What is fodder, you may ask? Quite simply, it is food for livestock. Usually dried grasses or hay. For my hens, fodder is sprouted grain allowed to grow beautiful green shoots.
Lots of chicken owners grow fodder for chickens during the winter months. With snow covered grounds, fresh green grass, essentially, is a welcome treat for hens! Chickens love eating the grain, roots, and shoots!
The new home that I moved into has a backyard with no landscaping. It is on our to-do list, but we want to be sure we know what we want in our backyard before just throwing sod down. The hens have a lot of Arizona dirt to scratch in. Lots!
Missing green plants and grasses to forage around in, I decided to grow some fodder for the chickens! They have plenty of weeds of course, but I wanted to give them something really yummy to snack on!
Growing fodder for chickens couldn't be easier! I used a wheat berry, but I have known others to use barley. For my experiment, I scooped a 1/4 cup of wheat berries, put them in a bowl and covered them with water. I allowed them to soak for 24 hours.
On day 2, tiny little sprouts started to emerge.
I drained and rinsed the grain and then placed it in my little seed sprouter. I watered it twice a day and watched it grow! And it grew fast!
I was aiming for 4 inches in height. By day 6 I was there. I was also starting to notice that the grain was starting to give off a fermented smell. My kids thought it was stinky, but it just smelled like fermented grain.
I had my trusty assistant, my oldest son, give the fodder to the chickens for the first time so that I could film it. As with most things I give them, they are wary at first. But they dove right in! They LOVED it! Needless to say I will be growing fodder for my chickens on a regular basis. It is so easy to do and it is incredibly nutritious!
Have you grown fodder for your hens? Which grain have you used?
Would you like chickens in YOUR backyard?
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This post was featured at Homestead Barn Hop