No... but they are looking more like mini chickens now and I am going to go give them a little this morning. We will see what happens!
Feeding Whey - Page 2
I feed two flocks of 25 girls each whey from raw milk that I get from a herd of Holstein cows. I purchased organic whole soft winter wheat that's grown around here (Michigan) . I don't pasteurize the milk because I want to maintain live enzymes in the milk. So as I ripen the milk to 86degrees F then add animal rennet to get my whey. From 4 gal. Of milk I get between 8-10 mason jars of whey. Instead of grinding the wheat I soak it in a 5 gal bucket of 1 qt. whey to about half a bucket of tepid water for 3-4 days. I corresponded with a prof. At university of Ill. And he wrote back that I needed to keep the ph at 4 or below to maintain the available amino acids. Don't worry the bacteria will do all the work for you (if you keep the ambient tempt at around 65-70 degrees F. ). Keep the wheat submerged (it will sink by itself) as your creating a pickling solution with the lactic acid in contrast to acetic acid regular human pickles are made of? Your creating an oxygen free environment. I get the anaerobic and aerobic terminology confused all the time. I made it easier by putting one 5 gal bucket into another. After drilling the top one with small holes that the wheat can't go through (creating a sieve). The water in the bucket will get a sugar like glazing on the top so just leave it alone. You don't want to add air by stirring it. The way I look at it his process is it eliminates grinding and the enzymes going right into my girls gut are helping the digest more plant matter than they would get during the winter in their feed. They eat the whole grain and according to what I've read they eat 10% less and the eggs are supposed be heavier. One thing though is after a few days they seem to be putt off their feed. So I give it to them a couple of time a week. In between (depending on how much whey you have) I use the same sieve system to germinate the wheat in water. They will eat that every day and clean it right up. I think that's a bit of spring in their diet. When I've changed out their water I'll also pour a quart into the waterer without any water initial so it's undiluted. They'll just stand up to the trough and drink continuously until it's gone. 1 Qt. For 25 birds; it'll take them about five or 10 minutes...so they like it straight. I wash my bucket out after each use I just a good rinse with hot water and a tiny bit of dish soap. I've been amazed at the importance of tempts and how easy it is to slip from a spectrum of a desired acid (lactic) versus acetic fermenting. Lactic smells doughie like a bakery. I also utilize a choice feeding program which has gotten my wasted feed down from 40-60% to about 5%. Working out my concentrate recipe was a lot or research and "back engineering" labels and scientific papers to arrive at a palatial mix for my girls. I hope this helps.
Welcome to BYC. You've come to the right place. Check out out threads on Fermenting Feeds. A lot of people use this once or twice a day without leaving out dry feed. What they can eat in 10-15 minutes. The LAB is so good for the chicks. It's good made with kefir or ACV starter. Glad you are doing so well with your birds.
I plan to give my chickens whey from home-cheesemaking from time to time and have a few questions from those of you that may do the same. (From organic, raw milk.)
-What is the best way to feed: Plain whey? Mixed with feed?
-At what age can they have whey? (Is calcium level an issue when young?)
-How much can they have? (If I give free-choice, will they eat too much if I put out a lot?)
My granny used to do this quite often and she just set out a pan and let them do what they wanted with it..it never went to waste. They loved it and would readily drink it until it was gone. If you have large quantities it would be more easily consumed if mixed with feed. It doesn't matter what age...it would greatly benefit chicks. They are growing young animals with bone development needs just like any other young animal and that natural source of calcium is not going to hurt them~it can't have more calcium than some grasses, bugs and worms.
I love when I google a question I have for my chickens, I always end up back here at BYC....might be an old thread, but relevant to what I needed to know! I've been making greek yogurt and could only handle putting a bit of whey into my morning smoothies...needed to get rid of the rest! My two ladies love it....
They also liked the kefir I gave them when I spilled it LOL