This site may contain affiliate links. to read our full disclosure, click here. Cut your feed bill by 3 after reading this article on how to grow sprouted fodder for chickens.
Do you want to know how to multiply your feed by 3 for the chickens?
Keep on reading and find out how to sprout your wheat or barley grains to have more food for the same price. It only takes a bit of time and some water.
You read it right. It only takes a BIT of TIME and SOME WATER, nothing else.
Grains don’t need fertilizer to sprout and grow for about 10 days. They only need water. You don’t even have to give them light. Normal daylight in a south facing room is enough.
why should you sprout grains before you feed it to your chickens?
Grains can be fed as is and the chickens, or other animals for that matter, will be happy with it. But did you know that chickens only process about 35% of the grain in its dry form?
By sprouting a grain, you go from one seed to one sprout that ways at least 3 times as much. Are you understanding where I’m going? A bag of 20 kilograms or about 40 pounds costs about 7 euros where I live. By sprouting the grains, I can grow it to about 60 kilograms or 120 pounds of food.
Besides the fact that the food grows “for free”. The nutritional value grows as well. So, that’s a double whammy. A dry grain will give 35% of nutrition due to the difficulty to digest the seed. A sprouted grain will give up to 80% of nutrition.
Now the weight is growing and the nutritional value is growing, your bill is shrinking A LOT.
What’s the catch?
This is the best of all, there isn’t a catch. You just do what every farmer is doing. You are increasing the value of a seed by growing it.
If you grow one tomato seed, you will get multiple tomatoes by just waiting for it. Of course, tomatoes need some nutrition to survive. But that isn’t even necessary if you grow your sprouts for about 10 days.
Maybe, there’s one negative. You have to make the system to grow your sprouts because the available systems cost a lot of money.
Don’t despair, it’s really easy to build a rack to automate the system.
I made a small video on how to grow fodder without a rack. It’s a bit more work. And it takes more water than when you work with a rack. Check it out.
Is there a fungal problem?
In this system, you see I don’t even use a rack yet. I just grow it in different containers. This is just a testing system. I’m planning to grow the system in a couple of weeks.
The amount I grow at the moment is really small. But it gives a good impression on how it works when going bigger.
There’s one thing I have to check out though. People always talk about fungal growth on the sprouts. That’s something I haven’t encountered yet. Maybe it’s because I just grow a small amount. I don’t really know, but I’ll soon find out.
The people that talk about fungal growth, seem to use bleach as a countermeasure. But I don’t really like to use bleach in my chicken food.
Maybe, if necessary, I can use hydrogen peroxide to avoid problems. That seems less invasive.
How to do it?
I started with it in a really easy fashion. You saw the containers I use. I just went to our garden center and asked if the wheat grain was viable. It was so I bought a bag of 20 kilograms and started experimenting.
It didn’t take much experimenting. I found out that it’s really easy to do.
I’ll try to explain it as easy as possible. Buy yourself a bag of viable grain. This can be wheat, barley or another kind of grain that chickens can and will eat.
Make sure you have 10 containers. You should be able to grow the grains for about 10 days. And you need a container for every day. Start by filling your first container so the bottom is covered with dry seed. Once you need what amount it takes to cover the bottom of the container, make sure you can replicate that amount every day.
How to grow sprouted fodder for chickens
How to video with a rack
Make sure the containers have holes to drain water. You can drill this holes on one side of the container and tilt each container over another one on a rack like in this video.
Now put your grains in another bucket or container without holes and cover the grains with water. Make sure the water level is high enough because the grains will swell up.
After 12 to 24 hours you can put your grains in your first growing container (with holes in).
The second day you can do just the same thing. So, you’ll have one container growing grains and one bucket or container with water.
Do this every day and put the containers underneath each other. That way, you can use the same water for all the containers.
Water the containers once in the morning and once in the evening. You can do it three times if you want to but you don’t have to.
After 10 days, the first day will have a green cover of grain sprouts and a nice layer of thick roots.
Give all of this to your chickens. You don’t have to cut off the roots or something. They will eat all of it.
Closing on how to grow sprouted fodder for chickens.
Now you can give your chickens a daily dose of fresh grains and vegetables all at the same time. Even in the winter, you can keep on going with this system. The chickens will get fresh greens every single day.
So this is it for this article on how to grow sprouted fodder for chickens. I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.
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Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.