A Dead Simple Fodder System

5 Day Fodder from a 5 Gallon Bucket

5 Day Fodder from a 5 Gallon Bucket

I have had a lot of info on the show about fodder systems, including DIY and commercial systems.  The cost has run from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars.

I wanted to start feeding fodder to my birds but could not see making a large investment to essentially sprout seeds.  People all over the nation spout seeds for their own use with a jar that simply has holes in the lid.  I have done this and it works just fine, I figured a 5 gallon bucket is just a big jar right?

So I made my own system based on the vaulted 5 gallon bucket, it would cost you at max 30 bucks.  Honestly I have less than 20 dollars in mine by using stuff we already had on site.  I just wrote an article about it that also has a ton of pictures and a great video.  You can find it at BrinkOfFreedom.net.

http://brinkoffreedom.net/homesteading/dead-simple-fodder-system/

8 Responses to A Dead Simple Fodder System

  1. Wow. I feel like kicking my own butt for not thinking of that. You could even add a light socket in a lid for indoor growing.

  2. Excellent timing Jack! I am looking into this seriously now. thanks!

  3. Do you have to separate they buckets? Do the sprouts really need light if you’re only sprouting for 4-5 days? Maybe if a guy could find some clear buckets you could just leave them stacked. Anyway, great idea.

  4. Cranberryrose55

    Thank you! Ingenious. We have hot summers too. We’re considering making a small shed on the shady side, sticking an air conditioner on the side of the shed, then with tube from shed into our home window, where we can put extra cooling into a back rooms of the house. We didn’t have a forage system. Now we do. Thanks to you.

  5. Jack, great example. I can’ think of anything to say that won’t just sound sappy. Thanks man.

  6. I do something similar, but with seed starting trays. They go for about $1.50 and have a larger surface area. However, they are not as easy to carry and usually require a second rinse to keep the grain from getting slimy. The handles on the buckets and the greater depth looks like it’s a definite asset. The trays however fit easily on a 2x4x8 wire rack, I got at Walmart. 4 trays per shelf, and 5 shelves (I rotate the trays on the shelves every day to the top which gets light).

    I figured that shelving system would save space and be easily expandable.
    I did manage to find some 18″x24″ Rubbermaid totes that could fit the shelves and would give the best of both worlds. The vertical tray stack I need, and the extra depth and rigid handles of your buckets. I’ll try it out.

    For those interested, in the winter I have found 1 sheep eats about 8 square feet of fodder and an equivalent weight of dry hay per day. I would imagine goats would be comparable. I definitely need to scale up my system. I’ll try the bucket method too.

    I’ve also considered an Ebb & Flow or Nutrient Film hydroponics system using the cheap plastic kiddie pools, or a wood tray construction (2’x12’x8″) lined with a small pond liner. Those will be farther off in the future (next spring maybe).

    When feeding fodder, add your minerals, molasses & salts (very light on the salt) after the last rinse (the day before feeding). It gives the nutrients time to soak in, and helps preserve the fodder and makes it more palatable. I mix in a 1 Liter spray bottle 3 TBSP molasses, 2TBSP sheep mineral (which includes salt) and dissolve in water. Spray the fodder down and let sit. Sheep mineral is generally safe for all livestock and poultry. It will actually ferment just a little (taste it, it gets tangy like a mild salad dressing). The animals go crazy for it, and while I’m no nutritionist, internet research has led me to believe that the animals benefit from that light fermentation. If left too long it will go rancid instead of just drying out, but you feed regularly anyway, so it should be a non-issue unless you produce tons of it at once. But seriously, taste it. It’s not bad. Like Cattle-Kraut.

  7. I was literally just talking to the wife about this the other day. Man you’re posts/podcasts are damn timely with what we have going on around here. The wife and I were talking about what the planned animals were going to eat/feed etc and the whole “thousands of dollars” to do sprouted grain.

    How stupid easy.

  8. Oh my gosh Jack, the kids LOVED the video. I think the ducks are going to be seeing some “training” until the kids get them to follow. Going to have to try this!