Our Chicken Fodder System
Everyone is always trying to cut costs with their business and Big Oak Homestead is no different. The biggest difference is we are refusing to cut quality along with our spending. Fodder is a great way to give extra nutrient, more food, and not overdraft our bank account.
What is Fodder?
Fodder is a great way to save money along side of giving your animals some fresh food. We are able to take 1 lb of seed and effectively turn it into 5-6 lb of fodder within a few days and the chickens go absolutely bananas over the treat they get. All we are doing is taking seeds, soaking them for a little while and letting them sprout into a chicken friendly mat of food.
What kind of seed do we sprout?
We typically buy everything in bulk to help save money and so we have a large supply of it on hand. The seeds that we search out for are:
- Black Oil Sunflower
- Winter Pea
- Anything else that is on sale at the feed store
You can search out different recipes and different kinds of seed mixtures online. Just by searching it out, I was able to come up with a large list and took it to my local feed store. They only had a few of the long list of seeds so I would suggest writing down as much seed variety as you can.
How can I set up my own Fodder system for cheap?
You do not have to go with the table you see in the YouTube video. Our table is designed to be an effective and quick way to water our fodder without wasting too much time and preserving as much water as possible. However, this is not the cheapest way to have a fodder system.
The cheapest way that I have found is by getting 6 five gallon buckets. You take 5 of them and drill small holes in the bottom leaving the 6th one alone.
Day 1: You fill the non drilled bucket with seeds and water and sit for 10 – 12 hours. You then take this bucket and pour into bucket number 1 with holes in it.
Day 2: Fill the non drilled bucket with seeds and water and sit for 10 – 12 hours. Stack your number 2 bucket inside number 1. Dump your new soaked seeds into bucket 2 and allow to drain into bucket 1. After they drain, separate the buckets to prevent fermentation and mold.
Day 3 – 4: Continue this process of filling the non drilled bucket with seeds and water and then draining through all of the buckets until you run out of buckets to store the rehydrated seeds in. In bucket number 1 you should see that your sprouts are really putting out roots and looking like sprouts.
Day 5 and beyond: Take your oldest and more mature sprouts to the birds for a treat. This is your new bucket to fill with re hydrated seeds. You put this back into rotation just like the other buckets.
How I Built Our Fodder Table
The whole process was very simple. All you are trying to do is get a table top with edges to slope down to a drain. You truly do not need all of that. You can go even simpler by just having a level table and just allow the water to drain off the sides. The purpose of our design was to save as much water as we could and to prevent standing water.
The best way to understand our table is to watch the video. Again, this is not rocket surgery as much as it is just getting four legs to be on a tilt. So enjoy the video, if you have any questions please comment where ever you see fit to and we will answer anything that we can.
Thank you for watching!