I started with these plastic totes for $0.97 each. I grabbed the lids, too, just in case they came in handy later. I got this drill/screwdriver for $14.97. I drilled holes that were too small in the beginning, so I had to go back and re-drill my holes. I’ve found the 1/8″ in holes are the right size for these tubs, my fodder growth, and the drainage I want. I tried two small sizes before landing on 1/8″ in holes. I also recommend drilling from the inside of the tubs to the outside – often the drilling leaves behind a ridge or tall spot, and by drilling out, that spot doesn’t impede drainage.
I drill 4 holes across, and 6 holes down for a total of 24 drainage holes in the bottom of each tub.
While I was at the store, I got paint sticks to be able to stack my tubs on top of each other. I expected to be able to stack all 6 or 7 days of growing trays on top of each other. In reality, I only felt comfortable stacking 3 trays on top of a drain tray (so 4, total).
I grow my fodder for 6 days before feeding it.
I was sprouting 4 cups of barley per tray, but decided that was too thick, and realized I was overfeeding, so I’ve backed that off to 2.5 cup of barley per tray. I dilute 2 TB of bleach in a water bottle and after washing the trays, I spray them with my bleach
solution. I don’t rinse the bleach out. I do the same with my mason soak jars, and I put
the new seeds to soak in the jar while it’s still
damp with the bleach solution, then I add warm water until the seeds are covered. I rinse them after 12 hours of soaking, then fill the jar with warm water again, and let them soak for an additional 12 hours. (When something happens and the seeds only soak for 12 hours, I feel like they don’t grow out as well.)
I stack my trays and water from top down, every day. Then, after 6 days of growing, I feed them. I’m on a system now, so even if the growth isn’t ideal, I still feed that day’s fodder. Sprouted grains, and fodder with less growth is still much more nutritious for my herd than processed feeds or a missed meal.
This fodder system reduced my feed bill from $1000/month down to $300/month. Fodder was a learn and do it now, or sell animals thing for me. I’m thankful it started up and started growing without too much of a hitch. If you have any questions, comment below!