoots. I prefer to use barley, but I haven't been able to get bulk barley this year so I'm growing wheat with a handful of black oil sunflower seeds per flat. Anybody else grow fodder for their birds?


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  2. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are so beautiful! I have not started yet but I really want to do this. What sort of container are you using?
     
    24Chickens likes this.
  3. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use a bucket for the initial 24hr soak and then spread onto seedling flats. It's really easy and my birds love it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  4. katschicks11

    katschicks11 Out Of The Brooder

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    I would like to know more? with pics.
     
  5. bnewns

    bnewns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Me too.... pretty please
     
  6. Yeah me too! I've really been wanting do this....
     
  7. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I soak my seed in a bucket that has holes which is set inside a bucket without holes. (Actually, it's a pair of empty plastic ice cream containers.) You want your water level twice that of the seed. Rinse your seed well before leaving to soak. The water should be clear. The next day, give the seed a very good rinse and then spread onto the tray. Below is a picture of a set of trays seeded with wheat which is a few days old and just beginning to sprout some green. Wheat grows pretty well and is less likely to mold than barley, (and can be grown at higher temperatures) but barley grows a thicker leaf than wheat so that's what I like when it's available. I gather up my trays in the morning and give them a good rinse in the sink (the tray with holes is nested inside a tray without holes....) and then set back on the shelf. If in doubt, it's better to water too little than too much. You do NOT want water to sit in the trays. Pour out the extra water after rinsing! The seeds themselves hold enough water to grow and usually only need a rinse once or twice a day. You want the seeds moist inside but not overly wet on the outside for very long or you encourage mold. I have my trays next to a window for light. In the middle of winter when it gets dark really early, I have a fluorescent light that turns on with a timer.


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  8. katschicks11

    katschicks11 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm going to try this, about how long does it take to go from seed to feeding it to chickens? Do you buy your seed at grain mill? Thanks for your great post.
     
    FireyPhoenix and etenn01 like this.
  9. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It takes 6 to 8 days from start to finish. I usually get my seed from a local mill or farmer friends. If you don't have a local mill, the wheat grain sold in buckets at Walmart will work, it just costs more. It still works out to be pretty cheap when you consider how much food you are producing per pound. :)
     
    3 people like this.
  10. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2007
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    Note: The pearled barley at the grocery store won't sprout. The seed has to be complete.
     
    3 people like this.

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