Livestock Sprouted Fodder System :: day seven

Follow our series on starting and maintaining a sprouted grain system for natural livestock fodder! It’s like providing pasture for your animals without needing the pasture and at a fraction of the cost. Enjoy!

The stem portion of the barley fodder has doubled during the day. It is simply amazing how quickly this system can grow sprouts. With the exception of seeds planted in the soil of the garden, I have never sprouted anything so this is oddly intriguing to me. I have never sprouted beans or wheat grass in a jar for human consumption. I know people do that, but for some reason it turns me off. It’s funny how I am totally getting into all this “from scratch” cooking and bacteria cultures and making cheese and freshly laid eggs painted with chicken poop, but sprouting some seeds to put on a sandwich seems icky. That will all change I’m sure.

The side-by- side pictures of soak times may lead you to believe that the six-hour soak has caught up to the eighteen-hour soak. It’s hard to tell from photos at this point, but the eighteen-hour soak is about twelve hours ahead. After a few days of soaking and starting new trays I have decided that a twelve-hour soak is about right. I start the new batch during morning chores and then drain and put it in a new tray of the rack system in the evening as we wind down for bed. (That way every tray is watered and drained before bed so we don’t have to listen to dripping all night.)

Just like yesterday and for every day that this fodder system continues: I soaked, drained, and put new grain in new trays to keep the cycle constantly going. My previous trays as well as the new trays were watered 2-3 times throughout the day.


9 thoughts on “Livestock Sprouted Fodder System :: day seven

  1. Again you amaze me!!!! Its working! Did you have to alter anything? ok so your gonna help me get set up right? I have 2 of those wire shelves in my shed but no legs. so I need to find some maybe i can get some pvc pipe that will fit. That will give me two shelves for 4 rabbits The chickens get to free range on pasture for now. I need to come o0ver and check this out and see exactly what you did. Im so mad my oats were all sparce. I planted them in dirt to try to save them and now the ones that would not sprout are sprouting.

    • I just started transitioning all the animals to fodder today!

      After growing for a week, I am noticing some things that need to be modified with the system, but I will need to build a much more custom rack to do it…. so we’ll see. I’m thinking cheapo 1″x2″ wood legs and maybe PVC shelves? I’m still thinking about it.

      The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that water doesn’t drain incredibly well through the older fodder that is already 1-2 inches tall. So I almost think I may have to set up a better watering system, or rotate the trays everyday to keep the tall stuff at the bottom. I don’t know… I’m still playing with theories.

  2. I have been researching this for about 8 months because I am getting chickens and possibly a Dexter Milk Cow this Spring! Definitely the chickens! I saw all of the EXPENSIVE systems on the internet and was trying to figure out how to make it a DIY project. Drew up a couple of plans but yours looks about right. I do get the watering issue tho’ — I am sure you will figure it out. I don’t understand about the 6 hour /18 hour soak — do you water them and then tilt the trays the opposite way so the water stays in the tray and then at the end of that time, reverse so they can drain? I must have missed something! Will go back and watch the video again! Thank you so much for posting this —


    • In the first post (look under the DIY Projects page under “Livestock Sprouted Fodder System :: getting started”), I soak the barley seeds in a bucket of water. After 6-18 hours of soaking, I drain the water off and transfer the wet seeds into the trays with drainage. The drainage holes on one side –alternating draining sides on each consecutive level– just allows me to water from the top only and not have to water each tray individually.

      Since starting, I have found that a 12 hour soak time is easiest for me and still effective.

      Thanks for reading and when you get started let me know how it goes for you!

  3. Still checking in. Makes me want some animals to feed! Wish we didn’t have a stupid HOA or I would go buy a chicken right now. Looking forward to seeing how your animals like it!

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