There is a lot of information out there on the benefits of feeding rabbits fodder. One of the most touted easy to grow grains is barley, but in looking at several stores and calling around I have not been able to find it, and I am not yet ready to order it online. Through my travels I did find a 5 lbs. bag of wheat seed which is next on the list of grains used for fodder.
Getting the seed home I started to look for a container to runs some test batches in, and this is where I thought back to things I had seen online with dollar store tubs, nusarey flats, and other such vessles, but I needed something for a single rabbit serving test. looking around the house for something I could get more of or had several of I thought of a water bottle.
Day 1 – 12/05/17
I took a water bottle and cut in two with the bottom slightly smaller than the top. I then took seeds and cover the bottom to about 3 seeds deep and then covered with water. the first time or two I did this I used a little more seed and after a few days found slightly fewer seeds was still giving me good coverage. I am using the water bottles to experiment quickly before moving to a bigger scale of production.
Day 2 – 12/06/17
cutting another water bottle like the first and poked a bunch of holes in the bottom with a push pin. This gave me a lot of great drainage. I poured the seeds that were soaking in to the new container and rinsed. rinsing and setting up the first container soaking more seeds. I noticed the first set of seeds starting to poke out taproots
Day 3 – 12/07/17
Repeat the procedure with cutting, punching holes, and transferring seeds. I started noticing longer shoots coming from the seeds. I also started getting push back from Lisa about the pile up starting on the back of the sink, so I started to look for that solution. Started rinsing seeds 2x daily
Day 4 – 12/08/17
Repeated the first few steps and started more seeds. I started to see some more green coming up and the volume in the container was growing between the taproots and the sprouts starting to form.
Day 5 – 12/09/17
Sprouts are longer and volume is still increasing. I found a bin that I could keep the fodder sprout containers in that would be ok for the water to drip in to and that could be moved from the back of the sink.
Day 6 – 12/10/17
Oldest sprouts are about two inches tall and looking healthy. It is feeling nice to run my hands over the top of the mat. I am noticing that we may not be able to pull the fodder out of the cups the way I am using them.
Day 7 – 12/11/17
We are +6 days from soak and I think we are going to wait to +8 to feed the fodder to Rogers. Tomorrow I plan to start moving to the lower half of solo cups to see how that would work for growing out fodder while I look for small trays to build out little bigger better system for feeding the current stock. I will also be looking at a system that I can easily add more trays into the rotation quickly. I have seen some nice ideas online so I have a few thoughts on what I would like and what may work.
Day 8 – 12/12/17
The sprouts are tall and green. I started to give them to the rabbits. The red cup bottoms are working better as grow trays for the fodder as well.
The fodder experiment is going well, and is ready to be up-scaled soon to feed more rabbits fodder at one time. All rabbits seem to be enjoying the fodder.