FERMENTED FEEDS...anyone using them?

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

  1. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

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    "Cereal grain" in question is maize and sorghum. Maize is corn. Sorghum may or may not be found in individual chicken feed recipes, but virtually all chicken feed recipes have grains in them. The principle of fermenting corn is highly relevant ...


    I'm going to completely ignore the question of breast feeding for brevity ... I'm typing in my iPhone and honestly don't have/will never have kids so that isn't my area of expertise. ;)

    Understanding the conversation at this point relies on reading the links ... or we risk me re typing the all and adding a bunch of mistakes and misunderstandings.

    But here goes a starter course ...

    Two studies ... both that I linked to today for overlapping reasons.

    The first study I linked to today was for grain-based pig feed where starter culture was used, the feed was allowed to ferment for 5 days, then it was fed out and "refreshed" with 80% new feed and 20% backslopping for 5 days with measures if the properties of the colonies in the feed. That study showed some control of some undesirables due to the ferment/starter, but a lack of control of yeast cultures ... meaning the starter did not prevent yeast cultures from growing.

    The second study I linked to today was for traditional fermented baby food in Nigeria where fermented cereal gruel -- made from soaked, ground, strained and then fermented maize and/or sorghum -- is used for weening babies (and continues to be eaten through life). Health organizations have two primary concerns with the traditional fermented baby food: 1) is it nutritionally adequate to be used as a primary diet for babies; 2) is it hygienic. The question about nutrition is due to the rather poor nutritional value of the base ingredients. The hygiene concern is because with lack of controlled environments and lack of refrigeration, etc., there is lots of death due to diarrhea, particularly with infants. The interest in the traditional fermented food is because it seems a much more practical solution to hunger/poverty than imported baby foods ...

    This second study is interesting to me primarily because it quantifies the nutritional boost that is achieved by fermenting grains ... the base ingredients in the rations we are fermenting to feed our chickens. There is a pretty big boost in nutrition when grains are fermented! Though the study suggest the big boost comes from ferments where a specific starter was used (a combination of two specific strains of L.) instead of "natural" ferment. This study was also interesting because it showed a decrease in the undesirables through fermentation ... that relates back to the first study I linked to.

    So ... I'm wondering if it is possible to get one's hands on these specific starters. It seems it could be worth it!
     
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  2. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

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    And here I was hoping you guys would answer MY question. :p

    About starter cultures and backslopping. The reading I've done suggests ferments are generally "healthy" cultures, the strength of which and pH of which prevent any "undesirables" from thriving in the same space. That's why I like to stir the stuff on top of mine back down down deeper into the bucket ... if it's bad stuff on top, then the healthy pickle smelling low pH stuff below will neutralize it.

    Why we use starters, IF we choose to use them at all, is to insure the healthy cultures are the first to thrive and establish dominance.

    Backslopping is done to "share" the healthy culture from one batch of fermented food with subsequent batches INSTEAD of restarting everything with a fresh supply of (expensive) starters or another dose of faith/crossed fingers that the first thing to grow & dominate will be a healthy thing. Essentially the "backslopping" becomes the starter.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014

  3. I'd love to see a study that specifically uses standard chicken feed and compares nutritional content between the dual starter and run-of-the-mill regular aerobic starter. There would likely be some money in "starter kits," but unless there was something to prove huge benefit, I wonder if the cost would justify limited benefit. .....
     
  4. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

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    That would be nice! Particularly if it is a soy based feed. The logic suggests the fermenting process drastically reduces the anti-nutrients in the legumes as well as In the grains. And the natural ferments of cereal grains can be richer than other things ... grains can have a lot of natural spores on them.

    But do not dismiss the information of the quantified study I DID find. There aren't many studies like that -- does anyone even know of another? -- it is quite a find! It is a strong argument in favor of fermenting grains to increase their nutritional value. Also the study is an argument in favor of using a starter when fermenting, but that seems less important/interesting to me.

    Corn can be a major ingredient in chicken feed in the USA -- the study was of corn. Other places sometimes use wheat in place of corn in chicken feed. But wheat is still a cereal grain like corn is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014

  5. Agreed. Some chicken (and horse) folk won't consider anything it's not species specific no matter the ingredients. :/

    Now if we could get GMOs out of the equation, we'd have it made. :D
     
  6. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't see how a species of any animal would be relevant in the second study ... the experiment was of grains, not an animals.
     

  7. There would need to be completely *new* studies specific to chickens for some folks to get on board, is what I'm meaning. :)
     
  8. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

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    Well ... I'm sorry. :(

    I really did the best I could.

    :(
     

  9. Oh, lolol. No, *you're* fine. I think the studies are great! It's just some people need a whole lot of somethin' to be convinced. Some of them, you'll never convince because it's not "natural." ;)
     
  10. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    Sorgum is just another word for Milo. It's been in chicken food forever. The south always fed animals sorgum and the northerners used corn. Just a logistic thing I'm sure. The sorgum grew better down here. Also in an old book I read that corn was needed for energy in northern winters. Myth? Who knows. This is exciting stuff. I think it's worthy of more investigation. Good job ladies. [​IMG]
     

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