As you know, a few months ago, we began sprouting barley for the rabbits and chickens so we could save money on our feed. The growing of the fodder was going well until about a month ago when we noticed the following problems:
- Seeds not fully producing
- Fodder having a foul smell
- Mold growing on the seeds.
- Seeds dry out or getting old
- Seeds not getting enough water
After being very frustrated, I decided that I would research the issues and see if other people have had similar problems. It was interesting to see that our issues were shared by others. Someone had asked about what happens when fodder has a foul smell, it was said that this happens because the grain is spoiling rather than sprouting. This can be a sign that the pans are not properly drained. I was also able to get some information regarding the barley seed getting moldy. It is said that the barley will start to mold if you have poor air circulation in the pan. The information that I found was very interesting and helpful for us to start troubleshooting.
We gave our chickens the barley that was not growing in the pans. Then we washed all the pans with hot soapy water and let air dry. Then we had our son, take a drill and re-drill bigger holes in the bottom of the pans and sides. This should help with the drainage of water, which also helps with the smell. Next, we wanted to try to add a scoop of barley seed in the pan to soak instead of 2 scoops. We are hoping that having less seed will help with air circulation and prevent the seeds from getting moldy.
The results from the first pan that we tried was not that great. The fodder seemed to only grow in the top 1/3 of the pan. The next pan had better results. We are now making sure that we wet the barley seeds at least twice a day to ensure a proper growth pattern. The next few pans were back to normal. We are hoping that the changes are going to produce the same amount of fodder as we were getting a month ago.
Please share your comments and tips of how we can avoid having these issues in the future.