Adding straight barley fodder to our feeding regime didn't give my birds what they needed to lay well. Then I added pea sprouts to the mix and the chickens tried to avoid eating them. They like soaked peas, cooked peas and fermented peas... but not pea sprouts. Go figure.
The next experiment was to add camellina and flax sprouts to the barley fodder. The camellina did not sprout well, and the flax sprouted very well but created drainage problems for the barley. So I scrapped that plan for the time being and moved on to clover.
My alyce clover seed finally arrived after about a 3 week wait. I put it to use right away, and built a new tray system to grow bird food. Here is what it looks like... simple and it works. What I didn't figure into the equation is that I'm feeding the sprouts earlier, so my yield isn't going to be 5 or 6x.
For the first phase of this rendition of the experiment, I've been mixing 1 part clover with 2 parts barley. I'm not presoaking the seeds at all. Here is what the seed looks like at the end of day 1.
Day 3Day 4
And then we feed it! The birds love it, both chickens and quail. They've only been eating it for 4 days now but thus far there is zero waste and laying is more than holding steady... its even perking up a little. Of course the experiment is yet young, so we'll watch how things unfold. But for now, I'm really happy with how its playing out.
The next move is to increase production as I'm only getting a 4x yield by feeding time and I'd like to have about 30% more to feed them each day.
One last pic: here is what our goat fodder system looks like in full production. My heaviest tray thus far has been 20 pounds but most weigh about 17.5. So our yield is still hanging between 5 and 6x.