How To Make Hydroponic Fodder For Chickens

How To Make Hydroponic Fodder For Chickens

How To Make Hydroponic Fodder For Chickens

Do you own poultry where you rear chickens and want to know how to make fodder for your chickens but you are confused about how to go about it, you don’t need to worry anymore as we will be walking you through how to make Hydroponic Fodder For Chickens.

Most people do not know how to make fodder for their chickens, If you want to understand why and when you need to feed your flock with fodders, then this piece answers that question and more.

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Before we go further, let’s understand what Fodder and Chicken Fodder is all about.

What is Fodder?

The word “Fodder” means food given to the animals (fodder can be plants cut and carried to them), rather than that which they forage for
themselves in pasture and grazing land. It also includes hay, straw, silage, compressed and pelleted feeds, oils and mixed rations, and
sprouted grains and legumes

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What is Chicken Fodder?

Fodders are simply dried grasses or hay which serve as food for the livestock. It is also known as provender.

Fodders come in handy when the weather is cold and grasses are no longer growing on the outside. In other words, the chickens do not forage for fodders, you grow, make and feed them.

Basically, you can refer to any agricultural foodstuff specifically produced to feed domesticated livestock fodder.

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How To Make Hydroponic Fodder For Chickens

Why Hydroponic Green Fodder

  • Saves water Consumes 98% less water than conventional methods and the used water is recycled.
  • Reduced growth time Takes only 8 days duration to develop from seed to fodder while it took 45 days for a conventional fodder to grow.
  • Enhanced nutritive value – as the fodder contains the seed along with the fodder, it has higher crude protein content than conventional
    green fodder.
  • Marginal land usage Up to 1000 kg green fodder can be produced from 480 square feet area daily which is equivalent to conventional fodder (Co4) produced on 25 acres of cultivable land. Use 99% less land than a conventional production method.
  • Constant supply Fodder can be produced around the year, irrespective of the failure of monsoon, land availability, natural calamities, a labor shortage. Promotes sustainable agriculture and livestock production. Requires minimal manpower and time
  • Only 2 -3 hours of work daily, doesn’t involve technical work.
  • The Farmer can do the work without difficulty.
  • Completely natural and organic. Fodder is grown completely naturally without the use of any pesticides.
  • Reduce feed cost As fodder contains more crude protein than conventional fodder it reduces the feed cost spent on the concentrate feed to half.
  • Minimal equipment usage Reduce the need for equipment and fuel used to plant, grow, harvest, transport, and store feed. Nutritious fodder Hydroponic fodder along with seed and root (sprout mat) are highly edible and are rich in protein (10 – 17%). Ideal nutrients enriched fodder for livestock.

How To Make Hydroponic Fodder For Chickens

What are fodders made from?

Fodders are not fancy foods served on nice ceramic plates.  Usually, they are made from grasses or hay.

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Do chickens eat grasses? 

Absolutely.

What grains can I use to grow chicken fodder?

One step to getting growing fodders right is to plant the right grains.

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Not all grains are suitable for growing fodders for your chickens.

Here are the best grains to grow fodder;

  • Rye
  • Oats
  • Wheat
  • Barley

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Why are Fodders An Option for the Chickens?

Fooders are a good source of protein and fiber for the chickens.

Besides the nutritional benefits, growing chicken fodders is a great way to have grass all year long for your chickens.

Also, fodder supplements the chicken layer feed and is beneficial because;

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  • Reduces feed costs
  • Results to better tasting eggs with more vibrant yolks
  • Increases laying productivity. Happier chickens = more eggs!
  • Fodders are easier for your chickens to digest.
  • Thicker Egg Shells
  • Generally, fodder improves the health of the chickens.
  • When you sprout grains, you strip much of the starch from them.

How To Make Hydroponic Fodder For Chickens

How to Make Fodder for Your Chickens

As we earlier stated, making fodder for your chickens is not a task if you know the ropes to pull.

Before making your fodder, you need to grow it or get it first. Whether you’re growing on a large scale or in a small tray, the principle is one and the same.

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If you’re looking at growing fodders using either of the grains we listed above, you need to have a few things to get started.

What do I need to grow fodder?

Here’s a list of the necessary poultry farm equipment to grow fodder for chickens on a small or large scale;

  • Grow lights (optional)
  • Non-chlorinated water
  • Spray bottle (optional)
  • Grains of choice (listed above)
  • Shelving (optional—for large-scale production)
  • Shallow container (I like these plant growing trays)

Now, here’s how to make your own fodder;

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STEP 1: Soak

Once you have made a choice of grain, the next is to soak it.

Using a food-grade bowl, container or bucket, soak the grain overnight.

This kick starts your fodder-making process.

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STEP 2: Boreholes in a sturdy container

Up next is to find a container to serve as your base for the fodder.

You can opt for plant trays, old plastics, or metal cake pans.

Then drill lots of small holes in the bottom.

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The holes should be large enough to allow water to drain out but small enough not to let the grains escape when watered.

Another option is to lay a plastic mesh liner at the bottom of the pan if the holes are too big.

STEP 3: Place your soaked grain in the pan

Transplant your soaked grain from the bowl into the sturdy pan with holes in the bottom.

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The soaked grain should not be more than 2 inches thick.

Ensure there is enough water under the spigot.

Allow it to drain before setting them in their permanent place.

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STEP 4: Keep the grains moist until they begin to sprout

Ensure the grains are moist until they begin to sprout.

The spray bottle comes in handy at this point.

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You can spray them using the spray bottle or by simply running the fodder underwater each day.

Remember, allow it to drain fully.

Then place them in a sunny place so they grow quicker.

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STEP 5: It’s sprouting time

Your fodder is getting set for consumption.

After 3-7 days, your fodder will sprout.

However, this depends on the temperature and where the fodder is located.

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Once the fodder grows to the desired length, you have to flip it upside down onto a clean surface.

Then cut from the bottom where the roots are.

STEP 6: Feed your chickens, fodder is ready!!!

After cutting the sprouting part, your fodder is ready for consumption.

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Make 4-inch squares, or desired size, and offer them to your chickens.

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