3 Questions on Fermenting Feed

WindingRoad

Crowing
Nov 21, 2018
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#1. Can I use Nutrena 18% pellets and scratch.

#2. I read lid not on tight and then I read lid on tight. Which is it?

# 3 Can I put meal worms in the fermentation bucket or on top?

And any other advise you might have on the subject. Thanks.
 

Sally PB

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#1. Can I use Nutrena 18% pellets and scratch.
I believe so, but I've never used it.
#2. I read lid not on tight and then I read lid on tight. Which is it?
Fermentation creates gas, so if the lid is on air tight, the bucket could explode, or at least break at its weakest point. So, not on tight.
# 3 Can I put meal worms in the fermentation bucket or on top?
I would just put them on top of the feed when you give it to the chickens. But mealworms should be given only as a treat. Fermented feed is quite a "treat" to a lot of chickens!
 

WindingRoad

Crowing
Nov 21, 2018
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I believe so, but I've never used it.

Fermentation creates gas, so if the lid is on air tight, the bucket could explode, or at least break at its weakest point. So, not on tight.

I would just put them on top of the feed when you give it to the chickens. But mealworms should be given only as a treat. Fermented feed is quite a "treat" to a lot of chickens!
What do you use for feed. I consider meal worms part of their feed because of the high protein content.
 

Sally PB

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I feed a 20% all flock feed because I have pullets and a cockerel. That way if/when I give them treats, they still get plenty of protein. I aim for no more than 10% of their food being treats, even if the treats are considered to be healthy. (As opposed to "junk food" treats that are just for fun, like bread.)
 

WindingRoad

Crowing
Nov 21, 2018
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Maine
I feed a 20% all flock feed because I have pullets and a cockerel. That way if/when I give them treats, they still get plenty of protein. I aim for no more than 10% of their food being treats, even if the treats are considered to be healthy. (As opposed to "junk food" treats that are just for fun, like bread.)
I feed 18% pellets all year round. I was thinking of feeding FF to get rid of rats. They can't fling FF out of a feeder and they eat at set times and then take it up. The rats I had last summer would stand on their hind legs and feed out of a feeder right along with the birds. EEEEEEEE. So tell me, what should I use for feed to ferment?
 

Sally PB

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I think your 18% would work fine. Probably any feed would have the necessary ingredients to ferment. (A lot of different things will ferment: grain, vegetables, fruit. The necessary sugars are present to feed the yeast that does the job of fermentation.)

There are "treadle" feeders that are designed specifically to defeat rats and other vermin. Have you looked into those? They aren't cheap, but they do the job.
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
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When I solely fed fermented, I used Scratch & Peck grower. But any feed works, really.

I used large glass jars with the lids just kind of set on top. I'd screw them on when I shook them up and loosen them again afterwards.

I've also read that you need to let tap water set for a say or so before using it to allow dissipation of any chlorine that messes with the fermentation process.

My birds LOVE it, but it is time consuming. I only feed it 2-3x per week now. I feed it to them on pie plates. I only give them what they will eat right away because you don't want it to get moldy. They eat pellet free choice the remainder of the day.

(edited for typos)
 
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Sally PB

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This is from a thread about this very thing:

There is only one rat proof feeder. A lot of companies on Amazon are using the words in the description for their plastic feeders. But for a feeder to be truly rat proof you need three things, a narrow and distant treadle, a spring loaded door to prevent rats from pushing the door open or lifting the door if it is a guillotine style feeder, and you need a heavy counterweight to provide additional mass to prevent the door from being pushed open.

This member makes rat proof feeders. I don't have one, as I am blessed with a lack of rat problems. But if I needed one, this is the one I would buy.

http://ratproofchickenfeeder.com/
 

rosemarythyme

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Jul 3, 2016
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1) You can ferment pretty much any feed as far as I know (maybe not medicated, I'm not sure).

2) Definitely do NOT put a tight lid on it. It needs to breathe and more than that, fermenting produces a lot of gas that can literally explode a jar/container (someone last year said their jar exploded and flung feed 20' across the room). I don't use a lid at all 99% of the time. If I have fruit flies in the summer I rest cheesecloth or a loose weave towel over the jar.

3) I wouldn't put mealworms IN the ferment (they'll absorb water and then get all soft and pale and mushy) but if you want to sprinkle some on top right before serving, that should be ok.
 

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