D.I.Y. Projects

Take a look at all of our previous and ongoing Do It Yourself projects from animal shelters and gardening tools to bread making and natural fermented foods!

Sprouted Fodder System :: Pastured Livestock Without The Pasture

Full Review and Directions for Sprouted Barley Fodder

How To Grow Sprouted Fodder for Livestock :: a step-by-step video

Our Concept
Trays and Rack Setup
Soaking Grain Seeds :: day 0
Sprouting :: Day One
Sprouting :: Day Two
Sprouting :: Day Three
Sprouting :: Day Four
Sprouting :: Day Five
Sprouting :: Day Six
Sprouting :: Day Seven
Sprouting :: Day Eight
Sprouting :: Day Nine
One Month After Transitioning To Fodder

Ginger Bug :: Natural Soda Starter

Prep Time
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Making “Ginger Beer” Lacto-Fermented Soda
Bottling Your Lacto-Fermented Soda
Lacto-Fermented Soda Using Fruit Juice :: recipe
Lacto-Fermented Soda Using Fruit Juice :: bottling
Lacto-Fermented Soda Using Fruit Juice :: mango soda results
Home Brewed Sarsaparilla {ROOTbeer}
Is My Ginger Bug Active?

Sourdough From Scratch

Prep Time
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Day Seven
Day Eight :: Baking Bread
BEST Sourdough Bread Recipe Ever!
Sourdough Pizza Dough
Sourdough Starter Pancakes

No Tears Fresh Goat Cheese

Full Tutorial

Square Foot Gardening Tool

Full Tutorial

DIY Mealworm Hotel :: Let’s Raise Mealworms for Chickens!

Full Tutorial

Easy DIY Bee Swarm Trap

Full Tutorial

Cob Oven

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 3 Update
Step 4

Herb and ‘Shroom Garden

Mushrooms :: How To Start Shiitake Mushroom Logs
Mushrooms :: Harvesting
Quail :: Getting Started
Quail :: Bringing Them Home
Quail :: Finished Outdoor Colony-style Pen

Pallet Rabbit Hutch

Plans and Inspiration
Full Tutorial

PVC Rabbit Cage Rack

Full Tutorial

8’x8′ Rabbit Shed

Part 1
Part 2

How To Hand Feed Rabbit Kits

Full Tutorial

Deluxe Chicken Ark

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

61 thoughts on “D.I.Y. Projects

  1. Pingback: 12 Resources on What to Feed Your Chickens | From City To Farm

  2. What a great collection of info you have on this page! My husband has been wanting to implement fodder for our livestock for a while. Your system looks perfect (and so is your video!) Maybe we’ll finally give it a try now.

  3. Sara,
    Could you explain why the fermenting in the sodas are labeled as ‘lacto-fermented’? doesn’t the use of lacto imply the use of milk? I don’t see any use of milk in the Ginger soda…
    Hoping you can explain.

    • Ah ha! Lacto does usually refer to milk or dairy… But in this case, “lacto” refers to “lacto bacilli” which is the strain of bacteria utilized in this fermented soda. The lacto bacilli is naturally present in most roots (like ginger) to keep them from rotting in the ground. Lacto bacilli bacteria consumes the sugars in your soda mixture and produces carbon dioxide (carbonation) as a result.

  4. Pingback: Another idea! | simplycultivated

  5. OMG Sarah. . .you are amazing!! This is the best tutorial on fodder systems yet and I have been studying them for years. Would you be kind enough to answer some questions? I do organic meat rabbits plus one very special english angora rabbit. Please check us out at http://www.montealmarefarm.weebly.com. I have purchased two 6-tray self-watering systems from Sherry at half pint homestead (love her). They work great, however my mats are not dense like yours. You say you cannot easily pull your mat apart but mine almost fall apart. . .any suggestions? the correct mat should be like yours.
    Here are my other questions:
    1. do you feed pregnant does differently (i.e., more fodder or supplements)?
    2. do you feed lactating does differently?
    3. what about when the babies jump out of the nest box, mine get fodder right away but do you supplement for them or how do you know how much extra fodder to provide when momma and babies are in there together or when i put four babies in a “grow out cage” how much fodder do i provide then? i want to make sure they get enough
    4. finally, what form is the calcium in that you give the chickens?
    5. any thoughts on whey for rabbits?
    I am so indebted that you might take the time to answer these questions!!!

    • Thanks for reading the blog and watching the videos!

      If I had to guess, I would say that your mat is not as thick due to temperature fluctuations. My root mat is only about half of what it was during the winter and spring. I think it is much more difficult to grow fodder in the summer.

      1. I feed pregnant does the exact same portions as any other rabbit. And the same went for when I was feeding pellets. Pregnant does that are fed extra feed will just get fat.

      2. Nursing or lactating does DO get an extra portion of feed. Once kits are born, dams get a 1/4 cup of oats a day for the first week to help them lactate. They also receive about 0.6-0.8 lbs. (depending on litter size) of fodder instead of just 0.5 lbs.

      3. When kits start coming out of the nest box, they eat the same things their dam eats: fodder, seeds, water, and a mineral salt lick. For the first week or two that the kits are transitioning to solid foods, I give them rolled oats to help with their digestion. If you go to the “Printables” page, I have a feeding chart for kits on fodder. The general rule is 6% of their body weight in fodder daily. Just keep in mind that my chart based on 9 lb. adult rabbits.

      4. The chickens have a dish of calcium in the form of oyster shell that free feed on as they please. They are pretty good at gauging how much and when they need calcium… I haven’t had any weak shells yet!

      5. I, personally, wouldn’t feed whey to rabbits. While whey can benefit some animals (like pigs), rabbits are herbivores– not omnivores. Rabbits thrive on herbs, grains, and leafy foods. That’s not to say that they couldn’t live with whey in their diet, but I cannot believe that they would be healthier for it. It’s better to utilize the type of foods they would eat in the wild.

      That’s my two-cents anyway! Thanks for the great questions!

  6. Sarah,

    Its Roberta again. . .I’m sorry to be bothering you but I’m a little nervous about transitioning the rabbits to fodder so I have more questions:
    1. You say you give the kits rolled oats when they are transitioning to feed but of course when they are transitioning to feed, they are still in with their mama. If I give the rolled oats, the mama will most likely eat them all up. How do I keep them separate and how much do I give?

    2. You referred me to the chart for feed rations. Is the number of kits on the left, with weeks old on the top? What about the fact that kits jump out of the nest box before 4 weeks? Have you not bothered with that percentage feed because they still mainly nurse even though they are out of the box? I have observed that they pretty much find the pellets (or whatever) at around 3 weeks. What do you think?

    I owe you sarah!!!

    • No problem Roberta!

      1. Mama can have rolled oats too. In fact, if you give her her own little dish of oats, that will occupy her long enough for the kits to get oats from a second dish. Oats are win-win really because they help digestion, provide protein and vitamins, and help nursing does produce milk. If you want your doe’s milk to dry up slowly because she is nursing too long, but you still want to feed oats, give her a little peppermint. Voila! Problem solved.

      Oh! I have also seen some people put a bucket on its side within the cage and cut a hole in the lid that only a kit could get in and out of. I guess it could work well to keep the doe out of special kit rations, but I would be a little concerned with someone getting stuck in there. Maybe if you only put the bucket in for feeding time? I’m not really sure how people who use this manage it.

      2. Maybe “transition” was the wrong word to use since they still nurse for about 3 weeks after they start to leave the nest box. I feed that “4-week” amount as a base. So even though the kits are out of the nest at about 2-weeks old, I provide more fodder than they really need at that age (to be clear, I feed a 4-week amount to 2,3, and 4-week olds).

      Ys, that is exactly how the chart works. Quantity of rabbits on the left and age at the top. I have been meaning to make a better (more concise) chart for various weight classes, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  7. THANK YOU. Between your support and the support of Sherry from half-pint homestead, and Rick from rise and shine rabbitry, I now have the “courage” to feed only fodder plus some other things. When you are used to the toutings of commercial pellets as being the “only” balanced” food for rabbits, it feels like a big plunge to feed this way but I know it is BEST (not to mention far more cost effective)!


  8. Hi Sarah, got very valuable information. Need some clarity.
    1. What temprature to maintain in the room and what about humidity maintenance and how much?
    2. What about the light for the room
    3. Vineger to be used before soaking or to add in soaking water
    4. If Bleach powder is being use then to use before soaking or to add in soaking water
    pls advice. Thx. Hemant

    • 1) the temperature should be kept at 65-75*F. Any temperature above or below that range will result in stunted growth or no growth at all. The humidity should be fairly low. You just want to make sure that you are not creating a perpetually moist environment for mold to grow in. Air circulation is key!

      2) Fodder grows well in ambient light. Nothing will grow in complete darkness, but on the other hand, direct sunlight will cause the fodder to grow leafy and inconstantly.

      3/4) I don’t use bleach because I don’t want my animals eating it, but do what you feel comfortable with. I use 1% vinegar to water in a large bucket. So for one (1) gallon of water, use about 38 milliliters of vinegar (or bleach).
      If you use bleach or vinegar, let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, then drain the water off and refill with fresh water. Then soak the grain for 12 hours. If you soak your grain in the vinegar or bleach water, it will kill your seeds.

      I make my soaked seed about 1/4 inch deep in the trays. My trays are most likely a different size than yours. Gauge how much to put in each tray by the SEED DEPTH and not by volume.

  9. Hi Sarah, Thanks for taking the time to post this valuable information. We are new to growing fodder and having some problems. We followed your method but did not get the same results. I cannot confirm we were able to keep the room between 65 – 75 the first few days so by Day 5 we had very little growth. besides the temperature, do you have any other advise? Suzanne

  10. Hello Sarah=20
    I am Todd and I have watched some of your videos and others on YouTube .=20
    I have a question for you . I am starting some oat seed for fodder (that’s a=
    ll The seed I can find in SW Louisiana ). I am in day 3 and not noticing muc=
    h sprouting . I am curious to know if there are any secrets to getting oats=
    to sprout .
    Please advise=20
    Todd D

  11. Loved you video on fodder. I noticed you start two new trays everyday so is this how you began? Two trays day 1 four trays day 2 six trays day 3?

    Thank you

  12. Pingback: February 2014 | Nice.Family.Homestead

  13. Hi Sarah, I have been wanting to grow fodder for my chickens, which are still just young chicks, and did not know what kind of grain seed to use or even how to get started. Your video and advice sure made this seem simple. I now have a trip to the dollar store planned, for trays, and will give this a try. Thank you so much and I am looking forward to browsing through the rest of your website. Is there a way to follow you on Pinterest? Thank you again.

  14. I keep getting white mold growing in my fodder. My setup is like yours and I have a ceiling fan on in the room at all times. What could I be doing wrong? Thank you for your help

  15. I”m having a difficult time finding barley seeds and would like to order them online but want the right product for the best price. Any suggestions??

  16. I see the white fuzzy stuff in little clumps at the base of the green shoots and on top of the seeds sometimes

  17. Pingback: Milk to Cheese | Frühlingskabine Micro-Farm

  18. Sarah, found you via Mother Earth. Great video, I ordered my Barley from Azure and am ready to do this. Could you give exacts on those sprouting tubs you have, those look like a perfect size. Did you get them at Walmart? Also, if you use two trays a day . . . could you tell me how many chickens and rabbits that is feeding? I’m sorry if that has been discussed!!!

  19. Sarah I’m getting into raising rabbits for the meat and I’ve noticed that my females sit down and won’t let the males ride! Why is that and what should I do?

  20. Pingback: Voyage Through the Virtual Village (AKA “Blog Hop Around the World”) :-) | A Random Harvest

    • Yes, you can. Check out the “complete review” in the DIY Projects page for the amounts. Look for barley or wheat for best results, but you may have to have your local feed stores order it for you if they don’t have it in stock already. I found that sometimes the feed store doesn’t know what you’re talking about until you ask for “untreated seed for planting”. For some reason that phrasing makes more sense to them.

  21. Dear Sister Sara,
    Thanks to you for shearing this information Really you are doing great job,
    my name is Anwar I am from Dubai uae. I setup small system looking to your videos. I am maintaining temperature from 18 to 23 still I have fungus & mould issue. I am using a wheat seed but without husk. (with husk not available here)
    Please Advice how to control fungus and mould issue.

  22. We set up a fodder system thanks to you help. We are getting a little what appears to be mold on top of the root system. Any ideas? We are using 1/4 cup of bleach when seeds are soaking over night.

    • Is it small white fuzz? If so, that is most likely the root system you are seeing. It looks very different without soil as a factor in its growth. It is commonly mistaken for mold.

      Also, 1/4 cup of bleach seems like a lot. Using 1% vinegar or bleach to 99% water solution is more than enough.

  23. HI, ive been trying to grow barley fodder for a few weeks now. I was using the black gardening trays and my seeds got moldy. now im trying the bucket method and rinsing daily. my seed is sproating but its been 10 days and I barley have any green growth. My questions to you, my house temp is about 55 to 65 everyday. Is that to cold? Im not using any light source. Do I need lights or can I use my patio door as light?
    Thank you for your time and information
    April Householder

    • The light from your patio door is probably sufficent, but I would keep your temperature more in the 65-75 degree range. Mold is usually an issue with dirty seed… Not necessarily the process.

  24. Hi!
    I have Angora (just one right now) and are trying to start feeding with fodder. I bought feeding barley and have tried different kinds of trays and buckets. My main problem is that some of the barley gets all black and some gets a blood red, a bit slimy, goo on them (they usually sprout).
    I sprouted lentil and mung beans and sunflower seed without problem.
    Do you have any idea what it is and if it’s dangerous to feed?
    Is it just bad quality of the feed?
    Here’s a link to a photo of the problem seeds:

    (Sorry if the languish and spelling is a bit messy but I’m from Sweden and I can’t even spell correctly in Swedish.)

    • You may have poor quality grain/seed to start with. You can use any mixture of barley, wheat, or oats, but remember that they germinate at different rates. Use whatever is easiest to find in your area. Also be sure that you are using grain that has not been treated in any way… That will keep your grain from sprouting properly.

    • Red mold may be caused by your water? I’m not sure, but I’d doesn’t sound very good. I would try to avoid feeding any portion of the fodder affected by mold to your animals.

      • I think it was the seeds that had low quality, sadly it’s not easy to find good quality barley seeds so now I use green lentils and they seems to work fine (a plus I think is the selenium content is greater in lentils and here in Sweden the earth is really poor in selenium and the hay get low in it). My bunny also seems to love the lentils (and also mung beans) better than barley or wheat.

  25. Just found your site and very much enjoy it. Thank you for all the information about everything you do naturally. We do as much as we can that way. I was in the honey bee business for a few years. However I took a series of very severe stings after doing a cut out. The doctor told me I had to give up the bees do the the violent reaction I had. It was not the honey bees fault it was mine but thus the girls all had to be sold. Our chickens, geese, etc all are natural fed and raised. We will definately be giving your methods a try. Thank you again. Tom

  26. I have very large turtle that does not hibernate. I would like to add fodder to her diet for the fall and winter months. She needs more greens than fruit also have to be careful of to much calicum

  27. It s wonderful,am so excited about the whole thing and mainly low cost effectiveness.
    We are planning on starting our own livestock business overseas,and I could use some tips from you sara.
    We are planning to start with sheets and move to calves later,it’s basically about breeding,growing and selling,here are my questions.
    1-how much food and what type of food do sheeps need daily(we re going to use fodder)
    2-how long before baby sheeps grow old enough to get sold
    3-we starting with 50 shees male and female,how many do we need of each to start the breeding process,it’s a back to back operation,I need an scenario.
    4-how much does it cost daily to feed each sheep,babies start eating at what age,I guess the quantity of food depends of the size and age?
    Thank you sara
    Hear from you soon

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