Our Daily Fodder Routine

A few people have asked what our daily fodder routine looks like. I had my daughter help us out to show you how quick and simple it is.

To soak our seeds we use a laundry bag that has small enough holes that the seeds do not come out. We place it into a bucket and then fill it with seeds.

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We place it into a bucket and then fill it with seeds. We use 1 1/2 quarts per tray.

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After we put enough seeds in. We close up the laundry bag.

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Then we fill the bucket up with water and let is soak. At this point some people put in a little bit of bleach, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. We have not experimented with this yet.

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We soak our seeds for 24 hours.

Setting up your Trays

Start with your bucket of seeds that have been soaking for 24 hours…

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Drain the seeds. We purchased an inexpensive laundry sink and use it to drain the seeds and also clean the fodder trays. It is important to wash them so you do not get moldy fodder.

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We then fill the trays up to be about 1/2” deep with seeds. We use a 2 1/2 quart measuring cup from the paint department at the hardware store.

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We then spread the seeds out evenly in the tray.

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Then the tray goes on the rack and gets watered 2-3 times a day.

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We plan on automating the watering in the next week. I will then experiment with watering times and amounts but for now a good rinse 2-3 times a day works great!

The Trays

We use garden trays that you can pick up at any garden store. I have found the best price on the trays are from the Greenhouse Megastore.

I use a Soldering Iron to punch holes into the tray for them to drain.

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Depending on how your trays are designed you will punch holes in the low parts of the trays so they drain completely and somewhat quickly. You do not want the seeds sitting in water for a long time.

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The Results

It should take your fodder to grow from seed to lush barley in about 7 days.

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When you walk outside with your bucket of fodder be prepared for this…

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They chase me all the way down to the barn.

Then you can expect a lot of this…

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A little more of this…

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and this…

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and this!

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18 thoughts on “Our Daily Fodder Routine

    • Yes! You can use barley, oat grass, wheat, field peas etc. I have heard of doing alfalfa but I know the seeds are small so it might be a challenge. We will be trying different blends in the spring for our chickens and dairy goats.

  1. Love your homestead! I am setting up a fodder system for alpacas. I have a very simple question about your system. Where does the water from your trays drain?

    • Thanks so much! The water is caught in a gutter and then into a water trough. I have a small pond pump in the trough that pumps the water outside where the garden usually is. I hope to get a large water tank outside to pump the water into so I have a bit of water storage.

      Teresa

  2. Excellent! May I ask when the girls are lactating how do you feed this on the milkstand. Do you also supplement them with anything else during milking, better quality hay? I am wanting to use the fodder in place of all grain on my place, using alfalfa pellets still and grass hay along with their browse. Thanks! Vicki

    • This is our first year of using fodder so I have not gone through a milking cycle yet. I plan on giving them a blend of black oil sunflower seeds, flax seeds and alfalfa pellets while on the stand. The fodder gets fed twice a day to everyone along with grass hay once a day.

      Since this is all new to the goat world I am making sure I keep an eye on body condition. I have found that their coats are so much nicer!! Their weights are doing great and they aren’t going after the minerals as much.

      I am trying to stay away from alfalfa pellets and hay as much as possible since we all know it is more than likely GMO.

  3. Hi Teresa, How many trays a day does it take to feed all of your animals. Also, about how much dry grain (in pounds) are you using for each tray? Thanks! -Laura

      • We are doing the trays of fodder for the chickens9just started) do you find an advantage just using the sprouted or growing it out? Also have yu seen an increase or decrease in egg quantity?

  4. How much light do you need for the sprouts to grow? I looked at your previous post and could not see if you were using “grow – lights”. Great blog BTW.

    • Thanks for checking out our blog!

      You do not need any special types of lighting to grow the fodder. I have some hanging lights in my basement that are on a timer for 8 hours. It isn’t anything fancy!

  5. Very nicely done, thank you for sharing. Have you figured out your costs of seeds (and time too) vs hay and alfalfa? I am on a small farmstead with fairly high density of cows/goats/chickens and am wondering if this would be a solution for us also. Thanks again!

    • I have not figured it out exactly but we saw our feed bill drop to about 60% of what it used to be before fodder. I would love to hear how cattle do on it. We are looking into Dexters and the plan was to give them fodder and hay. If you do implement a fodder system into your feeding routine I would love to get feedback on the cattle. As far as the time goes, since it is on automatic watering and growing you pretty much only have to clean the tray, fill with seeds, soak new seeds and harvest it.

    • We would feed our 2 dozen layers a 1020 seed tray of fodder. It would also feed the ducks and geese. Our chickens were free range so they also had additional nutritional sources. We would feed once a day and them them forage the rest of the day.

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