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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sprouts and fodder

I've been making fodder for the chickens for a few weeks now. They absolutely love it, but I have noticed they seem to prefer when I sprout the seeds vs growing them into fodder.

The above picture is of my seeds on day 4. These are sunflower seeds that I normally feed the wild birds. 

Sprouting is where you soak the seeds in water for 12-24 hours, and then place them in a container that has holes. You water them a few times a day and they begin to sprout from the shell. In about 3-4 days you have sprouts. 

Above I have fodder that is 7 days on the left, 8 days on the right. Day 8 is missing some because I fed it to the chickens already. 

If you continued to water them a few times a day, by day 8 or so, they should be 3-4" tall and have a decent root system. They do not need soil, but it does require a warm room and moisture. I keep them in my bathroom because it's the warmest room in the house and I have easy access to water. I feed them about 1/3 of a shoebox per day for 5 chickens and they still get their layer feed. 

This is 7 days worth of fodder growing. The bottom sunflowers are on day 7, with less days as you go up. Day 1 is soaking in a jar and is not pictured. 
(Top to bottom: sunflower, oats, oats, corn, sunflower, sunflower)

I have been experimenting with different seeds and sunflower has given the best results so far. I haven't been able to get the oats to grow, they mold too quickly. Corn sprouts and grows but takes a long time. The chicks do enjoy it though!  

The chickens enjoying sunflower fodder

Enjoying fresh sprouts on a snowy day.