From what I have read about growing fodder, is that it doubles if not quadruples in weight upon sprouting for 7-10 days. So I decided to do an experiment.
I took 1 cup of wheat berries and weighed them, then again after soaking 24 hours, then again each day, up to day 5. I didn’t go past day 5 because the sprouts draw flies, so I moved the experiment outside rather than the counter inside. This climate change seemed to adversely affect the sprouts, so I’ll have to start over again and try to make it to at least 7 days.
Here is the info I collected over the 5 days.
1 cup of dry/dormant wheat seed = 7.5 oz or 0.46 lbs
Sprouting day 1, After 24 hour soak = 12.02 oz or 0.76 lbs
Sprouting day 2 = 12.7 oz or 0.79 lbs
Sprouting day 3 = 13.8 oz or 0.86 lbs
Sprouting day 4 = 16.2 oz or 1.0125 lbs
Sprouting day 5 = 14.7 oz or 0.918 lbs
So the mat of wheat berries lost a little weight on day 5, but I hadn’t watered it yet, so that may have made a difference. Plus I don’t think the wheat liked the container I had it in. I will update this post after I have more data.
Well since activating our greenhouse straw bales yesterday the top 6 inches of the bales are showing a temp of 110°F!
Bales beneath the fodder trays is reading 110 degrees F! When I went out this morning the windows were all fogged up on the inside. So our activated straw bales are becoming a great heat source as the nights get cooler.
A picture taken from right outside the door.
I’m learning a lot as I experiment with growing my own fodder. Since I started this, I’ve been soaking the seeds over night, and pouring them into the fodder trays the next day to let them sprout. But since then have been experiencing the top layer of seeds drying out and not sprouting. After looking at other blogs and reading more info I realize I have been making a mistake in putting them in fodder trays the next day. The sprouts should stay in a “sprouting bucket” for 3-4 days before putting them in the fodder tray, to ensure more of the seeds stay wet enough to develop the roots needed to continue to grow correctly. Live and learn.
Tim built me a wonderful little greenhouse to do my fodder project in, and it is working great! Also the rabbits are taking to it pretty well. A few of the rabbits want nothing to do with the fodder, but will nibble at it if I feed them the fodder before giving pellets. Transition takes time.
Our little solar greenhouse/fodder room on the south wall of our house 🙂
I’ve been reading several different blogs on Fodder today and see that many homesteaders are getting off pellets and store bought feeds all together and feeding 90% fodder, and the remaining 10% consisting of hay, black oil sunflower seeds and a salt lick. I am inspired to also make this transition, as it will greatly lessen our feed costs for our rabbit herd and our flock of chickens. Chickens can be raised on fodder, grit and calcium like oyster shells. For the chickens I’ve begun fermenting their regular crumble feed, as I’ve been reading that this makes more nutrients available to digest and improves the health and egg laying ability of the flock.