Feed waste, to soak or not soak


In the Brooder
Mar 20, 2021
So my chickens have been on scratch and peck whole grain feeds since a day old and have refused pellets since the beginning. I cannot afford the massive amount of waste they are producing anymore. It’s to the point in which I am going through 50 lbs of feed for 9 birds in a month. NOT GOOD. After reading a post here I had started adding just enough hot water to the feed just before giving it to create an oatmeal consistency. And it seemed that they really liked it. Yes, anything left was discarded at the end of the day. I have dealing with a sick chicken for a few weeks. The vet had me treat her for coccidia but that didn’t help so I’ve been giving her amoxicillin. She’s finally showing signs of improvement but now I’m afraid to feed them soaked grain! I have no idea what was wrong with her and she still isn’t out of the woods. The vet was not helpful and didn’t even want to see her in person. How do you all feed whole grains and not have massive waste? Should I be fearful of soaking? Fermenting for days made me even more nervous so I would only soak overnight or with hot water in the morning. Will feed go bad being wet for 24 hours and cause illness? Thanks for your help.


Apr 29, 2021
I soak my feed overnight and feed first thing the next morning. I use cold water to lessen any chance of bacteria growing if your afraid of that. I haven't had any issues at all.

I have fermented feed as well, it soaks for 3 days, stirring each day. It won't go bad in 3 days, it will smell yeasty and fermented. Perfectly good to feed them! I wouldn't use feed that had soaked for more than 3 days however.


Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Fermenting really is your solution. I have probably less than 1% waste with fermented Scratch & Peck. The company even encourages people to ferment their feed, because if you don't, all the vitamins and protein added to the feed (the powdery fines) go uneaten, and then your birds aren't getting the nutrition they need from the feed.

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