Sunday, December 30, 2012

Barley Fodder

I read about barley fodder on the Internet a short time ago.  I thought it was fascinating so I had to give it a try.  The idea is simple.  Put some barley seed in a tray and keep it moist.  You want it wet, but not sitting in water.  It'll rot.

I called up a local gardening/home brew store and ordered some barley seed.  It was $0.75/lbs.  I got 10 lbs.

I started by putting seeds in a tray.  I actually used the lid to one of those seed starting trays.  I drilled holes in one end so the water would drain out.  I put it over the edge of the sink.

Then I waited.  Not much happened for the first 2 days.  On day 3 I saw sprouts. 

It was only 50* or so in the garage.  I put my seed heating mat under the tray and grow lights on top. 

Then things really took off.  The picture below was taken on day 6.

And here it is at day 8.  It didn't grow as well on the right side.  I'm guessing that is because the heating mat didn't reach that far. 

The chickens seemed to really enjoy the stuff.

Did I have any issues?  Yes.  I noticed a bad smell in the garage.  When I pulled some of the fodder out for the chickens I found a layer of seeds on the bottom of the tray that had not sprouted.  They looked like they were rotting.  They were slimy and smelled very bad.  When I try this again I'm going to start with a lot fewer seeds in the tray.  I think I made a layer that was too thick. 


  1. I set out the tray of sprouted barley you gave me. I intended to go back a little later and move it to a new location. I was shocked that it was completely gone! They devoured it! Do you think I could grow it without the warming tray and lights?

    1. I'm trying a second batch without the warming mat. I still have lights on it. I'll know in a week if it works.