The rise in feed costs over the years has lead some people to give up raising any livestock to help feed their families. They have sold off their animals or just kept a few and resorted to buying food commercially.
Due to large corporations food has been fast becoming unhealthy due to the practices being unsanitary in large factory feed livestock .After much research on growing fodder for our animals we decided it was a nobrainer.
Why wouldn't anyone decide to give their animals clean greens all year round It's so simple in fact that some cant wrap their head around the simplisticness of it.
Whether you plan on growing wheat, barley, or corn, whatever you decide to try it will have a different germination rate from grain mill to grain mill, whatever feed
store you use.
Once you get a grain that sprouts well stick with that seed source. Buy
seeds in small amounts at first if you can before purchasing in bulk. Seed sources can be
local farmers, local grain mills, feed stores, internet, craigslist.
There are many local grain mills and feed stores if you look on-line or in the
phone book. There are also sources for organic seeds available in bigger cities and online.
Just let them know you want seed for sprouting they are usually very eager to help
and if they don't have what you need ask them for a referral.
I have noticed the cleaner the seed when you get it the better it sprouts. All seeds
still have to be rinsed and then soaked overnite in water either with a capful or bleach,
vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide. This helps kill mold spores which occur naturally on
During the soaking process the seeds puff up you then rinse them very well and
place into black 1020 gardening trays that have pre-drilled holes in them. The tray
should be 1/4 to 1/2 in seed depth.
Place the trays of fodder on the system with an empty black 1020 tray that has
holes on top of the seeded tray. This helps the root mat develop better being in the dark.
Leave the empty tray on until you see the seeded tray lifting the empty tray this usually
occurs at day 2 or 3.
Then remove the tray and it will look like the image pictured on the right.
Then continue to let it grow and turn
green. The leaves are just as nutritious
whether they are dark or light green.
Some sprouts do better with a pre-soak for example Barley and Corn. Here are the
directions for this: Please note with barley it isn't always necessary unless your having
germination issues. Temperature is also important try to maintain temperatures between
55-80 degrees remember the cooler the temps the slower the growth, whereas the
warmer the faster the growth. To warm though can cause mold.
Allow seeds to Soak for 6-12 hours. Drain off the soak water. You may water
plants or use it in stock if you like - it has nutrients in it. Rinse thoroughly with cool
water. Drain thoroughly!
Set your sprouts anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (70° is
optimal) between Rinses. This is where your sprouts do their growing. We use a counter
top - in the corner of our kitchen, but where the sprouts won't get knocked over by cats,
dogs, kids or us. We don't mind the indirect sunlight or incandescent
light, because light just does not matter much.
A plant can only perform photosynthesis when it has leaves. Until then light has
little if any effect. They also happen to like air-circulation, so don't hide your sprouts.
Rinse and Drain again in 8-12 hours.
And, perhaps one more...
Rinse and Drain in 8-12 hours.
We usually stop here. We like our sprouts very small.
Depending on your climate and the time of year you are sprouting and most
importantly your personal preference -You may Rinse and Drain again at 8-12 hour
intervals for several days.
However - we prefer to sprout only to the point where most of the seeds have
sprouted tiny (1/16 - 1/4 inch) roots. That is typically after just 2 or 3 Rinse and Drain
cycles, though it can happen after just one. After this time we place sprouts into Black
1020 trays with ample drainage holes.
They can be watered automatically, or by hand every 6-10 hours for thirty
minutes is a good start then adjust up or down accordingly. Animals will eat them at any
stage of the sprouting process chickens prefer small sprouts whereas goats like the
grasses at about 4-5 inches tall.
The soaked seeds are already alive and though they may not be their most
nutritious they are very close. We're talking seriously nutritious - they are already
without enzyme inhibitors (a very good thing indeed) so they'll digest themselves and
nourish your animals cells without requiring anything from their body!
Experiment! Have Fun! It's All Good!
Mold is an issue as the weather starts getting warmer, warmer weather will also
effect sprout rates. The fodder itself will grow faster as I have seen this week so my
chickens and goats and rabbits are fattening up!
I have my system set up on my front porch which is enclosed so I have a couple
fans set up for circulation. Since it has gotten warmer I now only pre-soak my grain with
bleach/and/or hydrogen peroxide/ or apple cider vinegar, for a couple hours since the
fodder is growing faster this will help cut-down on mold.
Clean your trays with soapy bleach and or hydrogen peroxide water after every
use. In warmer weather I have started giving the animals day 4, 5 fodder. This is due to
the increase in warmer weather and faster growth of the fodder. The animals get the
same nutritional value from it as they would day 6 trays! Change the water more often if
mold becomes an issue. I also add a cap full of bleach/ or hydrogen peroxide or vinegar
to my water at every water change. Add water as needed to keep your pump submerged.
I get the most from my 18 tray system by double and triple stacking trays my
system at any given time can have 24-30 trays on it at various growing stages! The
sprout chart shown shows the sprout rate for many grains. For example, you can mix
barley, wheat, and black sunflower seeds in the same tray to sprout as they have the
same sprout time.
Remember for every problem there is a solution!
We don't do anything special to green our sprouts. Indirect sunlight to barely any light, nothing special is needed.
During the month of August-October fruit flys may become an issue Where the
heck did all these fruit flies from from?!" Have you ever found your kitchen teeming
with fruit flies that seemed to appear out of nowhere? These tiny nuisances can quickly
multiply in number, and be tough to get rid of once they're around. So how did these
fruit flies get in your kitchen? Contrary to popular belief, this isn't a case of spontaneous
Fruit flies are built to find fermenting fruit or fermenting FODDER!. Though
small, they can detect the smell of ripe fruits and vegetables from a good distance away.
If there's a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter, there's probably a fruit fly or two
looking for a way into your home to get to it. Because these insects are so tiny, they can
get in through window screens or crevices around windows or doors. Once inside, they
reproduce. Before you know it, you've got yourself a full-fledged fruit fly infestation
(say that 5 times fast!).
Sometimes, fruit flies hitch a ride into your home on fruits or vegetables. Fruit
flies lay eggs on the skin of very ripe or fermenting fruit. Those bananas you brought
home from the grocery store may already harbor a new generation of fruit flies. If you
let your tomatoes over ripen on the vine before picking them, you may be harvesting
fruit fly eggs along with your crop. Unrefrigerated fruit, whether its on display in the
grocery store, still in the garden, or sitting in a bowl on your kitchen table, may attract
Fruit flies have notoriously fast life cycles; they can go from egg to adult in just 8
days. That means one overly ripe tomato left unused on your counter can give rise to a
small fruit fly swarm within a week. Fruit flies are also known for their persistence once
indoors. They don't even need fruit to keep reproducing. Fruit flies can breed in the
slime layer inside slow-draining plumbing, or on an old, sour mop or sponge. A great
way to get rid of those pests is poor some apple cider vinegar in a small container add a
few drops dish detergent, mix and you'll be amazed at how many you collect. Try
changing your water a little more often as well, fodder ferments and fruit flies loves
fermenting anything. Also try the Amazon for fruit fly repellents.