Growing fodder for chickens

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

  1. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi all...just found this thread searching for fermenting feeds...this sounds great to supplement with that to get my costs down.
    I have to ask this because my DH is being a DOPE. He says there is NO WAY seeds weighing "X" can weigh "5X" (or more) at the end without adding something to them. I keep trying to explain that seeds+water+light=growth and that the seed has everything in it to do this. The miracle of a seed right?! SO--does anyone have the scientific jargon to get this through to him? I tried photosynthesis but he just kept arguing with me. [​IMG]
  2. DMRippy

    DMRippy Pallet Queen Premium Member

    May 18, 2011
    Really? Rain, sun and time grow a watermelon, that sure weighs more than a seed [​IMG] A ten year old weighs more than a newborn baby..... GROWTH....
    3 people like this.
  3. greenhorn

    greenhorn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    Millington, MI
    This is one of those things I read about and know I have to do. It has to be better than feeding nothing but bag feed all winter. Bag feed that we all know is full of GMO grains etc. That got me to thinking that I needed to find a source of good organic grown non GMO heirloom grain. Researching all that brought me to learn that even the organic wheat we do have available is likely causing health issues.

    I know it probably won't matter so much to some folks since we will be feeding our birds fresh wheat sprouts. But I was thinking why not get real old school grains, grow them outside, collect the seed, use it for fodder and actually make our own flours and use some of the seed to replant with again the next season.

    I realize this would take an incredible amount of work, patience, persistence and time. Figured you could buy some good organic heirloom grain seed somewhere. Well good luck and when you do, man is it expensive. Some of these grains go for $7.99 for 25 seeds. It will take forever to start with 25 seeds and turn that into enough seeds to plant an acre of land, even a half acre...

    I couldn't help myself though, had to buy 4 packs or heirloom wheat seed. Still want to get an heirloom rye and barley to add to the collection. From my understanding these old school grains have superior taste compared to modern grains. I've also been reading that ancient and heirloom grains probably don't cause as many health issues that our modern bred hybrid/genetically altered grains do. I'm not trying to feed the world though, just my family and livestock. I'm not going to be overly concerned if i have to plant an extra half acre of heirloom wheat etc. to accomplish that. Even if it does take more land and more work. The reason we farm here is to create a higher quality wholesome diet. I don't want to feed my family nor livestock Monsato's version of food.

    To break away from it all together I see this fodder idea as excellent choice for an organic winter food. This thread has forced me to enlighten myself in many directions. I didn't even know the difference between soft and hard wheat lol. Anyway it's not as easy as I thought to acquire good old school seeds and to break away from GMO's. Hopefully we won't lose the ancient and heirloom grain seed all together, there sure don't seem to be many folks producing them.

    Anybody know of some good sources? Here's the best one I found:
    3 people like this.
  4. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

    Sep 1, 2010
    Wow, just wow. If you have tried explaining w/ words and it did not work I would suggest a visual example. Go to your kitchen cabinet take out whatever raw seeds you have (rice, bean, lentils, sprouting seeds, etc....) 2 containers measure same amount of seed in each, leave one as is sprout the other.
  5. mzstre

    mzstre Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2011
    near Baton Rouge, LA
    Wouldn't you be able to use organic grains purchased from a mill as long as they are still whole? I got a small group of people together locally and we order from Coyote Creek, an organic mill in Texas. it is much more costly than purchasing commercially prepared feed, but my birds truly eat much less because the food is not cooked or processed. I do purchase whole grains from them as well. Right now organic wheat is running about $24 per 50 pound bag. We have our order shipped to us by freight carrier. The cost is dependent upon how many pounds we order. We have paid anywhere from $5-$10 per bag for shipping. They do offer products in bulk.
  6. cracked egg

    cracked egg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 29, 2012
    Blackfoot, Idaho
    check out Sand Hill Preservation, I know they have corn,barley and millet seeds. Also Baker Creek Rare Seeds
  7. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2007
    Ummm.....well some of that weight is water that the seed and new growth continues to absorb, so in that sense he is correct if he is thinking purely about dry matter weight. However, the point is that the seed becomes more nutritious and bulk fiber is increased.
  8. Scoutmedic

    Scoutmedic Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2012
    South-Central Texas
    Is there another type of seed that is more mold resistent and tolerable to warmer climates like here in south Texas for fodder? Today was nice in the 50s, but were are usually in the mid to upper 70s to low 80s in the fall and early spring.
  9. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2007
    I'm not sure. I do know that using a thinner layer of seed helps regardless of type. Mold spores are everywhere, though. If conditions are right, mold will grow, that's it. My advice would be to start with good quality clean seed and experiment with water techniques to see what works best for you.
  10. ScottnLydia

    ScottnLydia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2011
    Perhaps this is a dumb question, but has anyone tried filtering the return water? I live in an area where water is in short supply, this summer they restricted our usage. NO usage other than houshold! We saved a few trees from dying with grey water, and got an exemption for livestock, but the garden was a goner.

    Anyhow, I was just wondering if filtering, perhaps even with activated charcoal, could extend the life of the water? Any thoughts?

    Also, Pawtraitart, what kind of hair sheep do you have? Just curious.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by