Chicken Beer

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by CalgaryFarmer, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. I have read a number of articles about fermented chicken feed. There seems to be two varieties, a lactose type and a alcohol type. I have not read the articles closely but the way they are produced does not seem too sanitary, leaving them open to natural yeast or whaterver happens too floats into the stew to ferment. Now, a number of Belgian beers are made exactly this way, the 14th century Monks opening up the roof of the brewery to let the lambic yeast float into the brew to ferment the beer. So it can work.

    Anyways I am going to go with my "I won't feed my chickens what I wouldn't eat myself" atitude and produce a chicken beer that I would eat myself.

    This will be a bit of a journey as we perfect this.
  2. Now, when I say chicken beer I really mean chicken scratch that has been fermented in the same way as beer is made. Likely crumbles can be brewed the same way.
  3. Now, I have gone through this once. But while doing so, I have read a lot.

    I did my first batch over a weekend. Two weeks or more are probably necessary to do this properly, So obviousy there were short-commings. However, a bit of cheating can over-come some of those short-commings.
  4. The other issue that will probably come up is why and is this healthy for the chickens. I understand that fermented animal feed is quite common in the farming industry. That said, if you want to discuss this aspect feel free to do so but I really have no stance on the issue but I will read any comments made.
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    FYI, I think you meant lactic acid vs alcohol. You said lactose vs alcohol. Lactic acid is produced in this case by fermentation. Lactose is a type of sugar in milk. You can find lactic acid producing bacteria nearly in or on any plant material and some animal products, such as the whey in milk. But you won't find lactose anywhere but milk.

    You are correct about the lambic beers. But they have to work a bit harder to make sure their brews produce more alcohol than lactic acid. In these such wild fermentations, lactic acid is quite easy to produce. Lambic beers have a stronger ratio of lactic acid to alcohol than modern beers, which gives them their unique more sour taste.

    Just smell your fermented feed. It should have a predominantly sour odor. If it smells predominantly alcoholic or like beer, it's your call. I have a couple times fed mildly beerish feed to my chickens without ill effect, mind you this fermented feed was perhaps only 25% of their daily feed intake. I don't feed 100% fermented feed.

    Look up some of Sandor Katz's writings or videos, such as his book, "Wild Fermentation". It's about things like making sauerkraut, sourdough bread and beer. He does a very good job helping folks get over their fear of fermenting things. It's really quite safe, you just need a few pointers. On that note, I've fermented a lot of things in the last 6 years. I've rarely had one truly go bad, one that would have probably made me sick if I drank or ate it. I think it has happened perhaps once or twice out of the couple hundreds of ferments I've made.

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