Fermented Feed and hard feces??????

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Blosing101, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. Blosing101

    Blosing101 Out Of The Brooder

    79
    0
    46
    Jul 22, 2016
    Saint James Missouri
    I heard that feeding FF will help your chickens have firmer feces. I have noticed that some are still a little runny, is that okay????
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,241
    819
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    After being around chickens almost 70 years and growing up for my first decade helping my gramps in a 1 man, 1 woman, and 1 boy chicken-farm-slaughter house processing plant and later in life after doing many necropsies on expired poultry, I can not for the life of me understand how feeding a sloppy ration will in anyway firm up a chicken's bowls, when just the opposite is the likely result of feeding a fermented ration.

    A chickens' food first goes to its stomach (crop) where it is hydrated and acted on by digestive juices, then the food is handed off to the birds' gizzard where it is ground up or chewed and finally the food goes through a rather elementary and did I mention short stomach and intestinal track. So this knowledge about FF sounds sorta suspect on the face of it.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

    18,369
    5,336
    496
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    Yes.
     
  4. Blosing101

    Blosing101 Out Of The Brooder

    79
    0
    46
    Jul 22, 2016
    Saint James Missouri
    I thinking about going back to just "dry" food.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,497
    2,160
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri


    Try adding BOSS to the diet. Any kind of indigestible fiber with give desired change. You could add clay to the FF to firm up feces. I did that as an experiment last winter. Feces will have more bulk at time of excretion and will main shape upon drying.
     
  6. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,965
    290
    148
    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO

    Simple, it's not the water content. A chicken fed a dry feed will drink enough water to make up the difference in feed consistency anyway--one of the first things I noticed when I started feeding FF was that I wasn't refilling the waterer several times a day anymore.

    Two reasons why FF may improve fecal character: 1) the probiotic content and 2) the improved digestibility. The constant infusion of beneficial microorganisms results in a healthier gut with higher immunocompentence, which will not only improve digestion through the microbial action but also the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream (less inflammation --> longer intestinal villi --> increased surface area for resorption). If more of the food is getting digested/absorbed, then there is less indigestible matter to keep water from being absorbed in the colon (less osmotic load).

    That being said, I haven't personally noticed that my flock's feces are any firmer. I *have* noticed that it does have less of an odor overall conpared to when I was feeding dry feed.

    -------

    This being said, am wondering if the OP may be seeing cecal poops? Which are always going to be watery and nasty no matter what you feed.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,497
    2,160
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri





    My day job frequently involves feeding animals a range of feed formulations, usually to explore requirements for a particular nutrient. Sometimes in those studies and others where non-nutritive bulk is more of interest, the levels of fiber are varied greatly. A common theme is that the more digestible a food is, the less that actually comes out of the animals back end. In most instances, unless the residual is dominated by fiber or something else inert (i.e. mineral such as clay) in the digest tract, the feces is smaller and decidedly mushy. REASON 2 is very much incorrect.


    The burden is on the FF proponents to back up some of this stuff with come sort of research findings, otherwise you are firmly in the realm shared by DE as a deworming agent.
     
  8. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,965
    290
    148
    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO

    The bowel habits of animals and how to manage them are also a big part of my day job. :)

    True, I should have specified improved digestibility AND absorption. If the ingesta is broken down into more basic components, yet remains in the gut, the osmotic load actually increases. This is where the increases villous length comes into play--the increased immunocompentence of the gut has a net effect of preventing the blunting of the villi (mostly by decreasing the need for inflammatory responses and the subsequent collateral damage). Longer villi means more surface area for absorption which means that the osmotic load can decrease by the mechanism that you yourself state--i.e. that the remainder be composed mostly of fiber/mineral.

    Here's the thing. Based on the research that does exist, you can't expect the character of the stool to change quickly at all. It takes quite some time (months) to reap the physical benefits of feeding a wet fermented feed (the cost savings are more immediate). I honestly do not know if the fecal character would improve...my chickens get time to range as well as get fresh fruits/veg/mealworms/etc. as treats and any of those things would also affect things. I was just offering some mechanisms by which it could conceivably occur. Other things can certainly improve stool quality--insoluble fiber as you have said (although this also can be used as a stool softener, e.g. Miralax), soluble fiber (e.g. pectin), clay (kaolin)--although these also have the drawback of increasing stool volume, which is generally undesirable as well unless you have a market for your manure.

    Okay, because I did do my due diligence before deciding to go with FF for my flock, here's all that PubMed has to offer regarding the effects of feeding a wet fermented feed to chickens: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Wet+fermented+feed+chicken I did do some sideways sort of searches by investigating the effects of supplementing chickens with the products of the ferment including probiotics, lactic acid, B-vitamins, etc. and so forth.

    The only way DE helps with worms is by firming up the stool to physically push some of the parasites out...which now that I think of it, may be why it got its reputation assuming the worms are visible to the naked eye. I prefer instead to bolster the gut immunity of the chicken (with FF, hot peppers and oregano--citation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16684147 ) and if there is a problem, have the stool tested and treat specifically.
     
  9. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,241
    819
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    I will leave Jen. & Cen. to hash out the bathroom habits of animals but what I am interested in is how the hydrochloric acid in a chickens' glandier stomach can tell the difference between the good bacteria and the bad bacteria?

    At the end of the day a chickens' digestive juices will largely if not completely kill all living organisms.

    This is before the effects of vinegar in the food and water is factored into its effect on fermentation.

    As for the lesser ammonia odor in chicken manure from fowl fed Fermented Feed, that reduction is largely the result of a decreased amount of protein because the fermenting organisms mainly consume protein otherwise known as Nitrogen in the process of performing fermentation.

    here is a short explanation of the properties of Nitrogen and its relationship to Ammonia and Nitrogen's importance as a protein source in food.
    .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonia

    I don't want or expect anyone to take my word for any of this but I do hope that you do your own research on the subject by reading what the various USDA or Land Grant universities has to say on the subject of fermenting chicken feed as opposed to say fermenting silage to serve as a food source for bovine animals who do their own fermentation in order to break down mega doses of fiber.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,497
    2,160
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    The digestibility of the FF and performance impacts relative to the mash from which it is derived are reasons to use it. Those points are well supported in the papers you linked (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Wet+fermented+feed+chicken). That it relative to the mash from which it is derived. I have used FF based on mash in the past and readily employ it with birds I am trying get to eat more feed for short periods of time. The FF process is yet another management concern and quite frankly it is heavy to pack around and disperse to as many as fifty pens. It is also an exceptional attractant for animals like opossums and raccoons where such animals will visit even shed to get at it. Another problem is I like to put feed directly in ground. The FF approach would be more practical in my setting if birds where more confined and some sort of feed bowl where employed for all. Additionally, I generally stay away from mash where I have concerns about how it overloads the the chickens GIT, especially with respect to the highly ground mass present in the crop even before the gizzard gets a chance to grind. It is easier for the birds to over eat as nutrient density is much higher and processing time is much shorter. I do not see how the fermentation of mash will counter that. Birds I have in the best health consume a fiber rich, cellulose / chitin (latter from insects mostly), diet that is decidedly of coarse particulates they acquire by free-range foraging. When supplementing the free-range forages I use intact grains. When you look at such fare in the crop and compare it to the industry standard mashes, you will see the chicken GIT is dealing with two very different situations with mash / FF form of mash being decidedly different from what the chicken is likely designed to take advantage of. Natural food items are easy to ID based on appearance right up until the gizzard gets involved. I do use soaked oats (intact grain) which is in its latter stages a form of fermented feed. Soaked oats is a more palatable presentation that is particularly helpful as a method for providing water and additional energy to my birds when liquid water is available to chickens for only an hour or so after water bowls are filled such during coldest parts of winter. Most of my birds are penned in a field or barn with not supplemental heat.


    The OP's interest is in the characteristics of the stool or the turd component. The "fiber" sources can impact turd quality as a function of the type and amount of fiber. Generally, the more fiber added to the diet the firmer the turd. Fibers I have worked with that do impact feces in this matter include dried beet pulp, powdered cellulose, carboxy-methyl-cellulose, BOSS shells, and kaolin (commercial clay). All pass through gut with minimal processing, with probable exception of fiber spending time in the cecum. The resultant turd holds form better providing a larger surface area for balance of stool to adhere. That is what promotes what the OP desires in feces that is easy and less messy to work with. Some of the fibers (sugars for some reason or another not readily digested / absorbed) used to promote human bowl function I have not used owing to cost appear to produce a turd that is simply easier for intestine to push along in part do to its elasticity. "Fibers" I have worked with do not appear to work in that fashion although they also make for a larger turd which is similar to the stool softeners.

    A potential problem can occur where the fibers I suggest work in a manner that opposes FF mash / dry mash when fiber content is too high. That can hinder nutrient absorption. Chickens I work with are are slower growing and likely less efficient at converting feed into eggs. Parties working with extremely fast growing chicks like with broilers will not benefit from anything that hampers digestibility.


    My chickens are intended to be long lived. Either because they are a heritage breed where it is expected or it takes a minimum of three years to see if an individual will be able to get into the breeder pens. When I used to keep larger groups in a mash fed setting and compared them to genetically similar birds fed a more restricted and coarser diet, the former groups seemed to burn out by the time they where five years old while the latter group was much more youthful by every measure I had.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by