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Fermented Feed for Quail

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Sill, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tempe, AZ
    This thread is for the discussion of making and feeding fermented feed to quail. Please play nice, there are as many ways to make fermented feed as there are people and everyone will not make it the same. Your way is not the only way, but share what did and didn't work for you and your birds. We can learn from each others mistakes and successes.


    Fermented feed for -
    Chickens
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/644300/fermenting-feed-for-meat-birds
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/715995/fermenting-feed-for-layers
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/771148/fermented-feed-question
    Ducks
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/708434/anyone-doing-fermented-feed-for-their-ducks
    Turkeys
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/780435/fermented-feed-for-turkeys



    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My quail get fermented feed daily. This is my daily routine for feeding my quail.

    I'm currently feeding 36 adult coturnix. I mix three cups of their dry feed (organic 26% turkey starter) to three cups water. Most days I add a dollop of plain yogurt to the mix, some days it's a 1/4 cup of plain kefir. Cover loosely (a tight lid might explode!) and let set at room temperature for 24 hours. Make sure to use a big enough container to leave several inches at the top for expansion as the grains absorb the water and the microbes create gas bubbles as they begin to ferment the mix.

    I serve it in dishes that are high enough that they can't easily scratch it out. I top dress it with oyster shell/crushed egg shell daily.

    This day it was topped with oyster shell, plain yogurt, very ripe mango, and cayenne pepper powder. On the side is zucchini slices mostly for added moisture for a 100+ degree summer day.

    [​IMG]

    Before sun down they get regular dry feed, just enough that there should be just a tiny bit of it and the last of the FF at the very bottom of the dishes by morning. It takes some practice and getting used to the amounts, but there is very little wastage.

    In the morning I bring in dirty dishes, wash them, fill them with the current day's fermented feed, and mix the next day's feed. It doesn't take much time once you get into the routine.

    In winter you can gently warm your FF up and give them a nice warm breakfast!

    For fun and extra nutrition I clip various green foods to the cage wire with regular clothes pins (makes them easier to eat). They love tearing into a leaf of kale or moringa. Wet lettuce leaves are fun to roll on in summer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  3. COsteveo

    COsteveo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am thinking of going the FF route when I ramp up production in the spring. What would be an efficient way of feeding 100-200 quail each day? Is it truly necessary to not let them eat as much as they want? Making the mash is one thing but serving them breakfast and dinner each day is going to be a chore.

    Would it make sense to use a little brewer's yeast to make it more palatable, or do they not seem to care that most natural yeast cultures are gross?
     
  4. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes they can eat as much as they like, but I don't want them wasting the extra feed. They have food in front of them all day, just not an excess as they tend to waste it. I try to give them just as much as they eat in a day.

    How to feed a couple hundred quail a day would depend on your set up. What are your cages and feeders like?

    I've never used brewer's yeast. Fermented feed has some yeast in it, but also bacterial cultures (especially if you use yogurt or kefir) so there is a balance. That is why I don't let mine go more than a day, I've not had good luck with it if I let it go longer.
     
  5. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tempe, AZ
    Breakfast today was FF with shredded pumpkin, tumeric powder and oyster shell

    [​IMG]

    Yesterday it was FF with yogurt, sprouted smashed English peas, shredded carrots & beets with egg & oyster shell

    [​IMG]
     
  6. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You made me feel bad about the way I treat my quails, Sill :) Your offering looks ... delicious! All I do for my quail is building a feeder that will supply enough feed for one week. Low maintenance. But I'm going to try fermenting feed. Just started a batch this morning. Should be ready in a couple days. Don't know if I can keep up with the cleaning and feeding routine everyday, but if it's better for the quail, reduces feed and poops, I'm going to try it. Currently I go through a 50 lbs feed every 2 weeks!

    Question: what do you use for the plates? They probably have to be heavy ceramic type with flat bottom so the birds can't flip them over. I have that problem all the time when they just step on the edge and flip and make a mess.
     
  7. Invision

    Invision Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sill,

    Wow, your quail eat better than I do... I've just been testing them with plain feed no additives. I don't have any lights on my girls but they have a coop and also a run so they have access to dirt for their grit. Do they need the shells for calcium (they get some in their FF from the feed) if I am not getting eggs from them? Last egg I got was beginning of the month.
     
  8. Invision

    Invision Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You might have to do Garbage cans :) that's a lot of birds to feed. You may need to do it in 5 gallon buckets until you find out how much the birds eat in a day.
     
  9. lukem5

    lukem5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey guys what do you think about fermenting for more than 3 days?? I want to ferment my feed so it is a goopy liquid viscosity, and I will set it up like a traditional auto-water feeder (jar upside down on plate) so as the birds eat the fermented liquidy goop gravity will refill it from the jar.

    So the stuff in the jar will probably be there for 5 days or so before needing to be refilled.

    IF I fermented 3 days first, then added to auto-feeder, the mixture when the jar runs dry would be into 8 days of fermentation, would this be safe?

    I could just give it a try and see for myself... but it is worth asking to avoid any dead/sick quails.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  10. Invision

    Invision Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I fermented my feed for 4 days before serving to the birds. I waited until it smelt like sourdough bread. I don't know how they will take to liquid feed but it might work. I would just make sure it doesn't grow mold or anything on it.
     

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