Barley Fodder Setup

We have been asked some questions about our Barley Fodder setup included where we got our supplies from.

We have three metal shelving systems from Ikea called Broder. You can buy individual pieces of it to make it work for your situation.

BRODER 2 sections L-foot IKEA

We currently have four L-Foots, four posts, fifteen 47×23.5” shelves and fifteen large brackets. This is enough shelf space to hold 60 trays! 12 trays fit across and then there are 5 shelves.

The trays we pick up from our local garden center and they run about $2.00 each. They do not last very long because they are just plastic but if you are careful with them we get longer use out of them. I have just found the trays online for cheaper even with shipping through Greenhouse Megastore. I will be ordering them next month and see how they work out.

1020 Trays

We punch about 6-8 holes down the 10” side of the tray so it drains evenly and in a controlled manner. The plan is to run a 4” pipe cut in half on the front of the bottom shelves so it drains into the collection bin. The collection bin is then pumped out into the garden area using a pond pump. This will eliminate the need for multiple collection bins under the shelves.

The collection bin is a 275 gallon food grade container that we picked up from craigslist. They usually run about $100. We cut it in half and use the top half as it fits in between the feet of the shelf system.

We purchase our barley seed from a seed company in Stockton, CA. We researched what businesses were selling it locally and then went to their wholesale distributer. It works out to be $22.00 for a 50lb bag. Make sure you are buying seed and not feed. You want “hulled barley” it means that it is unhulled, whole barley seeds that are equipped to sprout.

Barley Seed For Sprouting

Right now we are watering 3 – 4 times a day with enough water to almost fill to the top of the tray. I use a water wand but I have a plan for an automatic set-up. It will involve a PVC tree on the left side of the shelving unit and 1/2” drip tubing going down each shelf. From there, I have a 1/4” line that come out from the 1/2” line for each tray. It is zip tied to the top of the shelf so it hits the tray correctly. The PVC tree is then hooked up to a water timer. You will have to adjust the timer based off of your flow rate, water pressure, etc.

This is a photo of our setup so far:

Fodder Room

We still need to add the drainage pipe, take away all but the right hand collection bin and add the automatic watering system.

Hope this helps you to figure out a way to feed your animals good quality food for an unbelievably low price.

I will be doing another post about the cost of feeding our animals soon!

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail us or leave us a comment.


16 thoughts on “Barley Fodder Setup

  1. Hi, Love what you have done!
    My question is what else do you feed the chickens.
    I live in the city have 7 chickens. I want no GMO feed. Have seen receipes to make chicken feed. Daunting to say the least.
    I use purina layena now, but I would like food that is organic and reasonable.
    Thanks, Mary Grace

    • We are able to let the chickens free range so they get whatever they can find around the ranch. During the winter I do give them a little scratch to supplement since they cannot forage in the snow.

      I have seen recipes for DIY chicken feed but I cannot find the ingredients in our area or I cannot guarantee that they are non-GMO and organic.


  2. how many pounds of dry grain do you put in each tray? How many lbs are you getting in each tray after 7 days.. have you had any troubles with mold?

    • It is about 2 lbs of dry seed and then we get about 12-15 lbs of fodder after 7 days. We have not had any trouble with mold as long as I keep the temperature down. Once it goes above 75F you can smell the mildew. For winter we are installing a propane heater on a thermostat and for summer we will be installing a small air conditioning unit.

  3. Do you have lighting on them or does the light not matter much because they are simply sprouts? Some air movement might help prevent the mildew too. Greenhouses like to have a lot of fans blowing.

  4. I found your page from the Survival Podcast. Really like what you have going on here. If you haven’t already used the PVC pipe as a drain then you might consider using plastic gutter you can pick up at lowes.

    • Thanks for checking out our blog! We ended up getting a 5″ PVC pipe and cutting it down the middle. It works great! Thanks for the suggestion on the gutter. I think that would be another great option. You can probably find them for pretty cheap too!

  5. How many pounds of fodder do you feed per goat? Im trying to decide how big of a system I need to feed 4 dairy goats. Thanks

    • I try to hit 2-3% of their body weight in fodder. I also keep an eye on them and make sure their body condition is good. If they are pregnant or lactating I feed more.

  6. This is so helpful – thank you. We are trying to figure out a way to do this as economically as possible, so having the approx. $ amounts are especially appreciated! Thanks again! Look forward to hearing and reading more from you. Kathy and Ken Lindner

  7. Just noticed you are dedicated to raising heritage breed as Nature intended. Our ranch name is Heritage Ranch and this is what we are doing too!! Would be nice to connect by email when we can. Regards, Kathy and Ken

    • Little people??? I am in the same boat as everyone else 🙂 Remember I am an Orange County girl that has only been doing this for about 4 years! It is all about trail and error and lots of experimenting.

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