Fermented feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jonezjollyfarm, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. jonezjollyfarm

    jonezjollyfarm Songster

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    I've fermented feed in the last just for fun to and to give it a try. I did a butt load of research before and could never find a clear answer to this question. After watching videos and reading for hours I'm still confused. I'm using the double bucket with holes drilled in the inner bucket for easy straining. My first question is should the water remain over the feed the whole time its fermenting or after the 2nd day or so is it ok if it's all absorbed? I've found that to have conflicting answers. When I did it before I just used a single bucket and a wire strainer and cheesecloth to get the water out. And my other question is the last time I seemed to get this white film on the top of the water.... what is that? It still smelled fine and they still gobbled it up. For the most part my hens seem to know if food is bad and wont eat it. Hopefully someone can give me a clear answer. Thank you in advance.
     
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  2. Melky

    Melky Crowing

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    White foam on water could just be the fermentation process if its mold it will sit on top of the food. If mold throw out as this could make your birds sick. If just white foam on water from fermentation can skim off. Mix each day and before serving. I only mix 50/50 on feed to water so mine is absorbed and that is ok. I read an article where they said you should not have to strain off. Mine is moist and fermented not dry and cracking. Hope this helps!
    :):frow
     
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  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    That seems like a pretty complicated set up. I try to make fermenting as simple as possible: feed + water in a jar, stir, let sit. I'm pretty good at eyeballing the ratio of water to feed (which varies based on the feed you're using, the time of year, the temperatures, etc) to get a finished consistency which is like thick oatmeal, so there's no excess liquid. Once I hit the bottom of the jar I just add more food and water and start over again.

    The white stuff on top could be scoby or mold. Google for photos to compare the two. If in doubt, throw it out.
     
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  4. jonezjollyfarm

    jonezjollyfarm Songster

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    Well I found that set up in all my research and it beats trying to clean that strainer. Also I have 37 birds so a jar is a little small. And I'm always in doubt lol my middle name should have been doubt.
     
  5. Johnny98

    Johnny98 Songster

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    I use a regular 5 gallon bucket, fill 1/2 with feed, 3/4 water. Put the lid on but not snapped down the whole way so it can breathe through the process. Makes just under a full bucket of the right consistency for us, like oatmeal.

    No straining, mo muss, no fuss.
     
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  6. jonezjollyfarm

    jonezjollyfarm Songster

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    I'm going to try this bucket thing I have going now then if I'm not happy going with the other just one bucket method. I'm hoping to save some money on feed this way. They make such a mess with their feed and if I move the feeders any higher they wont be able to reach them. I swear when I go to work they reenact miley cyrus wrecking ball with the feeders as the wrecking ball :tongue I dont understand how they do it.
     
  7. DobieLover

    DobieLover Free Ranging

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    The white film on the top is the GREAT stuff! It's the SCOBY: symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Feed that to them. Mold gets hairy and is easy to identify vs. the SCOBY.
    You do not have to keep water over the top of the feed. That is a myth. Mold spores are everywhere. Just keep the ferment loosely covered so gas can escape as it is formed during fermentation.
    For the most nutritional bang for the buck, you want to ferment for 3 days. I always save the liquid I strain from today's batch and use it to start the next one. Some people back slop. The choice is yours. Just don't toss the SCOBY or the drained liquid. The liquid with jump start your next batch.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  8. Shadrach

    Shadrach Crowing

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    I’m relatively new to feed fermenting. I’m using a large plastic food container with holes punched in the lid.
    I don’t fully ferment any more although I may try again this winter. In the summer, it was fermented in the morning and mouldy by the afternoon and the feed got wasted.
    What I really like about it is there is minimal mess and if done right, minimal waste.
    Given the chickens here are free range and eat the most disgusting stuff in the compost I’ll never be able to tell if fermenting makes a health difference.
     
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  9. jonezjollyfarm

    jonezjollyfarm Songster

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    I figured I'd give them half a batch in the morning and half at night and leave a small amount in the feeder until I get some sort of feeder to put it in where the more dominant hogs... I mean birds dont eat it all and leave the others to starve lol
     
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  10. jonezjollyfarm

    jonezjollyfarm Songster

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    I'm thinking a piece of PVC pipe cut in two and put on a stand. I think that will make for easier cleaning and long enough one cant hog the dish
     
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