Originally Posted by youcluckingatme
Has anyone ever fermented chicken feed . If so how did it go ? Can you use tap water?
This forum has a great thread titled " fermenting feed for meat birds. " I read through most of it this spring. It took weeks!
I did ferment the feed for many months this spring. It was a bit messy (well I'M a bit messy) but I was very happy with the process & results in general. A lot of people reported that doing it in the winter was harder because it slows down the fermentation process, but if you all ready have a good batch going I dont think it would be a bad thing. Also it is reported once fed the wet feed freezes if not eaten immediately.
I used regular tap water, a big glug of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar- with mother, and feed stuffs. I used a scoop of chick starter, then whatever else I had on hand or got the inspiration to buy. I had been given some old food storage wheat, so a bit of that went in most batches, along with some rolled barley, rolled oats, some left over flax seeds, dried peas, BO sun flower seeds. all kinds of stuff. I used to go to Win-Co food bins and buy a little bit of this & that to see what they liked.
I know there is a "protein feed calculator" for figuring out what your end protein percentage is, but I did not bother with it at all. 1/3 of the mix was 21% chick feed, a good mixture of other goodies and they free-range in the yard 12 hours a day, bugs were PLENTIFUL this spring, so I didn't worry about Protein content of the feed. It may be more of an issue in the winter when bugs are less available.
The Vinegar is good for them and good for their digestive tract, as is fermenting in general. I put a fresh glug of AC in every week or so.
I had two small buckets running so I use one while the other aged a bit. I like it pretty well fermented but you can start to use it right away, I kept the mix quite wet, strained it over the bucket while I did my chores, then fed. When most of the solids are out of the first bucket, fill it up move it to the back and use the second bucket. That worked best for me.
The biggest thing I noticed was a decrease in the poop smell. It was notable.
Some people say their eggs produce more females when their birds are fed Fermented Feed. (I dont know about that)
I have nothing to compare it to as this was my first time with ducks, but they grew big, strong, bright eyed and FAST.
If/ When I get chickens I will definitely do it again.
Ducks are WAY too messy with their food to make this a viable option. As they got older most of the feed ended up in the bottom of their water buckets.
I think I located an inexpensive chicken coop ;-) I may be fermenting feed again sooner than later ;-)