For those who have been following our escapades for a while, you will remember The Cowboy had a serious accident last summer. With chronic pain, chronic headaches, and sleep apnea as a result of said accident, he has a lot of time to think and ponder. In some ways this is good. He listened and watched some You Tube videos on feeding animals and really liked the idea of feeding ours fodder. Yes, it creates a little more work for us, but the health benefits for the animals and reduced costs for us make it well worth it! If you have not researched Fodder...then I URGE you to do so! You will be pleasantly surprised!
Since his accident, the cowboy MUST have help building anything. This is quite a change for him. I am thankful...every day for our sons...without them we would really struggle with simple tasks! Kris is building the fodder stand, which will fit into our "extra" shower. We don't bathe in there as the hot water has NEVER worked right. So, it makes a safe and clean place to grow something!
Bags of whole barley were bought. First step is to rinse it and then soak 6 cups covered in clean, fresh water.
A lot of sites will tell you to add bleach to your soaking water. We have chosen to use a small of amount of food grade hydrogen peroxide instead. Do your research and decide what works best for your situation.
Day one and the barley is beginning to sprout. It is so exciting see things growing! We spread the soaked and drained barley into seed flats we bought at a local green house. We just couldn't afford the expensive trays sold online!
It is necessary to water several times a day. We chose to attach ours to an automatic waterer with a timer! Drainage, temperature, and humidity are all factors in growing good fodder. There is a plethora of information out there on the web!
Our First healthy fodder tray! We realized we put too much barley in ...we have since corrected this issue and it grows in much thicker!
Choosing to feed LIVE food all year round benefits our animals and our pocket book! The animals utilize 80% of the live food over 30% of dry food... you do the math!! You feed less!!
Artificial lights on a stand in front of the growing space makes this a compact and easy setup! Your plants can be grown anywhere this way!
A healthy root system! No mold or extra un sprouted seed...this is what you are looking for!
This was a first attempt...you can see the un-sprouted seeds... we placed the layer of barley too thick which inhibited growth!
The goats love it soooo much, as do the chickens! Flower is always into everyone else's business even though she has food of her own!
Our young pullets just did not get what the fresh stuff was all about and just sort of stared at it like it was some fantastical art piece!
So, our older gal came over to teach them what it was all about.
Worried they were missing out, the young pullets finally had their first taste!
With a little help from "Miss Willow"... busted!
"Seriously? Must you post pictures of me with my mouth full of food?"
Even the new piggies are thrilled with the fresh new items on the menu!
The grass really is greener on the other side of the goat pen!
Ha!!! Queen of the Fodder Pile!
Feeding fresh food means a healthier life for our girls! I could not ask for anything better! I know we will see a difference in our eggs! (No, they won't be green!)
Nothing more wonderful than back yard chicken farming!