No, no blood in the poop. It seems to have cleared up though. I gave them a break from the FF for a few days then started feeding it again yesterday; no problems so maybe I had a bad batch of FF or something else was going on.
Fermenting Feed for Meat Birds - Page 1733
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My meat chicks are 5 weeks old. When can I add some BOSS to their feed? I'm feeding them start and grow FF. They are getting some size to them. Do any of you change their feed to something else, or do you just feed them the start/grow?
I fed my meat chicks FF starter from day one to 3 weeks then went to FF grower. Butchered them at just over 8 weeks and they turned out excellent.
Ok. I have to go get them some more feed today, so I will look for the grower. I'm going to have them processed at 10 weeks. They are Freedom rangers.
I repurposed a large, clear Rubbermaid kitchen container (30 qt) and it has been working well. The lower-profile, wide opening is great for stirring and dipping feed out with a koolaid pitcher instead of a spoon.
Over the last several weeks, I've noticed that the girls don't seem to care for it. I thought it was bc I switched feeds. But i think it's just not fermenting bc of 1) fast turnover (feeding 2x per day), or 2) drop in night-time temps, or 3) a combination of both. Without rereading all 1700+ pages again, I was hoping someone could offer a suggestion OTHER THAN MOVING IT INTO THE HOUSE. Keeping it inside is NOT an option. However, I have numerous outbuildings (unheated) and access to electric outlets in them, so that may provide an option. If I can't ferment thru the winter, I will have to sell a bunch of chickens. When they all start laying, it may not be as much of an issue, bc I can sell more eggs to offset the feed bill. I'm only getting 6-8 eggs a day right now AND I'm in a rural area so I'm not getting much $ per dz. I also have a bunch of quail I'm hatching and I want to use it for them.
Options I've thought of:
1) using a large cooler for my container and mixing with hot water (would be mixing 2x per day...so adding hot water 2x per day). We have well-water, so I would just use hot tap water.
2) inserting an aquarium heater into my container.....???
3) building a "box" to house my container of FF and heating the box (with a lightbulb or flex watt heat tape or other heat source). Like building a FF incubator...LOL
What does everyone else do in the winter?
ETA : I went back and skimmed pg 120-160 (Sept and Oct of the year this thread started) and found some solutions around pages 144-5. Someone mentioned making an insulated box with lightbulb inside and someone else mentioned wrapping a seedling heat mat around their FF bucket.
Still interested to see what most people do for wintertime, BESIDES keeping it in the house....thanks!
Edited by Gentry1350 - 9/12/15 at 9:11am
I keep mine in the house I get it... not an option for you.
OK, still, I have read on here in the mealworm section about folks who buy low wattage heating pads (like 4 watts?) to keep their mealies warm in the cooler months. Perhaps the insulated box w/light bulb (for air temp) and a low power heat pad under the container (to directly heat the contents)? Also like the hot tap water when mixing (that's what I do as well). Other than that, I don't know...
Could it be that your girls have just slowed down temporarily? Mine do that on occasion (for some unknown reason). Do you free range them? Could they be getting enough food there that they don't need as much ff?
Their usual feed is fermented and has been for a month or two. The container has settled down nicely, and there's enough activity that I can take off some liquid and mess around fermenting other things.
From my understanding bread itself is bad because the glutinous structure of it gums up the gizzard and stomach of birds. They just are not equipped to deal with it.
Now, thinking about it... it's possible that if dried, really dried, like to crouton status, and crumbled, then a small amount (say maybe 10% or less) wouldn't be entirely harmful once added to the feed and fermented. I've never seen a glutinous structure reconstitute from full on toasted status and I've played with breads for many years. The toasting seems to denature the structure of the protein.
It seems like a lot of work for a small increase in feed though. However, if you were just tossing a few things in with other things already in the oven to fully dry/toast them... maybe?
I'm sure someone else will have something more educated to say about this than me. My comments are more related to baking breads than to feeding them.
I have a system I would like you all to critique, I am going to try ferment feed on a commercial scale
A 275 gallon IBC tank with the top cut off, raised up on pallets. Then you add your feed (400 lb. @Max) and water with starter culture, then after 24 hours drain soup out through the 2 inch ball valve that comes on the IBC run this through something to separate the water and feed. Catch water in a 55 gallon drum and Backslop with it. Stir with a canoe paddle. Re-use the water all summer, if the tank get gunky or gross I will spray it out while I have the water drained off. I would like to have feed done every 24 hours
Also would someone mind re-posting the benefits of fermented feed?