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FODDER: A beginning. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Provide a well rounded diet without commercial feed, including discussions of the methods and merits of growing fodder.
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Re: A begining.

Post Number:#16  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun May 18, 2014 7:10 am


I wonder, ...if growing a high energy feed like sugar beet , or carrot , and feeding it along with a fodder system, would solve the "energy crisis" and bring back the faster growth rate.
I have also wondered, ... if a fan blowing on the sprouting trays during the mold issue times of year, would have solved that problem.
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: A begining.

Post Number:#17  Unread postby grumpy » Sat May 24, 2014 7:09 am


michaels4gardens wrote:I wonder, ...if growing a high energy feed like sugar beet , or carrot , and feeding it along with a fodder system, would solve the "energy crisis" and bring back the faster growth rate.
I have also wondered, ... if a fan blowing on the sprouting trays during the mold issue times of year, would have solved that problem.


The analysis of barley fodder parallels a good rabbit pellet with the exception
of trace minerals. I'm sure, if I search hard enough, I can find a powdered
mineral for rabbits. My thinking is that I should be able to put the mineral
in a "salt-shaker" and lightly add the mineral just before I feed the rabbits.

Air movement and fresh-air exchange should alleviate the mold issues. This
is what I'm hoping for, at least. I'm not saying it will be "easy"...LOL.
However, I firmly believe,.....it can be done!!
I'm planning on having two
small oscillating fans running nearly all of the time. And a "bathroom" exhaust
fan set on a timer to remove the upper layer of air on a regular basis.
A small, high-efficiency, room air conditioner will keep the temps down
during the hot part of the year. A small parlor heater will do the opposite
in the winter.

I had a small epiphany last evening.... :P :P :P
There's absolutely NO reason I can't have an available water source "in the
room" 8 or 9 months out of the year. Beyond that, I can easily use my
reservoir barrels during the winter months. I've just got to adapt another
valve in the delivery pipe to allow free-flowing water in the tight-room when
I need it. DUH.......sometimes I'm just a "tad" slow when it comes to small
innovative ideas that make one's job a little easier.

AND:: I'm "mentally-working" on some kind of container that I can pour
used water into and have it drain into a buried pipe in my market garden. I
put in a 6"-drain years ago to handle the downspouts on my barn guttering.
I checked last night and I've got room to slip a drain pipe right in beside
my downspout. Easy...peasy...nice and easy. :lol: :lol:

grumpy

__________ Sat May 24, 2014 6:09 am __________

My old feed room will be the location of the new "grow-room".
Here's a few pics of what it looked like "before" I began. I had to take it
"down" all the way and re-build it to accommodate the fodder stands.

I'm still quite a ways from completion and I chafe over the fact that I cannot
work at the pace I did as a younger man. I just don't have the energy anymore.

Image

Image

Image

I'm even re-working the walls around the water cabinet. It's "tin" with no
insulation. Sure are a lot of "cobwebs" to deal with when I move stuff out of
the way to work. LOL.
Image

I'll take some pics today, to show the progress. Promise.....Ya'll know I'm lazy.

Thanks for looking,
Grumpy.
Author of Historical Romance Novels: The Trilogy of: Box of Dreams, Scarlet Dreams, and Shattered Dreams.
My newest work: Now in publication. Redemption Road.
Visit my website for more information. http://www.ekfelts.com

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Re: A begining.

Post Number:#18  Unread postby JessiL » Sat May 24, 2014 4:29 pm


Looks great. I will be eagerly awaiting reports of how well the rabbits do when transitioned over!

FYI, my fodder producer here discovered that she could almost completely prevent mold issues by using just a bit of hydrogen peroxide in both the soaking and rinsing water. I hadn't heard of that used before (usually it's chlorine bleach), and that made me happy, since hydrogen peroxide will naturally oxidize very fast and just turn into water. Less worry to me that my bunnies were getting too much bleach!

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Re: A begining.

Post Number:#19  Unread postby grumpy » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:54 am


I've had this stored at a friend's house for several months. It's very good
exterior grade, high-density fiberglass insulation. Of course, it's in pieces,
but that's all right.......I can make it work.

Image

I got a pretty good amount.

Image

Here's the changes thus far in the room. I'm a little over halfway done.
Image
Image
Image
Image

Hope you enjoy. Thanks for looking. I'll take more photos as the work
progresses. Just noticed......that old blue trash barrel is headed for the
burn-pile tomorrow, first thing.
Grumpy.

Here's my "cat-herd" LOL. Boots and the throw-away Mama and her babies.
I let them out every afternoon for a few hours to play. They sure have a lot of fun.
Image

__________ Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:54 am __________

I'm "really-slow" sometimes. I wonder if I wasn't dropped on my head one
too many times when I was a baby. "Water" such a simple element, but one
that can never be too handy to have close at hand. Here's my solution.
One that I ""SHOULD"" have incorporated umpteen years ago.
Image

The "spout" can slip-fit into the supply line when needed. It doesn't leak!
Image

My "Super-Charger". Several sites recommended air stones to keep
the water moving during the soak-time. You know me...."More is Better."
Image

The "Super-Charger" slipped into another bucket with the water added.
You can see the multiple holes in the bottom to allow swift exchange of
the water.
Image

Barley seed: After the initial wash and rinse, ready for the "soak".
Image

The seed has been dumped into the bucket with the water pump. More
water has been added to bring up the level. This is usually started around
10 or 11 in the morning and runs until about 6pm. There's a funny thing
about this step. Once all is up and running, the water begins a rhythmic
motion reminiscent of an old wringer washing machine. It's as clean as a
new dime once this is completed.

Afterwards, it's placed in another bucket with clear water and 1/2 capful of
bleach and allowed to soak overnight.

Image

Waste-water is pumped from the buckets into my drain-pipe that dumps
into the downspout drain for my guttering. That funnel screwed to the wall
allows me to empty my buckets completely. Gotta be a little careful though.
Image

First fodder spread into the flats. If you look closely you can see the grain
is already beginning to sprout.
Image

More will come later. Thanks for looking. Hope you enjoyed it.

UPDATE:: These first two flats of seed have already matted
enough for the entire seed-bed to be lifted out in one piece.

Grumpy.
Last edited by grumpy on Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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My newest work: Now in publication. Redemption Road.
Visit my website for more information. http://www.ekfelts.com

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Re: A begining.

Post Number:#20  Unread postby Miss M » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:04 am


JessiL wrote:FYI, my fodder producer here discovered that she could almost completely prevent mold issues by using just a bit of hydrogen peroxide in both the soaking and rinsing water.

Any idea what ratio? That would be very nice. :)

grumpy wrote:More will come later. Thanks for looking. Hope you enjoyed it.

Grumpy.

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:
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Re: A begining.

Post Number:#21  Unread postby Sagebrush » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:27 pm


Hey Miss M, please share that popcorn? ;)

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Re: A begining.

Post Number:#22  Unread postby Miss M » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:18 pm


Sagebrush wrote:Hey Miss M, please share that popcorn? ;)

Here ya go! :popcorn:
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Re: A begining. It's comin' along.

Post Number:#23  Unread postby grumpy » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:03 pm


Wowser!!!

When this stuff takes off, it really gets with it!!

From this: 18 ounces of barley.
Image

To this: In three days time. It now weighs 50 ounces and we still have four
more days to grow before it will be ready...........(I hope)
Image
Image

One half of my system is in place. I'll build another unit if this goes as well
as I'm hoping it will.
Image

There's one drawback but it's minor. I don't have enough fall in each level.
I have to elevate each tray for about 30 seconds to get the extra water to
drain. I've got an inch and a half fall in each level. Looks like I may have to
increase the fall on the next unit I build. Once I've got the next one built, I
can clear the trays on the original and add more fall to each level. I'll just
have to loosen two screws to make the changes.
Image

And YES I've taken meticulous notes about the procedures.
I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that this works out okay. Of course,
the cool temps this week have been ideal for a test situation. I'll install a
small room air conditioner and build an insulated door for the room in the
next few days.

Those large tubs are awesome!! They were exactly one-inch too wide
to slip easily under the unit.
You'll note that I cut the legs off and added another set of legs to the
"outside" of the fodder rack. Now, it fits like a finger in a bellybutton. :lol:
It's perfect on the depth and holds 20 gallons of water that can be pumped
out every third day.

More pics as things progress. Keep your fingers crossed.

Grumpy.

__________ Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:00 pm __________

JessiL wrote:Looks great. I will be eagerly awaiting reports of how well the rabbits do when transitioned over!

FYI, my fodder producer here discovered that she could almost completely prevent mold issues by using just a bit of hydrogen peroxide in both the soaking and rinsing water. I hadn't heard of that used before (usually it's chlorine bleach), and that made me happy, since hydrogen peroxide will naturally oxidize very fast and just turn into water. Less worry to me that my bunnies were getting too much bleach!


JessiL: Once my initial soak is completed, all I use is fresh water for each
watering. I take water from my reservoir barrels because they are room
temperature. I figure the tap water may be too cold and chill the root
structure which may not be good for the fodder.

But: Thanks for the idea...I may use a teaspoon or so with the watering
sequence.

Grumpy.
Author of Historical Romance Novels: The Trilogy of: Box of Dreams, Scarlet Dreams, and Shattered Dreams.
My newest work: Now in publication. Redemption Road.
Visit my website for more information. http://www.ekfelts.com

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Re: A begining. It's comin' along.

Post Number:#24  Unread postby Miss M » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:06 am


Looking very nice!!! I'm watching this space. :)
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Re: A begining. It's comin' along.

Post Number:#25  Unread postby grumpy » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:54 pm


Miss M wrote:Looking very nice!!! I'm watching this space. :)



Miss M....

Remember that first flat of seeds I showed you? LOL Now....take a look.

It's the one on the far left. It's truly amazing how fast this stuff grows.
The middle flat is 24 hours behind.
The far right flat is 48 hours behind.
Image

This pic shows the different heights just 24 hours make.
Image

Showin' a little "Green" in the grow-room. The weather has been nearly
perfect for this first attempt. Now, I've got to hustle it up and get the room
completed before really warm weather begins to set in.
Image

I've been fiddlin' with various weights for each tray throughout the week.
I've came to the conclusion that 16 ounces of dry seed is more than enough
for each flat. Once it has soaked overnight, you'll have over 20 ounces to
spread out evenly.

Some of the trays have 20-22 ounces of dry seed. THAT'S WAY TOO MUCH.
You can see where there is going to be a fair amount of un-sprouted seeds
suspended in the growth. That's a waste that isn't necessary.

Hope you enjoyed. Thanks for lookin'.

Grumpy.
Author of Historical Romance Novels: The Trilogy of: Box of Dreams, Scarlet Dreams, and Shattered Dreams.
My newest work: Now in publication. Redemption Road.
Visit my website for more information. http://www.ekfelts.com

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Re: A begining. It's comin' along.

Post Number:#26  Unread postby JessiL » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:59 am


Looking good! I'm glad it's going well!

Miss M and all - I'm afraid I don't know how much hydrogen peroxide. My friend said a "splash" into the bucket for the initial soaking water, and same thing for the rinsing. Maybe Grumpy will get by with just tap water for the rinsing/watering - she was growing hers in a greenhouse with lots of other plants, and perhaps mold was more prevalent there.

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Re: A begining. It's comin' along.

Post Number:#27  Unread postby Miss M » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:01 am


grumpy wrote:Miss M....

Remember that first flat of seeds I showed you? LOL Now....take a look.

It's the one on the far left. It's truly amazing how fast this stuff grows.
The middle flat is 24 hours behind.
The far right flat is 48 hours behind.

Wooooooooooooooooow! :P

Oh -- what temp are you keeping your room at? Did you say you'll be keeping it in the 60s? My house is in the mid-70s in the summer.

grumpy wrote:Hope you enjoyed. Thanks for lookin'.

YES, I enjoyed! :)

I really want to do this as soon as I can! Wish I could get barley around here.

JessiL wrote:Looking good! I'm glad it's going well!

Miss M and all - I'm afraid I don't know how much hydrogen peroxide. My friend said a "splash" into the bucket for the initial soaking water, and same thing for the rinsing. Maybe Grumpy will get by with just tap water for the rinsing/watering - she was growing hers in a greenhouse with lots of other plants, and perhaps mold was more prevalent there.

Okay, well that actually does give me something to go on. I really appreciate it! :D
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Re: A begining. It's comin' along.

Post Number:#28  Unread postby grumpy » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:09 pm


I've been at the mercy of the weather as far as temperature control.
Fortunately, the weather has been very cooperative all week long with
the temps staying in the high-60's to mid-70's.

Today, is supposed to be nearly perfect in the mid to upper 60's.
Tomorrow however, it's supposed to start warming up past the 80 degree mark.
I'll spend the day locating and buying a used A/C unit. I think I've got one
stored upstairs in the extra bedroom. Not sure about that, though.
PLUS, I've got to construct an insulated door for the grow-room and install it.
If I can keep the room between 67 and 72 degrees, I'll be right in the ball
park on the correct temperature for sprouting. I keep at least one fan
running all of the time to keep good air movement over the seed trays.

My initial rinse is in the water I used to soak the seed overnight. It's just a
quick wash removing part of the dirt and dust, if there is any. I do have
quite a bit of "floating" seeds once the water settles down. But, I don't skim
them off....I leave them in.

I'll raise the bucket up and let the water drain back down into the holding
bucket. Then, I'll take another holding bucket and drop my bucket with the
pump down into a clean water bath. I'll add one capful of bleach to the water
and turn on the pump. Then, I'll dump the rinsed seed into the water bath
and forget it until about 5 or 6 in the evening.

When I'm ready to drain the washed seed, I have to block the water jet with
my finger and turn off the pump, keeping my finger blocking the exit pipe
from the pump. Otherwise, falling seed will quickly clog the impeller of the
pump. Then, you've got a mess to deal with.

I've got my overnight bucket already filled with clean water and a capful of
bleach waiting. I'll dump the washed seed into the water, stir it around
pretty good and leave it for the night. I'll keep it covered so no night time
bugs will get into it. This batch is what goes into the trays the next morning.
I'll weigh out 16 ounces of DRY barley per tray and that is the amount I use in
all of the washing an rinsing.

I water the trays once in the morning BEFORE adding the next group of trays.
The seed is already super wet, so there's no need for anymore water on that
group. I'll water once again in the evening with one gallon of water per
vertical stack of trays. I use the water out of my auto-watering system.
It's room temperature and won't shock the roots as easily as cold water out
of the spigot. I don't use any bleach beyond the initial rinsing and washing.

I'm sure all of this sounds very time consuming and tedious. However, it
takes very little time to do all that is needed and my time that is required
is becoming less and less as I smooth out the methods that I use. It's just
a matter of getting your pattern down to nearly perfect and the time is
shortened dramatically. It took me forever, the first couple of times. But,
after that, it became easier with each attempt.

Hope this is helpful.

Grumpy.

__________ Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:51 pm __________

I've always been blessed/cursed with a "hard-head". Once I begin something,
come Hell or High-Water..........I'll finish it. Typical "Felts" DNA.

What began badly in the last few days of March, has brought me to this point
today. I did a lot of research, read hundred's of pages of dialogue, and quite
frankly "flew" by the seat of my fanny oftentimes. Using logic and good old
common sense I believe I've been fairly successful thus far.

Again, the weather has blessed me, insofar as staying on the cooler side of
comfortable. Tomorrow, this is supposed to change and I'm not quite ready, yet.

Although a first attempt, I'm comfortable with the outcome.

Each morning brings one more set of three trays into production.
However, I don't feed until the early evening hours. That left me with the
first two trays of fodder and no where to place them. Technically, they are
midway through their sixth day of growth. I installed a small span of three
boards elevated to hold the trays until I needed them. What impressed me
was the darkening color of the growth from one day to the next.
Image

18 ounces of dry Barley per tray was washed and soaked for 24 hours
before being put into the two trays six days ago. 36 ounces turned into
12 pounds and 10 ounces by this afternoon. I watered them early this
morning and made sure they were well drained when I weighed them.
I used a pack of smokes as a size reference.
Image

The development of the root system is what really surprised me. It was
very dense and very thick. I didn't see any "bad-spots" on either of them.
BTW: That little black dot on the first one is a darned fly. :x
Image

Kind of like slicing up a very large loaf of bread. LOL. I cut each biscuit into
4 widths then each width into 12 pieces.
Note: My "fly" is still with me. LOL. It's obvious "he" liked it. :P
Image

It took a fairly sharp butcher knife to do the job.
I got a nice little tubful of treats.
Image

A closing shot of tomorrow's flats. The unit has worked "well" but it could
be better. Hence the reason for constructing only one unit at first. Now,
I can make adjustments in the construction to streamline it a little better.
Image

Naturally, there's the $64,000.00 question: "Did the rabbits like it?"
I must answer "YES"........and I must answer "NO". It was a toss-up.
Some jumped on it like a duck on a June-bug. Others.......ho-hum,
what's this? Sniff, nibble, sniff, sniff....a couple of more nibbles.
Some of the does flat worked it over, while others only so-so.
Some liked the roots.........some liked the greens. It was a learning
experience for all concerned.

Hopefully, those that have followed this thread have learned a little about
fodder production. It was a brand new experience for me as well. If I had
failed, rest assured that would have been shared as well. In all honesty, I'm
a little disappointed over the absence of input.

I hope you enjoyed this journey.
Thanks to those that endured the long week.

grumpy.
Last edited by grumpy on Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:08 am, edited 3 times in total.
Author of Historical Romance Novels: The Trilogy of: Box of Dreams, Scarlet Dreams, and Shattered Dreams.
My newest work: Now in publication. Redemption Road.
Visit my website for more information. http://www.ekfelts.com

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Re: A begining. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#29  Unread postby ckcs » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:20 pm


Looks great. I know fodder can save some coin but how is it as far as labor on your end? How much time do you think it would add to your week by doing it on a full scale?

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Re: A begining. It's comin' along. Final shots.

Post Number:#30  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:50 am


I think this type / types of systems will be the future of home, and homestead animal production, as we move into the next phase of our civilization, manufactured feeds , and commercial buyers, are pricing them selves out of the small producers market.-- The animal producers are being squeezed as never before. -- and home meat and animal product raisers will have few other options.
-- in watching this trend, I am very interested in production methods that were employed by producers back when they had to grow all of the food for their livestock, and families/ villages themselves.

Thank you, Grumpy
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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