Step-by-Step Video on Growing Sprouted Fodder for Livestock

The long awaited video tutorial on how to grow fodder… step-by-step! I really had to twist Trevor’s arm to film this one, but we have finally filmed and uploaded it. Phew!

Growing fodder is quite easy. It is just a matter of soaking, draining, watering, and harvesting. I know it seems like it should be more difficult, but it’s not. Once you find a source for buying bulk barley or wheat seed, you’re set! Let’s get started…

19 thoughts on “Step-by-Step Video on Growing Sprouted Fodder for Livestock

  1. This looks awesome! And has peeked my interest in trying feeding this way when I start rabbits.

    I do have a few questions about feeding this way for rabbits. I know you said you also feed BOSS but is there any other things you feed them? How much BOSS do you add? How much do you feed the does after they kindle? How much would you feed your kits once they have been weaned? How much sun does the fodder need?

    Like I said this summer I’ll be new to rabbit raising so I’m trying to get everything planned before I get my silver fox trio (so excited!)

    Thanks!

    • The fodder grows off of ambient light and does not need direct light… although it couldn’t hurt as long as it is well watered.

      I feed each rabbit daily: 6% of their body weight in fodder (here is the feeding chart by age: https://fmicrofarm.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/20130306-213929.jpg), 1/4 cup of black oil sunflower seeds (or however much they eat in one day), a handful of orchard grass hay, and they have access to a mineral salt lick. So I basically just feed sprouted fodder, black oil sunflower seeds, and hay for roughage.

      My nursing doe rabbits get a 1/4 cup of oats every day for the first week just to help boost their milk production. When the rabbit kits leave the nest at about 2-weeks old, they also get access to fodder and oats.

      • Awesome thank you I’ll be adding this to my raising journal. So thankful I found your blog!

  2. We are SO interested in doing this! How much of this do you need for your chickens? I am raising 8 Buff Orphington chicks right now and if I could do this for them it would be much better! Thank you so much.

    • About 2% of their body weight for chickens, but I throw in some extra for good measure. A good rule of thumb is to feed them however much they can clean up in a day. Usually my hens will clean up their fodder in the morning and if I throw in more scraps in the evening, they won’t eat it.

      • Nope. 2%. Although I feed more like 3% or almost 4% by the time the day is over. It’s hard to believe that they need so little, but if you think about it, they are getting far more nutrients and protein with fodder. The average laying hen weighs –what?– 7.5 pounds? 2% of 7.5 pounds is about 0.15 pounds of fodder.

        I usually feed 0.25 pounds of fodder daily per chicken in addition to their calcium and grit. And they are laying like champs! My mother even commented one day that the hens look healthier and more vibrant than last year!

  3. I love the video.Very helpfull, I’m just
    Not ready to take on more quite yet.
    Would my angora rabbits benefit from
    sunflower seeds in addition to their
    Pellets and hay? If so how much a day?
    Thanks so much I always enjoy your
    Videos!! They are very helpful!!

    • Once you get it going, the fodder system is very quick and easy to maintain. It takes me just as long to feed fodder in the mornings as it did to feed pellets. Angoras do benefit from the oils and fats in the sunflower seeds, but just be careful not to over feed them (even if they beg) because they are very fatty. I’d say just a few tablespoons a day is enough.

  4. I have a question I hope you can help me with. My husband shot and killed a wild rabbit yesterday that has been devastating our strawberry patch. So, tonight we had fried rabbit for dinner. It was tasty, but quite tough. Is domestic rabbit more tender? We have been thinking about raising them.

    • It’s creepy to say, but you probably didn’t let it rest long enough for rigor mortus to pass. The muscles will tense up and when cooked will become very tough. Letting the meat rest will allow this phase to pass and the meat will be much more tender. I usually let a freshly butchered rabbit rest in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Five being more tender. Domestic rabbit will always be more tender than a wild hare just because you have more control over the age of the rabbit.

  5. I know you said you feed 6% of the body weight per day, but do you cut it in half and feed twice a day, or do you just give them the larger piece and only feed once?

  6. Hi! I found your blog while searching for people who have been feeding their rabbits fodder. May I ask how long you have been doing this? I am just starting up my rabbitry – getting my first 3 breeders today, actually. I am also building my fodder set up and bought a 50 lb. bag of barley. I’ve read a lot about fodder growing on websites that sell fodder equipment, and seen many comments from people who love the idea and want to do it. There have been a few blogs/websites by people who ARE doing it for their animals, but it seems to be mostly folks who have only just gotten started recently. I am hoping to find people who have been doing it long term to see what their results have been, if their animals continue in good health and they keep it up after a few years. I understand that sprouts are healthy, but am concerned that they are still lacking nutrients compared to a plant that grows in nutrient rich soil – since they are growing in only water. If I grow fodder in soil, it will be quite a bit heavier (to grow in trays indoors) and I am concerned that it may transport bacteria to the rabbits that their systems are not accustomed to. If you can tell me how long you’ve had success with this, and direct me to others who have had long term success (or failure), that would be much appreciated! Thank you!

    • I have been feeding my chickens and rabbits fodder for one year now and with great success.

      I have a few rabbits here now that I use as both breeders and wool producers that have been raised on fodder since they could leave the nestbox and have never touched commercial rabbit food. I would HIGHLY recommend feeding fodder. Putting a system together at a size to fit your needs is well worth it and certainly does not need to be expensive.

      Good luck!

      • Thank you so much, that’s wonderful! I will be starting out feeding the rabbits the same way that they have been feed, but hope to slowly transition to less and less pellets. I am glad to have found your website, I will be browsing it to learn more about keeping critters. I also have 20 chickens that I’ll be growing fodder for and hope to also start fermenting feed for as well.

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