Episode-1113- Fodder Systems and Small Scale Farming with Teresa Hord — 43 Comments

  1. Well, what a coincidence. I happen to have lots of unused rain gutters laying around…

    Looking forward to this episode!

    • Teresa, where do the grow lights go in your arrangement? Straight over the top? Off to the side so all trays get some light?

      Thanks so much for sharing.

      • Right now we have shop lights hanging from the ceiling and they are doing a pretty good job. The next step with our new system is installing the Waterproof Ribbon LED Strip Lights in a white down the length of each fodder shelf so it gets more even lighting and it takes less power to run it. Honestly, you only need the lights to run from day 4 to 7 and for about 8 hours a day. It isn’t a huge piece of the fodder puzzle…heck if you had a window it would give enough light.

      • Great topics, great information, includes how too’s, shares experiential learning, follows up with a presence in the blog comments.

        10/10 in my opinion.

        Hope to hear from you on the show again in the future.

        Business tip; Secure 10 year feed budget by putting together a PDF document or a 30 minute video “how to build your own fodder system” and sell it for $9.

        Thanks again.

  2. Really neat idea and system!
    I have a question about nutrient density and nutrient balance. I worry that trace minerals and the like would be missing in this system because the fodder is not grown in the ground. Would it be supplied by the seed based on where it was grown? Any thoughts on this?

    • I honestly feel that most of our hay is coming from soil that is lacking essential nutrients. When you do not rotate your crops and planting the same field of alfalfa/orchard grass you deplete the soil. Unless you are testing your hay you purchase you should provide free choice minerals to your animals.

      As far as the fodder goes, a seed contains nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) in reserves. Once the seed becomes germinated (combination of warmth and water) the roots and shoots form. It grows using it’s nutrients it has in it’s food reserves. Once it hits about the 7-8 day mark it starts losing nutrients and will need supplementation. That is why fodder is only grown for an average of 7 days before it is fed to animals. It is basically a sprout. You can find many sources on the web regarding the minerals, proteins, vitamins that barley fodder provides.

      • Thank you for the response!
        I agree that this would be better than conventionally farmed hay, but would the fodder be better if the seed came from the same type of system? The seed concentrates everything from where it’s grown, so I guess it becomes really important where you get your seed.
        I wonder how, nutritionally, this stacks up to a pastured approach a la Salatin’s setup. That fixes many of hay’s nutrient issues.

    • I agree that your seed should be good quality. When you compare it to rotational grazing it probably isn’t AS good. However, if you have good pastures why would you need to grow fodder? For people who are not able to have pastures to graze or cannot grow pastures 365 days a year fodder is a good solution.

  3. This sprouting method could save us $625 per year, so we’ll try it this summer in our urban permaculture garden. Thank you very much for the info!

  4. Jack, you need to have this lady back again in the near future to further discuss and wrap up her talk on her free-range meat chickens. I’d like to hear how they turned out for her vs. Cornish Crosses.

    • I will be sure to update by blog with a little experiment we are going to run. I plan on taking 5 Freedom Rangers (after they are done with organic chick starter) and feed them only fodder and see how their weights compare week by week. We also plan on doing it with a kindle of our rabbits!

  5. Very informative show. I will be trying the sprouting for sure!

    Also a very uplifting show.

  6. Very informative show – thank you!! I went to you blog and saw you put up the gutter system photos. That is awesome! I’ll have to try this for my critters 🙂

    • I will be posting about the lighting we have in there soon! It was just changed over so we are still working out a few of the less essential elements.

  7. I’m definitely planning to do fodder and can’t wait to listen to this episode! Teresa has been great about answering questions on her system as well which is very appreciated.

  8. What brand of barley do you use?

    I ordered some a month ago from agway & before I paid for it I noticed that the seed was treated. They have non-treated seed but it’s not for human consumption. I thought this would be OK but you mentioned that the germination rate isn’t good. I’m wondering if I need to order it from a health food store?

    • We purchase through a large seed supplier in California. I have heard that Azure Standard carries it if there is a drop in your area. Why is the non-treated seed “not for human consumption”? I would ask more questions and see if it is in fact non-treated and okay to plant for pastures. You can find the germination rate right on the tag of the bag. I would make sure it is as close to 100% as you can find. Don’t go through a health food store unless you are sprouting for your own consumption. Call around to the feed stores in your area or google “Seed Suppliers.” What State are you in?

      • I’m in Vermont.

        Non-treated seed is for animal feed but not human consumption. My guess is that it’s not as “clean” as food for human consumption.

        I buy corn from a local farm that way for my animals. It looks plenty clean to me and I’ve never seen mouse droppings or anything like that but it probably saves them from being over regulated.

  9. Very interesting show Jack and GREAT blogsite Teresa. Re-listened twice while taking notes, but the information contained in the blog is detailed and easy to follow.
    Please, please have this lady back on again Jack. The surface was just scratched here with their herd of small, homestead sized animals. The off-grid power. The water.

    • Thanks so much for listening! If you have any specific questions please feel free to e-mail me. If you have suggestions on what you would like us to share on our blog we are always open to suggestions. We are an open book here!

  10. Teresa the local Pilot Hill Grange (in Cool) would love to have you come speak. I’ll contact you. Are you selling any hogs for meat raising?

    • Hi Danielle,

      Contact me on Facebook or give me a call (phone number is on my website). I would love to set something up with the Grange. We have a farrowing of American Guinea Hogs almost every month and right now we are pre-sold for the most recent farrow. We have reservations on our website or we can chat.


  11. Great show, and very informative! Happy to have Teresa as part of the TSP community.

    Jack – Expressing interest in the “20-or-so uses for IBC totes” show as well as creative sources for same. 😉

    • Thanks Mike! I will post a few photos of our uses for the IBC totes. I would love to get plans for a small scale aquaponics system. The idea of having fresh talapia is so worth it! Plus, I might be able to grow lettuce and other vegetables without the use of a lot of water. I might add it to the honey-do list!

      • Google and Youtube have quite a few descriptions of tote-based aquaponics systems. One problem with such things is that state law can be awful. Here in Utah, I understand farming fish is a terrible pain, because of legal hoops you have to jump through.

      • Just did my research and in my county in California it is illegal. In other counties it is about $800 a year to get a permit. ACK! SO frustrating some times. Maybe I need to see if there is a way around this….there is always a way around things!

  12. Our chickens also didn’t like fodder that had sprouted for several days, but they love the just-sprouted stuff. We also started having lots of problems with molding when we sprouted it that long. Spraying with water mixed with a few drops of tea tree oil seemed to help control the mold quite a bit.

    • I haven’t tried tea tree oil but apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle works well too and a little less expensive. I use tea tree oil for all sorts of things around the ranch. I add it to my udder wash for my dairy goats for a sanitizer and haven’t had a problem with mastitis since.

      • Having taken delivery of our first dairy animal (an older, gentle Jersey cow, already milking) just last Friday, that sort of information is very welcome! I’ll have to try the vinegar for mold. We have a few other plants that are in serious need of something, and tea tree oil hasn’t done the trick for them. For our sprouts it was just a few drops in a spray bottle, so we used very little, but something that drenches better — like vinegar — would probably be more effective.

      • So exciting about your Jersey! I cannot wait to get a few cows here for meat and milk. Goat milk doesn’t separate like cows milk because it is more homogenized. I would love to make my own butter!

  13. My chickens will eat any of the fodder at this point. They come running as I come out of the barn door heading to their yard.

    I love the idea of using the gutters. Can’t wait to play with fodder some more. I am having a great time and the rabbits and chickens love it.

    Mold can be from to high of temps or humidity or trays not draining completely. Sometimes just adding a fan can help.

    • Mine will also eat it at any stage of the growth but I read about impacted crops from long wet green grass and I wanted to prevent it as much as possible. For mold a little spray of apple cider vinegar down the channel or in the tray when it gets a bit slimy will help prevent mold. I think the closer to 65-68 degrees you can get the better. We have research a hydrogen peroxide injector to install if we can’t keep the heat at bay in the summer months. It is about $300 so I am trying everything else before we have to go down that route. I also make sure when I am working down there that we get some “Fresh” air in so it doesn’t feel like a sauna on warm days.

  14. What I don’t get is how the seed lays in the gutter? Do you just spread out a thin layer of seeds in the bottom of the gutter? Are they on something you put in the gutter? could you put up a picture of freshly laid seeds and link to it in a reply here?

    When you water does the water just cover the seeds? or just touch the bottoms of the sprouts? I assume water gravity flows around the bottom of the spouts.