Sprouts - alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, bean shoots, juicing with barley or wheat grass… all these crazy things we do in the name of health and nutrition.
Well, I've taken it to another level. Our chickens are now getting 'fodder' as a regular part of their diet. Fodder for us is sprouted grains - in this case it's organic barley and wheat. I have a bit of left over organic 5-way seed (what I put on the field a few years ago, growing green 'manure' to cut and till back into the soil) that I am adding as well.
We are still in the process of putting perimeter fencing around our property, so I don't let the chickens free range just now. People in our neighborhood let their dogs roam free (a completely different blog post on that frustration!). Dogs see chickens as toys to play with. And then there are the coyotes that have been seen more and more often this year. I think it's because of the drought that wild animals are showing up closer to humans, braving the danger due to their hunger and lack of prey in their normal hunting areas. Again - another post.
Our girls have a lovely coop and a 'run', or what I call their chicken front yard to play in during the day. They have scratched all the growth out of that yard so are in need of green stuff to eat. Enter fodder…
My first attempt at fodder was a complete fail. After soaking the seeds and watering a few days, the seed was slimy, stinky and just gross.
The second attempt was much better.
Soak the seeds for 12 - 24 hours.
Put it in a container that has holes punched in the bottom (that was my problem. Not enough holes). Put plastic over the seeds and keep in the dark for the first day.
Second and following days - watch for the roots to sprout. Keep moist ( I rinse in the morning and night and then keep a close watch so the seeds don't dry out).
Once the seeds begin to show signs of growth, take the plastic off and keep moist. It's ready to go at about Day 9.
Feed the chickens everything - roots, sprouted seed, grass… they LOVE it. And - it gives them much nutrition. I am hopeful that I will see a difference in their eggs in the next few weeks.