For those of us who raise chickens in temperate climates, the winter is an expensive time of year. Grasses go dormant and many chicken owners are forced to buy extra feed in order to supplement the diets of their birds. Over the course of a few cold months, these feed costs can add up fast. Fortunately, we have an alternative option.
Chicken fodder consists of nutritious grains such as barley, wheat and oats that can be easily germinated and sprouted to provide your birds with a healthy, cost effective source of supplementary food. Not only is this a great way to provide your chickens with a delicious, nutritious meal; it’s also a great family project! All you’ll need is fresh water, a bowl, grains and two plastic containers of roughly the same size. Small plastic cups tend to work nicely.
First, line the bottom of your bowl with grains and soak them in fresh water for 8 to 24 hours. Next, take one of your plastic containers and poke holes in the bottom – large enough for water to drain out but not so large that grains will fall through. Once you’ve soaked your seeds, drain the water thoroughly from the bowl. Next, line your sprouting container with a ½’’ layer of grain. Next, take your sprouting container and nest it loosely into the second container without holes. This will act as a drainage reservoir beneath the sprouting container.
Water the sprouts twice daily for six days, and ensure that the grains drain thoroughly after each watering session. After about a week, the sprouts will be ready to feed to your chickens. If you’d like to, however, you can let them grow longer before you feed them as well.
Want to learn more about chicken nutrition? Give us a call today for more information from the CACKLE COOP.