Fermented Alfalfa Cubes How To

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mobius, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Fermenting alfalfa cubes is done just the same as with fermenting chicken feed. If you want a faster start with the cubes, add a little of the fluid from the fermented feed. I take 4-5 alfalfa cubes to a 2 quart glass container and fill about 3/4 with water to start with ( don't fill completely, because it has run over onto counter...[​IMG]) then add a little of the fermented fluid ( 1/8 cup to max 1/4 cup to give you an idea), stir and leave at least overnight. It will break down on its own. Stir in the morning and if you added some starter (not ACV, I don't think that is necessary) it might be ready overnight but at least in 2-3 days for first batch.

    The alfalfa ferment replaces the nice green grass and other plants that they can't get foraging during the winter...how much do they miss that?

    OR if your run is devoid of green plants and you want them to have a steady supply of greens...think about fermenting alfalfa as an alternative. i will be doing "salad bars" in the spring but we are not near that in the cold upper climes even now...

    You can add a little unflavored yogurt or buttermilk to hasten the culture, which I do with leftovers like that plus I rinse out milk containers and add that water...the lactobacillus is ALL good...every last drop right? It will work any of the ways I have mentioned.

    Some of my chickens will go for this before they eat the FF....

    Lots of chickens apparently find the dried cubes a bit hard to peck (they are SO compressed) you get a big bang for your buck with those bags of cubes...my chickens are like "Mommie! Ferment those cubes! We are working too hard here!"

    I backslop the alfalfa cubes just like I do with the FF...2-3 cubes every 2-3 days and nearly fill with water, stir once a day...it expands just like the feed....hope that helps! I don't submerge... doesn't need to be, don't worry about it, the cubes will fill with water and separate and it is all a nice green wet mess...

    Remember I am doing this for only six chix so YMMV.

    I should add this: one more benefit of the cubes...people are concerned about feeding hay or alfafa bales to chickens because of long grasses getting stuck in their crop. Well. The cubes I have are chopped chopped chopped to one inch or less...no long stringy stuff to impact crops. It is as if you took fine chopped parsley...and fed them that...so one less worry about the green stuff! Yay!

    Bag of alfalfa cubes cost me $10 for 40 pounds at the feed store.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  2. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I need to look into that since we have winter 75% of the year in Canada [​IMG],
    I'd like to ferment something other than their feed, thanks great idea!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you and let us know how it goes....feels like 75% of the year here too!
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I have been doing it both ways. Fermented is consumed faster and possibly more completely. The dry form straight from bag does appear to be consumed well enough as time is usually not limiting when comes to feed intake, especially when balance of diet is very easy to consume balanced feed. My free-range birds only seem to have interest in it when feed also mixed in.
     
  5. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks @centrarchid for weighing in there What I hear you saying is that fed dry or fermented, it is all good!

    Mine have grown used to it separated and fermented and eat it all gone. It might go well either way!

    But don't you think the fermented increases bioavailabliity of nutrients? Just asking your opinion....

    Birds, they silly...
     
  6. burkechicken

    burkechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    This sounds great think I will give it a try. How many cubes for 11 hens?
     
  7. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would just double the recipe and use a gallon or larger bucket or jar...why not start with 11 cubes?
     
  8. burkechicken

    burkechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 8, 2017
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    Sounds good thanks
     
  9. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls BYC Fan Premium Member Project Manager

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    I bought a 50 lbs bag today for 17.50
    (Houston, TX)

    I will start some fermenting tonight.
    Thank you.
     
  10. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Very interested to hear about your experience and thoughts!
     

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