Fermented Feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ashyndin, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. ashyndin

    ashyndin Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 27, 2013
    I am getting conflicting advice and figured you guys could clear this up. I have fermented 25# of scratch for my chickens. They like the fermented food much more than the normal scratch or their layer pellets. So much so they are leaving lots of the layer pettiest un eaten. So is fermented scratch a complete diet? I know unfermented scratch is not complete.
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Fermenting doesn't add any nutrition - all it does is make what is there more digestible. In other words, no, it is not a complete diet. If you want to ferment feed, it is better to ferment the layer pellets and continue to give them a small handful of scratch a day to encourage them to scratch, rather than considering it a portion of their regular diet.
  3. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 21, 2014
    South central Alaska
    Fermenting chicken feed, as with anything, creates good bacteria that is very beneficial to your birds. Lacto-fermenting boosts their immune systems and helps keep most diseases at bay along with keeping a healthy digestive tract. The same as what fermented food does for people. The fermentation process raises levels of vitamins B, C and K (by the break down process) and can boost usable protein up by as much as 12%. Your not fermenting it to an "alcoholic" state, your just breaking down the food and getting the good mother growing in there and just until it starts bubbling. We ferment our girls layer and since its pretty cold up in Alaska during the winter(that's an understatement!), we throw in scratch and BOSS just to make it look a little more appealing than just a bowl of wet mush and it gives the girls a little added protein and energy. My mother-in-law swears by this method and has been raising chickens for 45 years. Basically, its not going to hurt them. I have personally not noticed the decreased smell or less poo that everyone talks about, but they really do love it! Wet feed in general, even if just soaked for a couple hrs, is easier for chickens to digest and takes much less energy therefor, less feed.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014

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