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Fermenting or probiotics???

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'm wondering if giving quail probiotics would be effective if you aren't able to ferment food for them because you have over 100 birds and they don't get fed individually?  Has anyone tried probiotics with their birds?  Can you tell me if they were effective?  Does anyone ferment food for quail on a large scale?  If so how do you do this?   My concern is keeping the feed from spoiling if I don't feed it to individual birds.

 

Thank You,

SuseyQ

post #2 of 7

I'm not sure what the issue is about feeding larger numbers of quail fermented food?  I have around 40 quail at any one time.  I have 8 quail in my largest enclosures and just put enough food for them so they have a small amount left by the next day. The birds that are housed together all eat from the same feeder.  It really wouldn't matter how many you have housed together as long as all of them can have access to the feed after the dominate birds eat (though mine tend to all eat at the same time regardless of pecking order).  The nature of fermented food is such that even if you have to leave it with them for two days it will not spoil because it's fermented.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Sill,

From what I've seen people use individual bowls for fermented feed, not feeders, is this correct?  How long do you ferment the feed for?  I like the idea of saving money on feed for sure and I'm definitely considering this, but haven't figured out the right process.  I'll have about 80 birds.  How much fermented feed would you say one quail eats per day?  I have used fermented food myself, although I used the anaerobic process, the aerobic process is much simpler.  Any suggestions for the best way to do it with 80 birds in about 12 cages?  Also do you start feeding the fermented food to chicks as well?  What would you do in the winter if your home is only 60? 

 

Thank You,

SuseyQ

post #4 of 7

I just use plastic trough type chick feeders for each cage.  Never use galvanized feeders for fermented food, the acids can leach zinc!  The wet clumping nature of the fermented feed prevents wasted food, something quail are notorious for!  I mix a bit of older FF with each new batch so it's inoculated with the good bacteria.  When it's colder just use more of the older FF to jump start it.  I just keep a running batch and add to it unless it gets funky in smell or mold growing on top.  I do add kefir or yogurt to the FF a few times a week. Just start doing it the way you want and develop your own system.  Everyone has their own way of doing FF and their system will work for them with tweaking it now and then to suit number of birds you have at the time and the type of feed you use. Start with what you think they will eat in a day and adjust it as you see how it works.  It can vary with how wet your feed is, whether your hens are actively laying, and cold weather. These can make them eat more than their opposite conditions. 

 

Yes I start chicks out on it.  I give chicks both dry and FF but they greatly prefer the FF and the dry is just the back up if they eat all the FF before I can refill their feeder.  The dry food can sit for a week without being touched.

 

Experiment, see what works for you.  You don't even have to start them all out on it.  Try just one or two groups so you can see the amounts they eat and what you need to serve to them.  Then you can multiply that my your number of birds. I'd love to hear about your results!

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Sill,

Thanks for the insight.  I'll have to see what I can do to get this to work.

SuseyQ

post #6 of 7

I feed mine FF and I start right from day 1.  I've found they like it much better and they waste less and you also feed less, so it's a huge savings.  I use the 28 hole feeder trays when they're young and plastic down spout with one side cut off when they're older.  I give them a 2x2" hole to stick their heads though.

 

I started it with ACV with the mother and some mead yeast that I had just racked off of.  I just add more every few days in the bucket.  To feed I scoop some out and into a colander that's in a bowl and let it drain.  I will eventually go to a 2 bucket system, but I haven't had time yet and this has been working for me just fine.

 

My only concern is my winters outside.  I may have to stop feeding it or feed it twice a day, though twice a day would probably work just fine.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

EmTy,

So you actually do yours in a plastic bucket.  That seems like an appropriate size to me.  I love the idea of saving feed and also feeding the quail something beneficial.  I've heard of the two bucket system so I think that's what I'll try.  It seems a tad less messy.  Right now I only have the gravity feeders so I'm not quite sure how I'll handle this.  I know I've determined ways to cut down on feed in general, but this will help even more.  It seems like you'd have to clean the feed containers more frequently since you are introducing moisture.    Lot's to think about.

 

Thank You,

SuseyQ

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