Sprouting greens for chickens

Successive sproutings of grains for the hens

My chickens spent most of their time in a (large) enclosure that they have picked free of greens. I want them to be happy – and to produce healthy eggs, so I pick them dandelion leaves, I leave them piles of fresh cut grass. I mean to revisit the food fence and grazing frame, but then I saw this on Pinterest: sprouts.

I won’t extoll the benefits of sprouted grains here, but the list is long. Chickens can eat all parts of the sprouted grain, and it can be a complete meal if you provide enough, needing only access to grit and calcium to ensure health.

I have built a self-watering system based on plans I bought from another DIYer. There is a sump at the bottom, and three trays with drain holes of successively sprouting grains. I bought 50# bags of barley and of oats (just $20 each!) at Hayes Feed in Burien. The first tray is a mix of oats and barley, the second is barley, the third oats. I expect they differ in their ease and timing of germination, so I’m checking that out.

It’s also taking hella longer than my readings. Instead of 6 days, I’m at 2 weeks and counting. Pretty sure that’s cause the temp is so cool. It’s out in the shed now, but I may have to move this operation indoors in the winter.

A word of caution if you design and build one yourself: use a bigger sump. Even though each tray drains into the next – the force of water being what it is, there is some splashing that gets the floor a little wet at the periphery of my sump.

Looking forward to presenting this gift to my hens! Keep ya posted.

This entry was posted in chickens, DIY. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s