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Let’s Grow Fodder


During the winter months most anything green is gone for a large part of the USA. If you’re a chicken owner, you know those guys love that green stuff. I know in different parts of the states, the weather conditions such as snow and ice can prevent chickens from getting all the good protein, vitamins and minerals from the green grass, among other greens that they get in the summer. If you’re as concerned about your flock as we are at Egg Well Farm, you may be interested in growing fodder for your guys and gals, (chickens). Fodder is a term used for growing sprouts that grow to thick greens and root system. It’s not as hard as it may seem.

When you don't have a large fodder system, or you don't have a flock big enough to use those big fodder systems, there's another way. You can grow the same thing using something simple. I prefer not going out into the cold if I don't have too, so, I have a space in my house in a window where I grow fodder for our flocks. Every little bit helps.

Benefits of fodder:

  • It has been scientifically proven to increase the digestibility of other feeds in their gut.

  • Due to the high moisture content (80 – 85%) sprouts can improve hydration in your animals. Sprouts in animal diets have proven to increase Omega-3 levels. This applies to meat, milk and eggs. When the animals are healthier the benefits are passed along to us.

  • The nutritional composition of fodder makes it a full feed option for poultry and will improve their overall health and performance.

  • Incorporating fodder into poultry diets will result in these benefits:

  • Better quality eggs with deeper yolk color

  • Enhanced egg taste

  • Reduced sticky droppings

  • Improved health and energy levels

You don’t need a lot of space, but you do need a warm place (at least in the 70’s) near a window. I have pretty good result using a simple container with a snap on lid a little bigger than a shoe box. You can stack them on top of each other as one container has grown almost time to harvest stick another one beneath that container full of fodder until you look like you have a sky scrapper. You can also place them side by side.

First you should purchase the seed from which you would like to grow your fodder. Many blogs and articles suggest barely, wheat, buckwheat, just to name a few, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated. I purchase a mix of seeds that has a blend of ryegrass, fescue, clover, millet, radish, buckwheat, peas and turnip and it’s non-GMO. That’s my preference, but you just need something you know your flock eats. Some things take a little longer to grow and others are quicker, but the main thing is not to get stuck. Get something going, you’ll learn a lot on the journey.

I’m a visual person myself, so I’m going to show you what I do with a lot of pictures.

Pour seeds in a quart jar.
  1. Soak your seeds in a quart jar overnight

Drain the seeds the next day

2. Drain the water from the seeds

Pour seeds into a container

3. Place the seeds in the container