Growing fodder for chickens

MichelleT

Songster
5 Years
Sep 20, 2014
316
199
176
Denver, CO
I just caught on the this thread a couple of weeks ago and headed straight to the feed store - no barley but they did have wheat so I soaked 5 cups in a seed tray (like you start seedlngs in or get from the nursery). I was hoping to feed out on days 5 and 6 (or 6 and 7) and then start a new tray every other day. Turns out that's still too much... I gave the first tray to them over a 3 day period and clipped the grass back so that it wasn't so long. I have 4 hens and 5 "teenagers" between 9 and 12 weeks old. On the third tray I used only 4 cups of seed and on the 4th tray I used only 3 cups. We'll see how this does. I'm growing in my basement which is plenty cool so I don't think I'll have any mold problems there.

One of the reasons I started this plan was to "cut feed costs"... not sure if I'm cutting costs because the teenagers are eating more every day so it's hard to know what I would be spending without the fodder. I find it hyterical that they (all of them) will climb on top of the biscuit (I don't cut it up) and start scratching to get to the seeds. They don't eat it all but do a number on it all the same. I just sweep the leftovers into the area of the run where there is loose dirt and mulch (straw, leaves, etc.) and they just incorporate it into the mulch material with their scratching. In fact, that's the first place that the teenagers head in the morning - over to have a good scratch in the straw and leaves. A couple of times a year I dig it out and start over - great compost!
 

mobius

Songster
Feb 29, 2016
1,712
1,228
246
Roosting. In A Tree. In Deepest NW Montana.
it will cut feed costs a bit but all greens are good and seeds are great they love the seeds the most! When I feed it out my three toy dogs each get a bit when the chickens get theirs! It is good for the dogs and good for the chickens!

On the fermented feed thread we are doing a bit of cost analysis and fermented feed reduces cost by about 20% at least so when you add in fodder it will be a little more. The important thing in my mind is FF and fodder adds health to digestive system too AND reduces cost so it is a win-win-win!

What I love to do is feed the fodder just before bed so crops are full...chickens really like this before bedtime!
 

MichelleT

Songster
5 Years
Sep 20, 2014
316
199
176
Denver, CO
So my fodder is doing beautifully, but now I have a host of fungus gnats. It's probably not a big deal right now because I'm moving the sprouts out in less than a week BUT I will eventually be seeding new plants in this area and then it WILL be a BIG problem. So - effective ways to get rid of them? Does apple cider vinegar + dish soap work to eradicate or just slow them down? And what about the sticky tape??? Before I work to set something up OR buy a bunch of stuff, I'd like to know what's worked for others...
 

MichelleT

Songster
5 Years
Sep 20, 2014
316
199
176
Denver, CO
I already wash the trays with hot water and soap so that's one step already done.
I sprinkled with DE this afternoon and I'll continue to do it after each rinse.
I'm only rising once/day... maybe I need to up it to twice... I soak the seeds each morning for about 10 minutes while I make my coffee and then drain.
 
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