Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sprouting fodder for our livestock Part 2 - Rinsing & draining & rinsing & draining

As I mentioned in Part 1 I started out with a small amount, 1/4 cup each, of pasture mix, 5 grain scratch, black oil sunflower seeds and winter wheat.  I soaked them overnight (in clean pickle jars that we'd been saving), on the kitchen counter.  The next morning, about 12 hours later, I rinsed them in tepid water.

Rinsing the black oil sunflower seeds.  They were soft and plump.  I picked out anything that looked bad (there was one piece that was a brownish color and odd shaped).

Rinsing the pasture mix.  It took several refills of the jar to get all the grass seeds out.

The pasture mix after rinsing.  Some of the red clover faded to a more lite pink color.  The grasses (timothy, orchard, fescue & rye) seemed fuller/plump.

The 5 grain scratch after being rinsed.  The barley, sorghum and wheat plumped up a bit.

Rinsing the wheat.  It ended up being the plumpest out of all the seeds.

After we rinsed them I transferred them into pint size canning jars.  I used a thin cotton tea towel that I'd cut into pieces held down by the screw on ring to cover the tops.  I filled the jars with water and then drained them again.  I ended up changing the tea towel out for cheese cloth because the water wasn't draining well through the towel, I was having to shake it out and was worried that it would damage the seeds.

You can see the water sitting in the bottom of the black oil sunflower seed jar.

You can see the water sitting in the bottom of the pasture mix seed jar.

You can see the water sitting in the bottom of the 5 grain scratch jar.

You can see the water sitting in the bottom of the winter wheat jar.

You want the water to drain out, but not dry out the seeds.  Others have reported molds growing if they don't drain the excess water.  The Urban Rabbit Project is growing theirs in small organizer type trays with slats in the sides, tipping to drain.  Their main rabbit, Mufasa, is a big fan of the fodder!

Propping them to finish draining.

More draining.

In one of the groups I belong to there is a lady sprouting lentils for her chickens, she's got the trays in her living room on the floor so they can get sunlight.  I think one of the greatest things about this process is that you can do it pretty much anywhere and with seeds, grains, nuts, the possibilities are numerous. 

More links with great information
I love that I keep finding others that are successfully growing and feeding fodder!  Over at Farming in My Fifties she talks about sprouting fodder to combat against the high hay prices after last years droughts.

Granny's Best has quite a few posts about fodder for her goats!  So far she's got 4 parts and is still documenting her trials.

A paper on the nutritional qualities of sprouts and fodder.

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