Seeds and grains have a protective coating that allows the seeds in nature to endure harsh conditions. The protective coating makes it difficult to digest. In fact, seeds are sometimes able to grow into healthy plants even after being digested by an animal. Fermenting, Sprouting, and growing Fodder removes the natural protective coating and unleashes all the nutrients for your poultry to digest.
To ferment, simply keep water above the seeds for 3 days stirring/shaking occasionally. The fermentation process doubles the yield and provides pro-biotics like yogurt for us. Fermentation is recommended if you do not have the time to rinse the seeds 2x a day. We do not recommend feeding the whole seeds dry. If you are looking for a quality dry feed, we offer our freshly roll-milled chicken cereal.
Sprouting is a low time investment to offer an excellent source of nutrition. It triples the yield of the dry seeds. If sprouting for chickens, remember to offer oyster shells to help with digestion and calcium. The green sprouting lids fit on any wide mouth mason jar and make rinsing easy.
For a small flock of 6 - 9 Hens:
Day 1: Place 1 pound (approximately 2 cups) of seeds and grains in a half gallon mason jar. Fill with water 1 inch above the seeds. Let it soak in water in the morning. Rinse and drain in the evening. Leave drained. The goal is to keep the seed damp without water logging the seedlings.
Day 2: In the morning, rinse and drain the 1st jar and start a 2nd jar to soak. In the evening, rinse and drain both Jar 1 and Jar 2.
Day 3: In the morning, rinse and drain the 1st and 2nd jars and start a 3rd jar to soak like day 1. In the evening, rinse and drain all 3 jars.
Day 4: In the morning, feed Jar 1. Rinse and clean Jar 1 and start soaking just like in Day 1.
Rinse and drain Jars 2 and 3. In the evening, rinse and drain all 3 jars. Continue the cycle by feeding the oldest jar and starting a fresh jar each day.
Note: If you want your sprouts to grow more you can, add another jar in your cycle and sprout for 4-5 days before feeding.
Sprouting for a Large Flock:
Make a straining bucket out of a food-grade 5 gallon bucket by drilling holes about 1/2" apart in the sides and bottom that are small enough to contain the grains but large enough for the water to drain through easily. Use the 5 gallon buckets the same as you would mason jars for smaller flocks. Make sure the 5 gallon bucket is food grade.
Growing fodder can be rewarding with six times the yield. It requires the right equipment, good air flow, and frequent rinsing. Most families find sprouting as the happy medium of all three methods.
Sharing tips with the community and learning from each other's experiences is such a blessing.