Livestock Fodder System

Livestock Fodder System

It’s winter time again and my free range chickens have less and less to forage so I started a Livestock Fodder System to grow them some greens to help them get through the winter. I’m using Barly to start with but I’m going to try adding a few other grains for diversity.



Livestock Fodder System

Livestock Fodder System

This system was super easy to build, all I used was a few 2x4s to build the rack and 7  storage containers to serve as trays. I drilled holes in the storage containers to let the water drain out the bottom and added a bus tub to the bottom to collect the water.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Soaking the grains
    1. Take a cup of barley seed and put it in a bucket that has small holes in the bottom.
    2. Then I set this bucket in another bucket and fill it with water to cover the barley.
    3. Now add a few drop of bleach, this will help keep your fodder from developing mold.
    4. Let soak for 24 hours.
  2. Transfer to storage container
    1. Drain the grain by pulling the inner bucket out.
    2. Transfer the gain to the tray.
    3. Put the tray in the top slot of the rack.
    4. Repeat step one.
  3. Moving the Trays
    1. Repeat step two.
    2. move all the trays down one space.
  4. Using the fodder
    1. After 7 days you will have 7 trays at different stages of growth
    2. Feed the bottom-most tray of fodder to your animals, rinse and repeat
    3. Now you will have a fresh tray of fodder for your animals every day.


This system is so awesome because it provides fresh greens to your animals during winter and it is super cheap considering that the grain doubles in weight by the time you feed it to your animals.

Update # 1

I started this outside and realized it was too cold for the barley to germinate so I had to move it inside.

Update # 2

The system is working good but it could be better. I am going to be adding additional lights to try to get more green growth and I have made some modifications to the rack.

Update # 3

So I went to the store after all the holiday decorations went on sale and picked up a 60 ft strand of white LED Christmass lights for around $10. As you can see in the picture above and the video below I have added the string of lights to the rack of the system.

This is working great as we are getting lots of green growth now as you can see in the picture above.

More updates and pictures coming soon…

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