Sprouting Barley for our chickens

Over the past few weeks I have been doing a little research about sprouting seeds for chickens and possibly growing fodder as well.  The sprouting greatly increases the nutritional value, makes it easier for digestion, reduces feed cost plus more.  If that's not enough reason I've also read that chickens love it.  One other little thing is that I love doing things like this too - so much fun.

Yesterday I had finally sourced all of my equipment from around the house as well as the op shop.  The biggest challenge was finding the barley.  Most places either didn't sell barley at all or only sold it in 20kg lots or more.  

Finally I found a place a little further away who sold barley and offered to open a 20kg bag and scoop out the amount I needed.  My husband and I had a lovely drive and met a very generous man who ripped open this large bag, scooped out a portion for me, weighed it and then added more barley without weighing.  I was so grateful and kept thanking him.  He said that he will feed the rest of the barley to his sheep.

Now I have the barley the fun begins.


One thing I'm really being careful with is making sure I keep mould at bay.  I've thoroughly cleaned the jar and other equipment I'll be using.

The first step is to soak the barley overnight in water.  I have started with one cup of barley which I covered with water and left overnight.  The jar also has a lid which I closed.

Ready to soak overnight.


Next morning.

Looking at the colour of the water has already shown me something.  With the next lot I will thoroughly rinse the barley before soaking.  Each batch will improve as I learn along the way. 

Next step is to drain the barley through a fine sieve.  I picked up a plastic colander at the op shop yesterday which is perfect.  Once drained I then throroughly rinsed it with cold water and have left it draining in the colander.  This colander sits on top of another larger container that way the water can drip through.  I need to keep the barley out of the water and as dry as possible to prevent mould.

 
Over the next few days I will rinse the barley under cold water twice a day and and let it continually drain as in the picture above.  Each morning after breakfast I will rinse and then again at dinner time.

Fingers crossed that within a few days I will start seeing little sprouts forming.  Temperature plays a part in the amount of time it takes to sprout.  As the laundry is on the cooler side I'm guessing about three days (rough guess) before they're ready.  I will then feed them to the girls and begin my next batch.

The next lot will be a little different as I'm going to experiment further and continue the process to grow fodder.  I will only let the fodder grow to a very short length for the girls as I want to avoid long bits getting stuck in their crop.

I have some trays ready to grow the fodder which just need some tiny drainage holes.  I'm really looking forward to preparing the trays as I just want to use the cordless drill.  Oh the little things which get me excited.

Once I have everything down pat and worked out my little system will be to have each batch soaking and sprouting within a few days of each other for a continuous supply.

Anyway, getting ahead of myself here.  For now I'm concentrating on my very first batch of sprouted barley.





10 comments

  1. Wish you success with this project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deb. It really is fun. Watching their little tails starting to form now. It happens so fast too which makes it more interesting.

      Delete
  2. Oh...that's great. I used to know a man who sprouted grains to eat in salad. They were delicious. I'm sure your chickens will love it. You take such good care of them. I loved having chickens...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'll be doing the same for the family in Summer. It is so simple for a huge health gain.

      Delete
  3. There is a local beef supplier in my area who also uses sprouted barley as a feed for their cattle. I also remember watching a you tube video a couple of years back where a guy had a system of growing sprouts to use as fodder. It will be great to read more about this project as you go along. Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope to have a system going too on a much smaller scale of course. Probably microscopic compared to this guy 🙂

      Delete
  4. Hope it works out for you, Kylie. I don't think it is hard to buy barley here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could only find it in 20kg lots or more. The problem was finding smaller lots. Most places said they have never had anyone ask for barley for their chickens. I'm glad I found this lovely man in the end. I'll be buying supplies from him from now on. He has a little plant nursery, stock feed, pet food plus more.

      Delete
  5. That looks like a great thing to do. Do you think it would work with other grains? Am new to your blog and am enjoying what I am reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome and I'm so glad you are enjoying my blog.
      Yes, I believe any grain or seed will work. I'm really looking forward to updating you all on the progress of my first batch. Today is day three and it is looking good so far.
      Thank you for visiting and commenting. I really love hearing from readers.

      Delete

Thank you for commenting on my blog. I really enjoy hearing from my readers and sharing ideas. Have a lovely day.

Back to Top