Friday, October 24, 2014

Fodder Friday

 The day after a good rain brings sun to give us a day to be grateful for the rain and to catch up on those things that didn't get done when the rain was falling. So we were up early looking forward to a day full of progress. Hidden behind the oak tree on the left is the snow capped top of Mt. Lassen . She got a good dusting yesterday adding to the smidgen she got about a week ago. We are only about half an hour from the mouth of Mt. Lassen National Volcanic Park so we have a good view of her especially in the dead of winter when the oak trees are missing most of their leaves. 
Out to check the pullet chicks. They are growing like weeds and today after adding more feed and water to their offerings I moved the heat lamp up a bit higher. Imaging that between their growth and feathering by early next week we can forgo the heat lamp altogether. 

Then after finishing up feeding chores and taking the working Pyrs Sherman and Yarrow out for a bit it was time to move on to laundry. We are off grid here at Walnetto Farm and even though we do have propane back up we strive to use it as infrequently as possible. So even in the fall and winter I have discovered if the day brings sun, a slight breeze and a high temperature of at least fifty degrees I can hang out laundry with good results. 

Next on the list was finally getting the fodder going. I sat down in the milk barn with my drill and the five growing trays I had bought and began drilling holes in them about 1/2 inch apart . Then I added about a pound to each tray of organic whole barley  that had been soaked during the rain day and left to drain all night. It was still quite moist today and I will spray it several times a day until it begins to sprout and grow into fodder to offer the chickens. Think of glorified sprouting.

Below is the pre drilled growing tray . 

 The barley soaking in water that covers it for 12 hours.

Center is the top portion of what used to be a metal filter for milk being poured from milk pail into a larger milk tote (some hold up to 5 gallons) while the screen acted as a filter. There may have even been some kind of gauze cloth or perhaps paper filters as we have now. It is pretty dated so I don't know. But it is perfect to drain the barley in after soaking before placing into the trays.
 I then place the barley in the trays and will thoroughly wet it at least three times daily until it has grown to the length I desire for feeding. 
For now I am only using it for my chickens I will determine if I use it for the goats at a later date.


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