Dry or wet pellets?

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by KayTee, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2012
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    I am confused (and a bit concerned) about the wet mash I have been feeding my girls recently.

    When I first started keeping chickens I gave them free access to dry layer pellets. They didn't eat a lot, but as they free-range in a 1000m² garden (for 8 chickens) I assumed that was normal, as they have quite a lot to eat in the environment. However, when one of my girls was sick recently I made a wet mash with the pellets and hot water, in the hope that it would tempt her to eat a bit more. It did, but what amazed me was how much the other girls loved it too!

    I therefore decided to keep offering them mash each day, as that way I can be certain that they are getting more of a balanced diet, with free ranging to top up what they eat. They still have access to dry pellets, which they also eat from time to time, but they are very happy with the warm mash.

    My problem is that I make the mash each morning when I let them out. Some days they eat it all quite quickly and are happy to have more in the late afternoon, whilst on other days they leave quite a lot (they must find more bugs around and be less hungry!), so I have left over wet mash.

    I know that if feed pellets get damp then they go mouldy within a couple of days so I always clean up any spilled pellets, to avoid my girls eating mouldy food, but I am worried about the fact that when I have leftover mash I tend to give it to them first thing the following morning, as I hate to waste food of any sort. It disappears within an hour or two, but by then it is over 24 hours old. I read on a BYC thread that some people recommend throwing away any wet mash that is not eaten within an hour or two, to avoid possible mould contamination! Is this being over-cautious, or am I risking my girls' health by feeding them wet mash that is over 24 hours old?


    (Edited for spelling mistakes and clarity!)
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  2. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do a search on fermented feed.

    Lots of good information.
     
  3. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The threads on fermented feed are what worried me!

    I read on the threads that anaerobic fermentation of any feed is good, but that once air gets to it (ie: like wet mash in a feeder bowl) you need to throw everything away or use it immediately. One person said she only puts wet mash out for an hour, then disposes of it to avoid bacteria developing. That made me think that 24 hours may be way too long for me to be leaving mash out in the air. Either she is being over cautious with her feed, or I am taking a huge risk with mine, but I don't know which!
     
  4. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not that I'm aware of.

    Many do not submerge the feed even when fermenting.

    I believe once fermented, the PH inhibits the bad bacteria.

    I have been feeding fermented feed in the same unwashed bowl for over a year without issues.

    The feed is never really cleaned out, just replenished.
     
  5. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info - I thought that I was probably worrying for nothing!
     
  6. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Please keep in mind that there is a difference between wet and fermented mash.

    Once fermented, the mash will somewhat inhibit the bad mold from establishing.

    Try using a larger container, submerge the mash in water.

    Feed as usual but leave some water and mash in the container.

    Refill what was removed daily, food and water.

    In 3 or 4 days, you will have a fermentation.
     
  7. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the advice Ron, I'll give it a try. [​IMG]
     

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