After one month of feeding all of the animals here completely on sprouted barley fodder, I have decided that everyone is doing wonderfully and will remain on fodder permanently. I was weighting Seven of Nine and Blackberry every other day to decide if rabbits could maintain their weight with 90% of their diet being barley fodder…. and they can! The other 10% of their diet is composed of orchard grass hay (free-fed),ma mineral salt lick, and a 1/8-1/4 cup of black oil sunflower seeds (B.O.S.S.) daily.
Their weights fluctuated by a couple ounces during the beginning of the transition, but are back to full weight. And with the addition of the black oil sunflower seeds in the past few weeks, I have noticed a great improvement to the texture of their coats. All of the rabbits are looking better than they ever did on commercial pellets! Dandelion’s current litter (Bunaby Jones’ littermates) is the first litter to be raised fully on fodder –they have not eaten or even seen one single pellet. I will compare their 8-week old weight to that of previously pellet raised litters and see where we’re at.
The chickens are also happy on the fodder. They dive in to find all the seeds first. Silly birds. The chickens also have a diet of 90% barley fodder and 10% calcium and grit supplements.
I have also written a more comprehensive article about the DIY sprouted fodder system for Mother Earth News! So please go take a look-see.