Planting fodder after it has sprouted! Is this possible!?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gen2racer, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. gen2racer

    gen2racer Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 12, 2015
    Roy, WA
    My Coop
    I am fairly new to chickens and am constantly trying new things and trying to save money. I had the great idea that seems too good to be true. Here is where the idea came from:
    After watching tons of videos on growing fodder, it seems like an easy way to get 5 times the feed for your money. In my chicken run, there are old, short, 4x4 raised garden boxes. Here was my idea: sprout the fodder inside as usual, but then put them in the garden boxes. Here's the kicker, cover the garden boxes with 1/2" hardware cloth so the chickens can only eat the tops of the fodder! Genius right?!
    The chickens stand on the hardware cloth and eat the green shoots but can't get down to the seeds or roots, and the plant just grows in the ground as usual. The chickens act as little lawn mowers and the fodder keeps coming back!
    Has anyone tried this? What are your thoughts?
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Yes it can be done that way. But the plants will need to be rooted in the soil or the chickens will pull it up and through the wire rather quickly. Better to just start it right in the planters then allow them access, with the wire cover, when it reaches fodder length. I will point out that restricting them to just the greens cuts down on the added amount nutrients they get by eating the whole young plants in the fodder
    sunflowerdreams likes this.
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Early on, years ago, we tried something similar with plastic mesh gutter screen (had a roll of the stuff). This worked and no concern with their beating their beaks on the metal hardware cloth. However, we also have cats. So, we buy ten pounds of oats, every fall and, as we have a "winter" garden in the house (6 48" sunlight fluorescents) we simply keep rotating out sprouted oats (cats get first crack at the "grass", then out to the chickens and turkeys for a couple of days and so on). The cats are fastidious in chewing off, rather than pulling up the oats. Chickens and turkeys often pull up the veg&seeds, but it's just additional nutrients.

    If ours were in their runs during the warmer months, most of the time, I'd keep two rows of planters (one to be seeded as the veg in the other planter appeared) covered with the plastic mesh.

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