FERMENTED FEEDS...anyone using them? - Page 628
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My chickens go cuckoo for corn. Maybe you could try topping off the FF with something they really go for. If that works, they'll have to dip their beaks in in order to get to what they like and at some point, they'll get a taste of the FF. They may still hate it. Maybe it's unfamiliar to their sight, too. You've got nothing to lose by trying. If they like BOSS, sprinkle some of those babies on top! I have a parrot that goes to the other side of her cage if I put something unfamiliar in there!
Just a note for anyone looking at buckets for fermented feed.
I went to the bakery at the grocery store and got some empty frosting buckets for free. Food grade plastic and has a lid. I drilled a lot of small holes in the lid (1/8th inch drill bit). It works really well and hold more than enough for my 32 hens 4 feedings worth in one bucket. I usually only get it about 1/2 full so 2 good feedings worth.
The only thing better then cheap is free.
Here are two buckets. They are about 6 inches across, and maybe 5 down. The lid is pressed on, but not snapped down.
Here is some lovely gunk. I'd say there's a bit over a litre of feed in there? Normally I don't separate the top and bottom buckets, but --
The top bucket only needs a few holes for the water to get in and out.
Once the mix really gets going, it seems to thin out and release the water previously absorbed. Kind of reminds me of a roux cooking from light to dark. It's a little wet in this pic, so I tossed a small handful of dry pellets in and stirred it around.
Here are some chickens. They're about 24 weeks old now and have been on fermented feed since they were about 6 weeks old. Their feathers look like they've been painted on, which might or might not show in the photos.
Edited by Sutremaine - 11/18/15 at 4:48pm
Pardon my ignorance but how do the hens get the feed? Do you hang the bucket and use the chicken nipples? I would think they'd plug up but again, what do I know? But I've learned so much not only from this thread but the site itself.
I use gallon plastic ice cream containers with lids for the mixture. With starter and grower, I mixed equal parts of water and feed. The layer crumbles require a little more water. If your layer feed has animal protein in it, the mixture is going to stink. The time required for fermentation is directly proportional to the temperature. I keep my mixture in an attached garage. It will probably take 3 days for the mixture to ferment, unless you keep it really warm. You need to stir the mixture 2 or 3 times a day. We only have 10 hens. I mix up 1-1/2 cottage cheese containers of dry feed each day. I don't necessarily feed quite that much each day. Back in the summer I could mix extra and save some of the fermented feed for starter and the starter would cause the whole mixture to ferment in roughly 24 hours. Again, depending on temperature, you may have to keep 3 different age batches going.