FERMENTED FEEDS...anyone using them?

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

  1. Sparkway

    Sparkway Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2013
    Essex County New Jersey
    Hi NH lay brown so I got the greenish but not what is considered olive. Good luck the wait is exciting !!
  2. neopolitancrazy

    neopolitancrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Bastrop, TX

    I believe I posted earlier on this thread regarding how some lines of chickens (including my own beloved Dorkings!) are not as thrifty as Bee's birds. I feed mine about 2 cups of FF per adult bird, per day. We recently butchered the last of our culls, including one of the adult hens. She was only laying 2-3 eggs per week, and about half the size this breed is supposed to be, and a general waste of good feed. When we opened her carcass, she had about half the body fat as Bee's demo bird, a fatty liver, and no apparent parasites. I have no idea what that hen was doing with all the feed she ate, but she is no longer wasting my money, and will soon be the centerpiece of a sumptuous repast.

    For those meat-eaters who have never tried it, I now recommend coq au vin, which I believe is French for "tough old bird simmered in red wine until it is Fit. To. Eat."
  3. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 30, 2012
    Sherwood, OR
    My Coop
    So ... I'm FINALLY setting up my upsized FF Assembly Line and am soliciting opinions.

    Based on the trial/training phase of offering FF as a treat I have something of a system worked out for dry-ish FF that doesn't need to be strained/drained, and includes a bit of backslopping to "kick start" each new batch of feed.

    I'd like to ferment each day's supply of feed separately ... pretend it takes one full bucket of FF each day ... that bucket would be restarted and put at the end of the line to ferment for a few days before it has its turn as the feed bucket again.

    I know from the research that the first day (soaking), the second day of fermenting, and in particular the third day of fermenting, add to the nutritional benefits of the process. But I don't have any research to discuss the benefits of fermenting for longer than 3 days.

    So ... I intend to have my assembly line set up so each bucket (which has been backslopped) will ferment for a minimum of 3 days ... possibly longer.

    My question is: How many days should I ferment each bucket?

    Remember, each "bucket" represents one and only one day's feed ... then it gets restarted and put back on the assembly line.

    Thank you all in advance for sharing your opinions!
  4. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 30, 2012
    Sherwood, OR
    My Coop
    [​IMG] Yep. Except you forgot to add the word "tasty" somewhere in there.

    I had the pleasure of living in France for a bit, and for one thing poultry was shockingly expensive. For another, the birds were tons smaller than the big fat monsters we get here. Third, you could buy the bird "gurarnteed to be a minimum of ___ weeks (monts) old." And that was just at the regular grocery store ... the shops could offer a lot more specificity and variety. Very cool.

    I wish I knew more about poultry when I lived in France. I could have studied up on their meat and eggs. But at that point I was blinded by my pursuit of cheese & salt.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Yep...and some birds within a breed aren't as feed thrifty as others. I've had BAs that were not a bit feed thrifty, but they are few and far between, and are culled out of my flock so fast that I don't pause to wonder about them.

    That's another wonderful reason for the yearly cull. If one is very serious about making chickens pay for their keep and turning a hobby into an enterprise instead of a liability, the yearly cull is the most valuable asset and tool you will hold. You can refine your flocks down to the best of the best, the cheapest to raise, the best of the layers, the meatiest of carcasses, the healthiest of birds and the most social, calm of birds. No fighting, no bullying, no feather picking, wounds, bare backs, bumble feet, frozen things, illness, high worm loads, increased and repeated parasite predation, etc.

    All of that equals the best and most fulfilling of flock keeping you can imagine. No stress, no worry, very little work involved and very little expense. Just season after season of food, profit and fun without one single "HELP!" thread on a forum. You know exactly what to do with any illness or injury(three day rule or kill immediately to alleviate suffering) and you are working~always~for the better life of the flock, not just individual birds with their individual little needs. You can have a whole flock of chickens with the same needs for years upon years.
    2 people like this.
  6. chickengirl1193

    chickengirl1193 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2013
    north Jersey
    I have an observation about my FF everyone may find interesting. I have 2 flocks, one flock of layers and one of NYD chicks. The layers I have been fermenting a mix of their layer pellets and some scratch and the chicks are getting a mix of dumor starter and an organic grower feed I had my pullets on.until they started laying every day. So yesterday I refreshed my buckets by just adding more feed and enough water to cover the feed, and I backslopped. This morning my layer feed had a thick layer of SCOBY while the chick feed had barely any. The layer feed has added probiotics while the chicks feed has none. Do you think the probiotics caused such a fast and strong ferment or would it be the addition of whole grains?
    Ive started my chicks on feed with added probiotics now that the other feed is gone
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    I find that my FF is wonderful this winter with the only change being the addition of scratch. I don't give it 3 days to ferment... feed them in the morning, replenish the container, and by the next morning, it's bubbling away, and ready for the next feed. It may not be as ripe as a 3 day ferment, but the girls love it, and it smells wonderful. Last summer, my grandson couldn't stand to be in the kitchen because he has a sensitive nose. He doesn't even know this ferment is going.
  8. kile529

    kile529 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 5, 2011
    Holy cow!!! Right now I'm feeding probably just over a cup (daily) of FF to 9 chicks & 2 ducklings! Should I cut back quite a bit??
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Not if they are not wasting it and leaving feed behind. That bird you see in the pic was foraging on some really high protein legumes and high bug count out on pasture, so all her food was not derived from the FF. Right now each LF bird is receiving about 1/2 c. per day but that is soon to be slowly lessened and lessened until they are feeding mostly on foraged feeds once again by this spring. I'm shooting for very low feed consumption this summer and am even going to try for doing days when no feed at all is given and will monitor egg production on foraged feeds at that time to see if it can be maintained on that diet.
  10. kile529

    kile529 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 5, 2011
    Ahhh ok. Usually within 20 minutes most of the chicks & the ducklings are taking naps...LOL....and maybe 3-4 of the chicks are still scratching through the little tub of FF. I'll keep going with what I'm doing then. :) Thanks Bee!!

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