Mine love it, and its lactic acid and bacteria culture is super healthy for them and YOU.
I make it a gallon at a time:
Buy a quart of buttermilk, pour it into a large container with a gallon of milk. Let the five quarts sit at room temperature for 24 hours, stirring occasionally, and you'll have five quarts. Save a quart to use with another gallon of milk later.
BTW, buttermilk will keep for a very long time in the refrigerator.
ETA Store in a glass container(s).
MAKE INEXPENSIVE YOGURT THE EASY WAY (based on directions from Miss Prissy on the Backyard Chickens forum)
Joe D. Bryant
You will need:
A small plastic, insulated cooler that will hold:
4 one-quart jars/lids for yogurt/milk OR 2 half-gallon jars/lids for yogurt milk
2 more quart jars to be filled with boiling water
A very large pan to first boil water and then heat milk to 185* F.
One gallon of milk (1% to 4%)
One cup (or two heaping tablespoonsful per quart if not making a whole gallon) of PLAIN yogurt with live culture no flavor no fruit Stonyfield Farms Organic plain yogurt OR Traders Point Creamery plain yogurt are both excellent and are sold by Marsh and other large chain stores for $5 quart.
I used an Igloo 26-quart cooler that K-Mart sells for about $20.
After the large pan of water is boiling, dip all the jars/lids in for several seconds to sterilize everything.
Pour the large pan of boiling water into the cooler and into two quart jars. Put the lids on the jars loosely. Close the coolers lid with the two jars filled and the rest of the boiling water in the bottom of the cooler.
Set the cooler aside to heat up and proceed to make the yogurt:
After cooling the large pan, use it again to heat one gallon of milk to 185 degrees (I used Anne's meat thermometer because I couldn't find a "candy" thermometer in two stores). Place the hot milk pan in a sink filled with ice water and let it cool to 115 degrees (took about five minutes with ice on outside of pan). Stir in one cup of plain yogurt into the 115* F milk. After mixing well, pour the milk into the four sterilized one-quart glass jars or two half-gallon jars and put on the lids (not tight).
Go back to the cooler, set the two quarts of hot water aside for a moment and empty the hot water out of the bottom of the cooler. Set the jars of warm milk/yogurt mix into the cooler with the two jars of boiling water and close the lid.
After ten to twelve hours, take out the bottles of milk (finished yogurt) and put them in the refrigerator to cool.
For the cost of a gallon of milk, you have four quarts of yogurt that are identical to the cup of expensive plain yogurt that you bought. Save a cup of your new yogurt to make another gallon when this one is almost gone.
yep it is great for the girls and is a natural de-wormer of sorts. I blend it up (in blender) with raw fresh pumpkin seeds and feed the mash to everyone as a food supliment to deworm them each season. I also give it raw to the birds on a monthly basis when pumpkins are not in season as a boost.
I'm making yogurt for years now, and use an even easier "method":
- wash your hands really well - you will use your finger as the thermometer
- in a large pan, warm a gallon of milk to the right temperature - stirr constantly so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan
- the right temperature is when you put your finger and count to ten and you can hardly keep it in the milk - about 7 min
- add the cup of plain yogurt and stir well
- cover the pan and put it in the oven with the oven light on, for about 4 h or up to 12
- you have yogurt!!!
try this also for a nice bread/cracker spread:
- pass the yogurt through cheesecloth - leave it overnight so all the liquid strains out
- you now have 'yogurt milk' - labneh.
- season it to taste:
- olive oil+salt+black pepper
or jut be creative and add cucumbers, anything you like!
GoChick, next time you make yogurt your way, please use a thermometer just one time to get the temps of the milk and the oven with the light on. Different tolerances and ovens ya know. I'd like to try your way, and I would appreciate your PMing the temperatures.