- On March 9, 2014
- 1 Comments
It’s the automated fodder system.
I’ve been anxiously looking forward to the day I can turn the fussy business of daily watering the sprouting seeds over to machines.
If you’ll remember, previously, I hand watered the pans of seeds in the utility sink every day, but at only one pan at a time, that job got pretty tedious. Two coops of chickens and two cages of rabbits need several pans of fodder a day. And now, we have the captive ducks who also need the supplement of good greens in their diet.
So I’ve upped the game significantly. I got a great shelf unit on Craig’s List that will hold 15 pans of sprouting grains–3 per day will be started and 3 per day will be ready to feed. I just keep starting new seeds each day and slipping them into the rotation, to keep a continuous supply of fodder for the birds and bunnies.
The theory is simple. Pump water from a reservoir up to the top level of pans, which are slightly tilted, and have holes in them at the bottom end. The water runs through the seeds in that pan, and drains down to the next level of pans, and the process repeats over and over, till the water finally ends up in the reservoir again. A timer runs the pump. I set it to run four times a day for three minutes each time. This may need adjustment — time will tell. Every video I watch on YouTube has a slightly different schedule, each suited to its own situation, so we’ll see how we do. This whole contraption only takes up three square feet of floor space.
I found some PVC pipes laying around, already cut, so I taped them to each shelf (alternating on the fronts and backs of the shelves) to tilt the pans. I used two T-connections in the water hose to get flow to all three pans on the top level. This will also need testing. I am not a plumber. Hydrology is outside my realm of experience, so it’s all trial and error at this point. Timers, pumps, tubing, rain. It could be epic.
If all goes well, and I really get a lot of nice green feed out this Swiss time piece, I’ll feel like a mechanical genius. Many thanks to the actual geniuses who worked this all out for me, and shared their invention. The timer is set to start the pump at 8 PM tonight. Say a little prayer for me…