Fermented Feed Not Bubbling?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by hawkeyext, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. hawkeyext

    hawkeyext Out Of The Brooder

    52
    1
    44
    Apr 5, 2016
    New York
    Hello,

    I have been reading about fermented feed and recently tried one of the simplest ways to do it. We added 6lbs of feed to a bucket, filled it with water (leaving room for it to expand) and was told to let it sit for 3-4 days. We've been stirring it twice a day.

    The feed has not bubbled like I read it should. It does smell as it should though. We tried this with Blue Seal Organic Life Layer Pellets. Anyone have any thoughts?

    Thanks.
     
  2. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    3,205
    566
    261
    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    Sounds good so far...just 2 questions...

    1. Did you use chlorinated water? If so, that could have slowed down growth or killed any microbes in your inoculant.

    2. Did you use an inoculant? It's not entirely necessary, but it helps speed up the whole process. Some start with ACV (must have the "mother" intact) or a store bought lactobacillus inoculant.

    Oh, 3 questions I guess... What is the temperature where its being stored? 65-75 is optimal, below 40 is too cold, slows down growth as well.

    If you haven't sifted through it already, this is a great thread to learn more on ;)
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/645057/fermented-feeds-anyone-using-them
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. hawkeyext

    hawkeyext Out Of The Brooder

    52
    1
    44
    Apr 5, 2016
    New York

    Hi Shortgrass,

    We used well water. I did not use anything else as I've read ACV wasn't necessary. I have no problem getting some, I'm just trying to keep the process as simple, low cost, and organic as possible. (We plan to become organic-certified.) The temperature has been between 50-70, mostly staying around 60.

    Thanks!
     
  4. balloonflower

    balloonflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    261
    21
    74
    Jul 25, 2016
    The temp may be your issue then. Have you noticed the white scoby threads on the top at all? Mine is in a basement room, probably 60-65 temp and going ok. I just figure an extra day or so. Right after I stir, I do notice the bubbles then, but don't see them otherwise right now.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,536
    2,469
    411
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Whether or not you see bubbles in your ferment depends on how much free water is sitting on top.

    I mix my FF very dry, no loose water at all, so I don't ever see it bubble. You will know if your feed is fermenting by the increasing "sour dough" odor.

    I've found that stirring it more frequently than just twice a day will encourage more oxygen throughout the mix and that encourages happier yeasts and swifter fermenting.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    3,205
    566
    261
    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    Mine doesn't really "bubble" either. I also mix mine a bit on the dry side, but I did bring some indoors last winter and noticed bubbles in that one. There was a 20 degree difference between outside and the house, though. It just grows better at higher temps, but as long as you can smell it fermenting, it doesn't necessarily have to be bubbling like crazy :)

    And an inoculant is not necessary unless you're in a big hurry this get it started. Like me, I mix up 2 5 gallon buckets and rotate between the two, and every once in a while, I forget to refill one bucket and I only have a days worth of feed left, I'll either scoop some out of one to start a new bucket with, or I might use a Bacillus blend that I bought for just in case, depends on my mood :D I've even used leftover vinegar from fermenting my own food so I save a buck. But totally not required.

    I use grains though. I don't know what kind of results I would get from pelletized feed; I'm assuming the same rules apply, but maybe pelleted feed takes a bit to get started...I don't see why it would make much difference though, just threw that thought out there.
     
  7. hawkeyext

    hawkeyext Out Of The Brooder

    52
    1
    44
    Apr 5, 2016
    New York
    No, we have not noticed anything white at the top. There does seem to be some water towards the bottom when we stir, but nothing bubbling up.
     
  8. hawkeyext

    hawkeyext Out Of The Brooder

    52
    1
    44
    Apr 5, 2016
    New York
    Thanks. We'll try less water and stirring more.
     
  9. hawkeyext

    hawkeyext Out Of The Brooder

    52
    1
    44
    Apr 5, 2016
    New York
    Interesting, thanks shortgrass! Maybe I'll try somewhere 5-10 degrees warmer.
     
  10. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    784
    255
    126
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    Mine only bubbles a few hours after I initially mix it, before the water gets fully absorbed. After that it gets too thick for any sort of bubbling to be noticeable.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by