As the video below explains, barley seed is soaked for 12-24 hours then placed in the trays and then watered for one minute every 12 hours. After seven days it is ready for harvest and turns into a carpet of grass that can be chopped up and fed to our animals. And yes, the picture below and on the video was taken of our fodder.
Growing barley in a fodder system like this is quite remarkable for several reasons:
- Uses extremely less water than the amount of water to grow in the soil and 100% of the water is collected and reused in other parts of the garden.
- This system has very minimal labor compared to the labor intense of growing fields of grass or carrying large bales of hay.
- Fodder is approximately 80% digestible compared to about 30%-40% with grain.
- Fodder increases protein amounts to about 20%
- The weight of the seed is increased 6x, so one pound of grain turns into 6 pounds of feed for the animals.
- It can be fed to all our animals usually around 75% of their diet.
If you have cows, horses, goats, llamas, chickens, rabbits, or quail then I highly encourage you to look into fodder. Systems can be built to feed just your single chicken Penelope** or chicken on your counter or in a shipping container to feed dozens of cattle and horses. There are DIY systems like ours as well as commercial units that you would have to take a loan out on. There are a lot more videos online as well as great books out there on fodder. Good luck. Please leave any comments or questions below.