Originally Posted by Leigti
I understand what you're saying about the moisture being built in. I feed my dog and cat and my tortoises raw food instead of processed food. So it just makes sense for my chickens also. I have lost a dog and a cat to kidney failure, granted they were 17 and 14 years old but still.
I definitely like the idea of one container. I read somewhere that you could keep it going in definitely, I'm not sure I could do that but it makes me feel that it is safe to do it for a while anyway.
Do your chickens free range? I think that may be a reason why my chickens won't eat it so far.
My chickens have a new large pen they haven't decimated of grass yet, but I think something else is going on with your flock -- either your fermentation process, its texture, or the feed you are using. It really is simple to keep one FF crock going. I'm sure mine is not as strongly fermented as the hard-core folks, but it bubbles and forms a gray-white film overnight. The chickens mostly clean up their morning and eve. feedings in about 5 minutes, and I feed other whole grains on the ground during the day, ample oats and sunflower seeds, plus as much veggie / fruit matter as I can turn up. I do have high turnover in my FF crock, with sometimes only a cup or two left to feed the next batch, so I'm not worried about bad bacteria. I feed in a big lasagna pan, a big clay planter drain tray, on a flat plastic dish drainer liner, and simply dollop scoops of FF on numerous large limestone slabs in my run.
I'd start with a quality dry feed they really like and just moisten that a bit, to get them happy with the texture, then start in gradually with increasing degrees of fermentation. I know my birds won't touch crumbles, and I think it's just the unfamiliarity of the form. It's about the only thing they won't eat!
The pleasure of eating really good feed is one gift we can give our animals. And chickens are especially so easy to please! The joy of a day-old apple core, the half-eaten stale bag of popcorn from Rural King, the core left from last night's head of cauliflower -- it's all thrillingly good if you're a chicken. However you choose to feed, I'd just make sure they really look forward to and relish their food. It makes for happy, healthy long-lived animals.
Edited by allpeepedout - 11/10/15 at 6:38am