Tag Archives: homeschool

Growing Fodder for Chicken Feed – Day 8

Dear Jack the Cat,

You are not allowed to touch the seeds… or the greens. … well, really or anything that I am growing in the house. You are a cat, not a cow!

Love, Mom (the one who feeds you meat.)


Jack decided to LOVE on the fodder…  We have 7 trays growing inside and one in the greenhouse to see if it is too cold out there our not.




Growing Fodder for Chicken Feed – Day 7

ABM_1413597504Ok, so I am sure that you are finally bored with my posts on fodder…. I am just thrilled at being able to share my success (and my failure as well) with you… and I know that there are some out there who want to have chickens AND save money on feed. This is the way to do it! Once you master the process.

However, This morning, I woke up to my fodder being moldy… Not certain what happened, But we are dumping and starting again! LOL AHHH They life of experiments and trial and error.  I think that I need to drill more holes in the bottom of the trays and use less seed. We were using 3 cups of seed in the plastic shoe boxes.  I think that we are shifting to 2 cups… I also had buckets under each of my trays rather than letting them drip down to the next one down because I didn’t have the correct shelf.

I also went down and picked up some buckets at the local hardware store. And I drilled 10 holes in the bottom of them as well. I am not certain if everything wasn’t draining well enough or if it was too thick in the trays… so with trial and error, we are starting up again. I do also plan on soaking the see for 24 hours rather than 12 hours. Here in AZ, there is so much less humidity in the air that I worry that I was over watering and

Here is day 7 (that is one day of soaking and 6 days in the trays)

**** Note: We are going to continue to grow this batch for 3 more days and then see if the mold is worse or not.





Growing Fodder for Chicken Feed – Day 6

Day 6 Fodder - www.krisandlarry.comHouston, we are go for GREEN!

We finally have sprouts that are showing COLOR! Day 6 is showing AWESOME growth! I am still uncertain on if a root base will form like I have read about. Remember this is an experiment for us anyhow!

It looks like after researching, that I am “disturbing” the roots too much in the beginning, so they are not growing as fast.  (I found a few ebooks on Amazon that are free downloads.)

I think that we are putting too many seeds in the trays to start as well… Tomorrow we are going to switch it to 2 cups per tray and do 2 trays a day instead of one. 

See! I can grow food for my chickens! But you weren’t doubting my green thumb, right? After all, I grow a huge veggie and herb garden every year too!

We are up to 5 trays and 1 to soak overnight tonight. We will have them grown for several more days in the trays and then start feeding to the hens.




Growing Fodder for Chicken Feed – Day 5

Day 5 Fodder - www.krisandlarry.comOh My! Day 5 is here… we are half way through the growing on the first tray of barley fodder. I have determined that if this continues to work that we need to build another greenhouse… Oh LARRY?!?! Want another project?  I am thinking a lean-to on the front of the house. 🙂

So far, so good, no mold or mildew. That was one of my biggest worries. We are going to move the trays to the garage in the evening for now until the fruit flies expire for the season. Those little buggars are driving me crazy! I think that I need a metal cart like I have for the kids homeschooling supplies. I picked that up at Sam’s club for about $60.

Anyhow, the root system is really taking off on this first tray and the other trays are following just like the first one did. And now, on day 5 there are little plant sprouts too!





Growing Fodder for Chicken Feed – Day 4

SDay 4 - Grown Chicken Fodder from barley, krisandlarry.como the sprouts have really begun this morning and the roots are forming! We have 3 bins going now, plus tonight will soak seeds before bead for the next day to make the 4th one.

There is a “sweet” smell from the seeds and about 3 dozen fruit flies on them this morning. I have to find a way to nip that before it gets bad. We are still having beautiful weather, so, these seeds will be going outside later today once the morning cool warms up – I have added a paper towel on top of them while outside and did not put them in direct sunlight, but rather under my porch out front (we have high sun with no clouds…. PERFECT for solar oven cooking!!). We are keeping them extra moist by watering mid-day today too… just because they are outside.

This has turned into a bit of a science experiment for the kids and I … good thing that we homeschool!



Days 2, 3 and 4 - growing Chicken Fodder at www.krisandlarry.com 


Fodder for the small-time farmer – general information

ABM_1413216769We are going to revisit our fodder growing in severeal weeks. We dumped all of the moldy trays (yes, the chickens loved eating them still) and have 2 new methods going – A bucket one that we saw a youtube video on and another one where you water the top and the excess water drips down to the bucket below. 



We were generously gifted chickens after our black labs brought me almost all of my laying hens at the end of the summer. We also hatched some of our own eggs that we had in the coop the day of the “chicken disaster 2014”. Then, last week, we were gifted 16 more chickens!!! We have a TON now (not really a TON, but about 40 or so and to me that is a ton right now.)

 Winter is coming! Yes, I have been waiting to say that for a while now! And we want to be able to keep our feed bill lower for our hens and keep our egg production up. I called my sister, Jen (www.turningcrunchy.com) and she showed me how they are feeding their chickens for the winter (and supplementing their goats as well). When she said that 50 pounds of barley seed can become 200 pounds of feed by sprouting, I jumped all over that!!! SAVING MONEY!!!

I searched high and low for a metal food shelf (the ones with holes in it) at a yard sale to no avail. I am a closet case yard-saler for things for around the Kid Ranch. We are starting small and working our way up. Trystan and Rowan cleaned up one of my ugly greenhouse shelves (yep, another yard sale purchase) and brought it into my dining room for our science experiment fodder growing experiment.

To start out, I bought 9 plastic shoe boxes and drilled 10 holes in the bottom on one side. And because I couldn’t find the correct shelf to allow the water to drain from box to box, we used 9 of plastic shoe boxes that I had here already to catch water too. This will allow the water to drain out so that the spouts are not sitting in water and not forming mildew or mold. (***We do have a little bit of mold growing on Day 6… so I am going to really watch it and see if it gets worse. We will water less and drill more than 10 holes in the bottom of the trays.) We also gathered 9 pieces of wood to put in the bottom of the buckets to make them angle so that the water drained out easier.

Day 4 of Fodder Seeds
Day 4 of Fodder Seeds

I also found recleaned barley at one of our local feed store.  (I <3 Warren’s in Chino Valley, AZ!)It was about $13 for a 50 pound bag (I am hoping that this will give me about 200 pounds of feed. (We buy 4-5 bags of feed a month for our chickens in scratch) I will measure weights as I am going through this process.

I measured out 3 cups of barley and placed it in a metal bucket – not a pretty bucket at all, as a matter of fact, it looks like it has been drop-kicked a few times as well as run over by the motor home at least once. But, there are no holes in it to leak water… so it will work PERFECT!! You can put as much seed feed as you need in your trays, as long as it measures to less than .5 inches so that it doesn’t mildew.

After adding my seeds, I filled water to just above the barley seeds in the bucket to have them soak overnight. I placed the bucket up on my planter windowsill in the kitchen to “soak”t. This is a daily event, because this is the start day for my sprouts for my fodder. And since my birds will be eating every day, I need to start a new batch of seeds daily to make their meals.

The biggest complaint that I have so far is that there are fruit flies on the bins even with a fruit fly trap made and sitting on the shelf. It is the end of fruit fly season… and is already too cold to put sprouts outside overnight. I am going to take a tray down to the greenhouse later today to see if they will grow there with the cooler evening temperatures.

Day 6 Fodder - www.krisandlarry.comList of items that are needed (or at least the ones that we used in our house):

  • A metal soaking bucket
  • 9 plastic shoe boxes with holes drilled in the bottom of one side
  • 9 plastic shoe boxes to catch water drippings
  • 9 pieces of wood (or mall cut PVC pipe to angle the top shoe box for water drainage
  • a bag of recleaned (NOT HEAT TREATED or ROLLED) Barley, wheat or oat (Although, I have read that oats do not sprout as well)
  • Daily water
  • cup or pitcher to water your seeds
  • A shelf with direct or indirect sunlight.


Check out each individual day from our Fodder Growing Experiment

Day 1 – Just soaking the seed overnight

Day 2

Day 3 – Roots are starting to show up on the seed

Day 4

Day 5 – There are finally sprouts  in our fodder!

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Spaceman Word Spacer – homeschooling

ABM_1408404168I am always looking for ways to help my munchkins on writing.  When I was student teaching, the kindergarten teacher had these COOL SPACEMEN word spacers to help the kids learn to space their word when they write.

You will need a clothes pin, white paint, sky blue paint, a red and black sharpie.



  • Paint your clothes pin white.
  • Let dry.
  • Add a blue semi-circle for the helmet.
  • Draw your clothes (follow my sample if you need help) using the sharpie.
  • Repeat on the back side of the clothespin.

This serves as a little reminder that there are spaces between each word while your littles are writing. My 3rd grader just pins it to the top of his paper. My 1st graders use it while they are practicing writing.

To use, have the kiddling write their first word. Please the spaceman on their paper after the word and then start writing their next word. It puts a finger wide space in between each word on their papers until they can remember to SPACE!

Essential Oil Tuesday – Making "Ouchie" Bags

ouchiebags-elMaking “OUCHIE” bags filled with rice or wheat is something that anyone could use. These are also called “heating bags”, wheat heating bags, rice heating bags, etc.

My daughter, Elwyn, LOVES making these now that she learned how to use the sewing machine. {THANK YOU 4-H!!} We love homeschooled kids too!


What do you use these for you are asking? 

These bags can be heated in the microwave to use for headaches or sore shoulders.

They can be frozen overnight in the freezer to help with bumps and bruises.

When warm, they can be put in your pockets to keep your hand warm or in your bed to warm your feet (Tall man appreciates this! I always have cold toes!)

We keep 2 in the freezer and have 2 in the kitchen cabinet to heat when needed.

{Pardon the squawking parrots in the video, they wanted to talk over us!}

Making chalkboard clipboards

chorechartsMaking chalkboard clipboards are very easy and they are usable over and over again. They are great for “in the car” activities, traveling, and chore charts for the wall. Our family uses them for all 3. We are making new ones today for the missing one and for our 2 new boys as well.

We have been using the same clipboards for 3 years – Here is the original post: http://scrapwarrior.com/blog/2010/07/03/chore-charts-on-our-wall


You will need the following:

  • wooden clipboards (These are sold at walmart or kmart or target for less than $2 each),
  • bottle of spray paint (chalkboard) – I found this at our local Ace Hardware
  • blue painter’s tape
  • Foam stamps and paint
  • matching ribbon


Blue tape the “Metal Hinge” and spray paint the entire front of the board. After 24 hours, remove the tape carefully. Stamp your child’s name on the board and tie matching ribbon at different lengths on the hinge.





Homework time

After school can be CRAZY, especially in a house with 7 children. We have 3 homeschooled and 4 in public school this year. They boys get off of the bus at about 3:30 and as soon as they get home grab a snack box snack and homework. We have discovered if we don’t get on homework right away, then they are too tired to complete anything later.

El has taken it upon herself to always sit with the boys and help them with their school work. She normally has her own lessons done by lunch-time.