FERMENTED FEEDS...anyone using them?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Beekissed, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. luvblues7

    luvblues7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you BYC friends for this wonderful thread. I truly enjoyed reading each post, but I would like to ask a few questions. I apologize before hand for any redundant questions that might have been posted and answered earlier, but I am just a little thick headed sometimes. I started about three weeks ago trying to begin a FF program. My first batch was made of laying crumbies, chopped corn, and red cayenne pepper. I threw in a little grits for good measure and then added ACV with "mother". It worked pretty good but was REALLY slimy and hard to drain the liquids off so I have now started over. I now am fermenting chopped corn, rolled oats, BOSS, and Calf Manna. Then each evening after work (wish I could be home with the chickens all day but the money for all these feeds has to come from somewhere) add the laying crumbies, grits, and red cayenne pepper to it after draining off the liquid and serve it to my little ladies. They really love it and I am now their new best friend. Now for my questions: #1 am I defeating the purpose of the fermentation by adding the laying crumbies after the fermenting process? I have found that it is harder to ferment the grains alone without the crumbies but much easier to drain and handle. #2 The new batch now has a film on it each evening is this normal? #3 Can this be fed to day old chicks with all these grains in it or should their FF only be made with chick starter? Don't think this matters but I'm feeding this to Wyandottes and Mille Fluer Cochin Banties. Again I would like to thank you all for sharing your "chicken wisdom".
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    1. Pretty much, if you want them to get the full nutritive value of the layer feed~and you do~and want there to be less smell in your coop. You are wasting money on the Calf Manna..you won't need it and it's too rich to be feeding as a steady part of the ration(if you have to use it up, just use a little bit at at time(Tablespoons rather than cups), the grits are just like the corn, so you are giving two of the same kind of grain...you can stop feeding the grits. At this time of year you'll want at least 75% of your feed ration to be balanced layer feed and the rest can be the whole grains. If you ferment the two together you will have a better textured FF, easy to maintain, stir and feed.

    2. The film is normal and comprised of fine ground particles of grain(flour dust) and the lactobacillus and acetobacter organisms, so just stir it into the feed before feeding it out.

    3. I feed day old chicks starter and laying mash mixed and they eat it just fine as the grains are softened and easy to consume. You might want to provide them with some natural grit to help them and leave out the BOSS for now..they can have a little of that but they will need some good grit to grind those shells on a daily basis(this can be done by placing a clump of your soil~even with grass intact~into the brooder so they can pick up fine grit from it and also be exposed to the soil culture at a young age).

    I'm so glad you liked the thread and feel free to ask any questions...there's always someone here who can answer them for you. [​IMG]
     
  3. luvblues7

    luvblues7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Bee. I have learned from reading the post that you always have very knowledgeable answers. I will add the laying crumbies tonight, lay off the grits, and feed the Calf Manna to the Miniature Horses (they will love it) and EVERYONE will be happy. Again thanks for replying back.
     
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  4. kpgoldstar

    kpgoldstar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you put enough of the layer crumbles into your mix to start with, they will absorb lots of that extra liquid you are talking about having to drain off. Definitely you want the crumbles to be part of your fermentation process and not added just before serving to be eaten. Add them until you have a consistency more like wet cement and by your next feeding they will have fermented and soaked up all the excess water.
     
  5. luvblues7

    luvblues7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info KP. So there shouldn't be a lot of liquid in the fermenting pot. Just leave some of the fermented food for backslopping?
     
  6. chickengirl1193

    chickengirl1193 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay I have a question, im fermenting my feed in a house supplement bucket that I cleaned out, is that considered food grade if it was for horses? I have one pickle bucket that I can switch to but it's dirtier than the supplement buckets were and idk what it's dirty with so I was apprehensive (my bf brought it for me from work and didn't realize I wanted a clean one that was only used for pickles, and not one used for who knows what) the supplement buckets came from my aunt and they were only dusty so I didn't mind using them.
    Also, im only fermenting my layer pellets and my chick grower (separately for the two flocks) with only a little flax added, is this good enough for my birds? They seem to be doing great, I give them kitchen scraps some scratch at night and cabbage to help with boredom and aboutonce a week they get sprouts. I'm just not sure if I should be adding grains to their ff
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I don't use food grade buckets...no worries about that. I've seen no corrosion of the buckets from this feed and I doubt that leeching of that kind is the biggest worry in this world. It's like gagging on a gnat and swallowing a mule. Silly.

    What you are fermenting should be just fine...this fermentation takes your balanced feed ration and just amps it up to make it a much better feed than it is already, so you can't get much better than that. You can add grains or not, your choice.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    "Food grade" means any kind of food for any sort of animal, including humans and horses and chickens.

    Heck, any bucket can be made clean with plenty of hot water and detergent and bleach and scrubbing. One of my FF buckets had diesel fuel in it and the other had dry wall plaster. It took a lot of time and energy, but these buckets are clean enough now for hospital food. The only thing I would never reuse would be a container that had previously been used for pesticides.
     
  9. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I have met about zero other people who worry about "food grade" materials for chicken feeders/waterers. I may very well be "silly." But my attitude is that it is a very small, one time effort to put into the setup and therefore I have no excuse not to make it.
     
  10. kpgoldstar

    kpgoldstar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used to keep about an inch of water over the top of my fermenting feed. Then I found this thread and started keeping it dryer, but still needing a fine mesh strainer to dole out the feed. Wet, but not covered with water. As I have progressed, mine has become significantly drier at the start of each ferment. I have been using the same bucket for 4 months. I make enough for 4-5 days for my small flock of 4 gals not yet laying at 20 wks. It gets a little moister as I feed out each day. When there is only 1 day of feed left it can be fairly watery. That is the milky goodness (backslop) to which I add another 4 days of crumbles and water.

    Keep toying with it and you will get it right. It's been a learning curve but so rewarding when you feel you've mastered it for your own situation and needs.
     

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