I let the girls into the barley fodder “patch” today for the first time.
The fodder patch before I removed the protective frame.
This fodder I planted is Amish grown and are untreated barley seeds that I bought at our regular feed mill. I tested just 1 pound of seeds to make sure that they would grow well here and that they would be received well and eaten by my Cochin/Phoenix mix chickens. This turned out to not be a problem!
Snowball happily attacks the fresh barley grass fodder.
I planted the seeds right in their smallish open run where I had a nice size patch of sunshine. This worked perfectly.
The seeds have been growing since I planted them on 3-25-15 and the recent rains and warmer weather really brought them on. I let the seeds grow for about three weeks until they were about 4″ to 5 “ in height. The girls were trying to dust between the frame and the fence and I took pity of them.
This corner is a favorite outside dusting area. Looks like I crowded them!
I’ve read that grasses any longer than 4”to 5” are too long, can get caught in the chickens crop and cause sour crop so I decided to let the girls eat them while the grass was still reasonably short in length.
Freckles look over the grass this morning just before I removed the frame.
They had been standing on the frame and pecking at the grass growing under it, taking off tiny pieces with their beaks.
Once I made my decision, I removed the frame and they took to the grass immediately. The best things about this feed is that it is untreated seeds so there are no chemicals involved and it is a live green food – the absolute best for chickens.
Snowball in the nest box laying her egg.
The moral of his story is that…Happy, well-fed chickens lay healthy great tasting eggs!
Small House Homesteader and chicken keeper, Donna