Feeding Fermented Feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by OhioChickenKeeper, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. OhioChickenKeeper

    OhioChickenKeeper In the Brooder

    Jun 20, 2018
    Hello BYC I’m new here but am not new to raising chickens, I was wondering about starting to feed fermented feed. I have 11 chickens right now and I was wondering how much fermented feed I should feed them a day I will be feeding fermented layer pellets with a little bit of scratch grains mixed in
    Smuvers Farm likes this.
  2. Those chickens are your's so do with them as you please but fermented feed IMO is dangerous because of all the wild and dangerous fungi and moulds that can grow in fermenting chicken food.

    This in no way means that feeding wet or socked food is a problem. I feed socked feed myself, especially to my young stuff running on the yard.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
    HuskerHens18 likes this.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I'm in the 'keep it simple, stupid' camp, and feed an all-flock feed crumble right out of the bag, with fresh water and oyster shell separately. No muss, no fuss, and everyone has done fine for over 25 years!
    Chick-N-Fun and chickengeorgeto like this.
  4. I'm with you Mary. But I do like to soak some pellets and scratch in boiling water for 3 or 4 hours until all the water is absorbed then pore it out in the afternoon for my growing birds to eat. Cod liver oil, vitamin and mineral supplements are also added.
  5. Beer can

    Beer can Free Ranging

    Aug 12, 2014
    Upstate NY
    I've been fermenting feed for yrs never saw any mold or fungus. Whether or not is superior to regular food as far as nutrition is debatable but it does add pro-pre-biotics. And IMHO saves on feed, I buy less feed when I ferment feel it in my wallet.
    You can find all the information you need on this thread
  6. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Crowing

    Jul 29, 2013
    Cleveland OH
    Pretty simple;
    Take how much dry feed you feed in a normal day.
    Mix about a weeks worth with enough water to make it like a thick oatmeal. Wait until it's done absorbing (it will expand as it absorbs) and add more water to correct the thickness as needed.
    Feed about 1/7th of it out to your chickens every day and add that much dry and a corresponding amount of water back in.
    Stir aggressively daily.
    Watch for mold, especially when using fresh/scratch grains or other foods that may carry mold spores. (I never had a problem until I tried using alfalfa cubes for example.)
    Bugs may get in. Most people think of this as extra protein but if you don't, some cheesecloth or light screening will keep them out.
    If your chickens are not finishing their FF every day, lower the amount you feed by a tiny bit.

    Also, welcome to BYC form another ohioan!
    Little Jerry Seinfeld likes this.
  7. Aspergillosis and botulism are the two diseases most assoviated with fermented food. Technecally neither aspergillosis or botulism are diseases but they are caused by eating poisons produced when feed or grain becomes wet and certain fungi, molds, or bacteria grow.

    Multiple people advise against feeding feed that has become wet
    but then some of these same people go out of their way to ferment their chickens' food. :th
  8. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    Obviously it's up to each keeper to weigh pros and cons of fermenting, or giving certain treats, adding stuff to water, etc.

    There's a difference between feed that's unintentionally wet and fermented. Feed that gets wet unintentionally (i.e. falls under feeder, you find it days later) is far more likely to mold. Fermented feed should be monitored so that it doesn't develop problems. If my ferment looks or smells off I toss it.

    I feed about 1/3rd cup a day per chicken but that gets eaten immediately in the morning. The rest of the day I offer free choice dry feed.
  9. Perris

    Perris Crowing

    Jan 28, 2018
    Gower, Wales
    I've been offering lightly FF (i.e. soaking grain for a day or two only, then starting afresh with clean everything and a spoonful of natural yogurt mixed in the water to supply good bacteria to start the ferment, using different containers for each batch) for about 6 months now, and my chooks thrive on it, and much prefer it to dry feed - they come running and dance round me when I'm bringing them fresh, morning and afternoon. I wouldn't want to make up and put masses in a feeder and leave it out for days though, as I think that's liable to lead to the sort of scenario chickengeorgeto envisions. They also drink a lot less water on it, so you have reduced risk of dehydration or water-borne diseases etc..
  10. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Crossing the Road Barefoot

    Apr 9, 2013
    Phoenix AZ
    My Coop
    There is a difference between fermented feed and that which became damp and starts to mold.

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