Sunday, March 10, 2013

First attempt at growing fodder

Its been just over a week since our first fodder trial. The results so far are below.

Our Fodder is sprouted grains used to feed animals. Not just sprouted but grown to a few inches but without soil.

This is a homemade system. It is in the greenhouse to make it year round. Each section consists of 6 plastic gutters laid side by side. One end is raised 4 inches, middle 2 inches, to provide drainage. Water drips into each tray every 6 hours through drip irrigation lines and emitters. At the drainage end is a gutter end cap with tiny holes in a unique arrangement to provide proper drainage. (Working on this part)

To use, we soaked the grain overnight, rinsed it, then spread about a half inch across all the gutters. It took about 7 lbs of dry grain to do this.

What you see is after about 8 days of cold nights and mostly hot days.

Changes to make:

1. Use single grain. This is three grain scratch and they all sprout seperately, causing some weirdness. There are grains in all states of sprouting

2. Heat... I'm thinking a waterbed heater would be perfect.

3. More precise water control. I'm not happy with the timer used at first.

4. Dry before feeding. The sheep prefer it if we would dry it for several hours before feeding.

First trial... ok. The animals loved the first results, especially since it has lots of grain in it yet.

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