Growing Hydroponic Fodder for Chickens – The Ultimate Guide

If you're looking for an easy and nutritious way to feed your chickens, hydroponic fodder is a great option. In this article, we'll show you how to grow your own!
chickens eating fodder

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If you’re keeping chickens, you know that they love to eat. And if you’re looking for a way to provide them with a nutritious diet, hydroponic fodder is a great option.

Fodder is simply food for animals. It’s a type of feed that is made up of plants, grains, or other materials. Fodder can be used to supplement an animal’s diet or be the main food source.

Not only is it packed with nutrients, but it’s also easy to grow your own. In this article, we’ll show you how to get started.

How to grow hydroponic fodder for chickens?

Now that you know all about hydroponic fodder, let’s learn how to grow it.

A rule of thumb: 1 gallon of grain produces 4 gallons of fodder in 4 days.

The best plants for hydroponic fodder are wheatgrass, barley grass, rye grass, and oat grass. These plants are packed with nutrients and chickens love them. Sprouted legumes like beans, chickpeas, and lentils work as well.

With growing medium

The most popular growing medium option is coco coir, made from coconut husks. it is great because it’s lightweight, easy to work with, and holds water well. Also – if your chickens eat a bit of it – they will be just fine.

Once you’ve chosen a growing medium, it’s time to add your plants:

  1. Soak the seeds overnight to help them grow.
  2. To plant your hydroponic fodder, simply place the seeds in the coco coir and water them well. The layer should be 1-2 inches thick.
  3. Place the coco coir in a hydroponic system and in a sunny spot.
  4. Within a few days, you’ll see your hydroponic fodder start to grow. Once the plants are about 6 inches tall, they’re ready to harvest. It should take about 4 days.
  5. To harvest your hydroponic fodder, cut the plants at the base and feed them to your chickens. They’ll love eating fresh, nutritious hydroponic fodder.

Without growing medium

You can grow fodder hydroponically without a system – on a sieve or a tray.

For sprouting grains or legumes at home – soak them in water overnight and leave them in a sieve, spraying water or gently washing them about once a day. No soil is needed, only seeds and water,

The same works for grain for chicken fodder.

  1. Soak the grains in water overnight, then rinse and drain them. Place them in a sieve or a tray with holes (like aluminum trays) Repeat this process for 3-4 days, or until the grains have sprouted.
  2. The holes should let the water out but keep the grains in.
  3. Place the drained grains in a 2-inch thick layer, and spray or sprinkle water about twice a day. You can add vitamins and liquid food supplements to the water and see if it helps your chickens.
  4. Once the grains have sprouted, they’re ready to feed to your chickens. Give them a handful of fodder per day and watch them enjoy a nutritious, healthy meal.

Common questions about fodder

Why grow hydroponic fodder for chickens?

There are many reasons to grow hydroponic fodder for chickens.

First of all, it’s a great way to provide them with a nutritious diet. hydroponic fodder is packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that chickens need to stay healthy. Additionally, growing your own hydroponic fodder is a great way to save money on chicken feed.

Another benefit of hydroponic fodder is that it can be grown year-round, regardless of the weather outside. So, even if it’s cold and snowy outside, your chickens can still enjoy fresh, nutritious food.

Can chickens eat hydroponic fodder?

Absolutely! It may take them a few days to get used to it, but they tend to love it.

To feed your chickens hydroponic fodder, place it in their food dish. You can also chop up the plants into smaller pieces if you want.

Can fodder replace chicken feed?

While fodder is a great way to supplement a chicken’s diet, it shouldn’t be the only thing they eat. Chickens still need to eat other things, such as chicken feed, for a well-rounded diet.

How much hydroponic fodder per chicken?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it will depend on the size of your chickens and how much they eat. However, a general rule of thumb is to give each chicken about 3.5 oz (100 gr) of hydroponic fodder per day.

These guys wrote about feeding chickens hydroponic fodder and the grower tells about it in that video:

How often should I harvest hydroponic fodder?

The frequency of hydroponic fodder harvesting will depend on how often your chickens eat it. A good rule of thumb is to harvest hydroponic fodder every 4 days and their size should be about 6 inches. This will ensure that the plants remain fresh and nutritious.

How do I store hydroponic fodder?

Once you’ve harvested your hydroponic fodder, it’s important to store it properly. The best way to store hydroponic fodder is to place it in a plastic bag and put it in the fridge. This will keep the hydroponic fodder fresh for up to 2 weeks.


Hydroponic fodder is a great way to provide chickens with a nutritious diet. Not only is hydroponic fodder packed with nutrients, but it’s also very tasty. Chickens will often eat hydroponic fodder before other types of food, but it may take them a few days to get used to it. If you’re looking for a way to save money on chicken feed, hydroponic fodder is a great option.

Picture of Mindy van Orden

Mindy van Orden

I have grown hydroponic plants for decades, in different weathers. I'm a retired financial planner, born in Chicago, spent some time in Spain and Portugal. I currently live in South Carolina.

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