Chicks don't like fermented feed?

Grace Brooks

In the Brooder
Apr 6, 2020
35
22
44
Southern California
We tried making fermented feed from scratch and peck chick starter and my chicks wouldn't touch it. I'm not sure if I did something wrong or if they just don't like it. I want them to get the probiotics/benefits, but I guess if they don't want it there's nothing to do. I followed these instructions: fill feed halfway full in large mason jar, covered with a couple inches of filtered water, stir 1-2x/day, add more water as needed, left covered on counter with muslin/rubber band. It smelled pretty unappetizing to me after just a day, and now we are looking at throwing out a large amount of expensive feed. :/
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,649
11,837
712
Nevada County, CA
Aw, man! That's a bummer! My girls love that stuff. It sounds like you're doing everything right. Here's what I do, FWIW. Seems a lil different:

I use half gallon mason jars. I have 8 grown birds, so I use 2 cups of feed. I add enough water to cover and then some. The mixture of feed and water comes to about 4 1/2 cups. I close it up. It sits for 3 days (getting shaken up a few times daily, of course). On the third day, I dump it into a bucket. I think the directions say to drain it, but I don't. I add organic pellet from a local mill to it until it becomes a mash. I add a bit of feather conditioner supplement and feed it to them on plates. It does smell funny, but it's a sweet, yeasty smell. And my flock is super spoiled. I also ferment it with dried marigold (for yolk color) and occasionally add shrimp flakes just before dishing it out.

What you might do is just mix it with regular crumbles and add water so that they don't just pick out bits and they get all the nutritiony stuff (without the fermenting process). Then you can just transition to the new pellets (wet or dry) when the Scratch & Peck is gone. There are powdered probiotics you can add, if you want to try that.
 

cavemanrich

Addict
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
16,813
56,873
1,267
Melrose Park Illinois
Fermented feed is like a religion to many peeps feeding their flocks. I'm not here to start a debate so will leave it at that.
I do not, and choose not to feed fermented feed. Have been keeping chickens over 20 years now, and always fed dry feed. Baby chicks, I did use feed crumbles, and when grown, I switched to pellets.
Just feed your chicks Chick Starter, and everything should go well for you. I leave out all the extra additives, and enhancers out of feed and water.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and :welcome
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,649
11,837
712
Nevada County, CA
Fermented feed is like a religion to many peeps feeding their flocks. I'm not here to start a debate so will leave it at that.
I do not, and choose not to feed fermented feed. Have been keeping chickens over 20 years now, and always fed dry feed. Baby chicks, I did use feed crumbles, and when grown, I switched to pellets.
Just feed your chicks Chick Starter, and everything should go well for you. I leave out all the extra additives, and enhancers out of feed and water.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and :welcome
Well said! Not a religion for me, but my eggs have to be certified organic for sale here at my farmers market. And nice orange yolks are a hit!
 

cavemanrich

Addict
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
16,813
56,873
1,267
Melrose Park Illinois
Well said! Not a religion for me, but my eggs have to be certified organic for sale here at my farmers market. And nice orange yolks are a hit!
I agree with you :thumbsup
A member on our state thread, (Illinois) feeds her chickens and turkeys strictly organic feed. Yes,,, it costs her more cash, VS feed from common feed sources. Sells eggs, and her customers do want the eggs to be organic. She does not ferment.
 

sealer39

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Aug 3, 2013
2,844
20,298
832
Pineville, Louisiana
We tried making fermented feed from scratch and peck chick starter and my chicks wouldn't touch it. I'm not sure if I did something wrong or if they just don't like it. I want them to get the probiotics/benefits, but I guess if they don't want it there's nothing to do. I followed these instructions: fill feed halfway full in large mason jar, covered with a couple inches of filtered water, stir 1-2x/day, add more water as needed, left covered on counter with muslin/rubber band. It smelled pretty unappetizing to me after just a day, and now we are looking at throwing out a large amount of expensive feed. :/
Just try again with a small batch in a week. I had the same issue with week old chicks. They took to it after about two or three weeks.
 

Perris

Still learning
Jan 28, 2018
4,179
18,633
777
Gower, Wales
It smelled pretty unappetizing to me after just a day
yes it does, and some more than others. Ideally it smells yeasty and not unpleasant.
my chicks wouldn't touch it
I suggest that do you don't waste the feed
What you might do is just mix it with regular crumbles
It'd be a real shame to waste all that feed; another thing you could try is sprinkling some dry feed onto the fermented feed, so they see (and eat) the familiar on the top and get accustomed to (and eat) the fermented underneath.
 

Gonzalezfam

Songster
Apr 24, 2020
150
654
156
Washington
We tried making fermented feed from scratch and peck chick starter and my chicks wouldn't touch it. I'm not sure if I did something wrong or if they just don't like it. I want them to get the probiotics/benefits, but I guess if they don't want it there's nothing to do. I followed these instructions: fill feed halfway full in large mason jar, covered with a couple inches of filtered water, stir 1-2x/day, add more water as needed, left covered on counter with muslin/rubber band. It smelled pretty unappetizing to me after just a day, and now we are looking at throwing out a large amount of expensive feed. :/
I don’t feed my chicks fermented, my mom does. When she started she had the same prob so she started giving them dry feed and adding a bit of water, they ate it after a week of wet feed they didn’t tell much difference from the fermented. Hope it helps
 

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