Fodder, Urban Homesteading and Self-Reliance

What is Fodder?

Hydroponic FodderLet’s start with a dry wheat kernel. Being a seed, it is simply a storage container and life support system for the tiny wheat embryo that lives in its heart. It’s sole purpose is to grow into a wheat plant and make more wheat kernels. When this kernel is eaten in it’s dormant form, only about 30% of it is digestible. The rest of those nutrients are locked away, waiting to feed the growing embryo.

Something amazing happens when you add water and warmth to that little kernel. The embryo awakens and all those locked away nutrients become available to feed and nurture it. After 6 days or so, about 80% of those nutrients are now available. Basically, by growing your dry grain into Fodder, you make maximum use of what you already have.

Generally Fodder will weigh about 6 times more than the grain used to grow it. It is important to realize that this gain in weight is nearly all water. The weight of the finished Fodder really doesn’t matter at all. What matters is the weight of the seed you use in the first place. You are not adding anything to the seed you put in there. Everything you are feeding in your Fodder was already in that grain, you just made it available. The 1 pound of grain to 6 pounds of Fodder is just a handy rule of thumb to figure out how much you should be feeding each animal. For example, if you use 2 1/2 pounds of grain, you can figure 15 pounds of Fodder when you decide how much that of tray should feed, whether it weighs 15 pounds or not.

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