FERMENTED FEEDS...anyone using them?

CindyinSD

All will be well, and that will be well is well.
Premium Feather Member
Aug 3, 2018
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Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
When I had CX & Color Yield last year, I fed dry feed, but I had them in tractors on grass. I moved them 2X/day (or 3 toward the end) and fed them every evening as much as they could eat in half an hour; 2 large hanging feeders for 25-30 birds. They didn't grow as fast as those fed constantly but as I wasn't raising them for market, that didn't bother me.

If I were raising meaties on ff, I would figure out the dry ration needed per bird X number of beaks to feed, then ferment that. I'd distribute the feed in several pan feeders; enough so everyone can have a seat at the table at the same time. I wouldn't use a trough feeder. Metal ones will corrode with acidic ff, and besides, they would be too hard to fill/clean.

I still have some of my meaties left in the freezer. This year's eating birds have been culled roos & hens, plus the remainder of last year's meaties & parted out heritage tom turkeys. I'm just as happy with non-industrial birds culinary-wise and happier with smaller & healthier birds that I can harvest when I please. Everyone needs to do what's best for themselves & their families, though. Nothing wrong with that.
 

CrisAnderson27

Songster
Mar 6, 2020
381
852
156
Ewing, VA
When I had CX & Color Yield last year, I fed dry feed, but I had them in tractors on grass. I moved them 2X/day (or 3 toward the end) and fed them every evening as much as they could eat in half an hour; 2 large hanging feeders for 25-30 birds. They didn't grow as fast as those fed constantly but as I wasn't raising them for market, that didn't bother me.

If I were raising meaties on ff, I would figure out the dry ration needed per bird X number of beaks to feed, then ferment that. I'd distribute the feed in several pan feeders; enough so everyone can have a seat at the table at the same time. I wouldn't use a trough feeder. Metal ones will corrode with acidic ff, and besides, they would be too hard to fill/clean.

I still have some of my meaties left in the freezer. This year's eating birds have been culled roos & hens, plus the remainder of last year's meaties & parted out heritage tom turkeys. I'm just as happy with non-industrial birds culinary-wise and happier with smaller & healthier birds that I can harvest when I please. Everyone needs to do what's best for themselves & their families, though. Nothing wrong with that.
I kind of do the same. The can have whatever they can forage, but I give them their caloric needs daily. Since the foraging is movement/exercise, the extra calories are supportive rather than excess.

I raise rabbits for meat though, and my meat birds are surprisingly decent layers.

I'm hoping to eventually breed something of a large, faster growing dual purpose Easter Egger that breeds true.
 

CrisAnderson27

Songster
Mar 6, 2020
381
852
156
Ewing, VA
I have some Chanteclers growing out at present (meatbirds for the vast white north :gig). So far I'm pretty happy with them. Have yet to get any Easter Eggers but I'll bet they'd do well here, too. Last winter I had way too many ouchie combs. 😢
I have pure B/B/S Ameraucana I'm breeding in. My goal is larger birds that lay larger blue eggs, with Ameraucana feathering (cheeks/muff) and combs. Cornish X seems like a fun bird to work with for the purpose.

Their temperament should be phenomenal. All the curiosity and attention seeking of the Ameraucana, with the calmness and lovable demeanor of the Cornish X (read: none of the Ameraucans skittishness). My Ameraucana literally beg me to pet them, then squawk like morons morons in indignation when I do lol.
 

CindyinSD

All will be well, and that will be well is well.
Premium Feather Member
Aug 3, 2018
6,642
31,618
1,032
Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
I have pure B/B/S Ameraucana I'm breeding in. My goal is larger birds that lay larger blue eggs, with Ameraucana feathering (cheeks/muff) and combs. Cornish X seems like a fun bird to work with for the purpose.

Their temperament should be phenomenal. All the curiosity and attention seeking of the Ameraucana, with the calmness and lovable demeanor of the Cornish X (read: none of the Ameraucans skittishness). My Ameraucana literally beg me to pet them, then squawk like morons morons in indignation when I do lol.
Maybe their squawkishness is just their way of showing their appreciation. 😂 They sound like good fun. 💕 I'll bet you really enjoy your project!

There's a gal in the Silkie thread who's been working on developing Silkies as meat birds/pets by starting with larger ones and breeding them with Brahmas. I love the cute factor and I'd totally have a giant Silkie pet if I could, but I think they have black meat? That I'm not so sure about...

However, I did get some Brahmas ('cause I just wanted to) & am thinking about a possible experiment, mixing with the Chanticlers. The Brahmas are older & just coming into lay. The Chantis are a month younger. Their males have passed the Brahmas in size, which I guess you'd expect, only I didn't realize the Chanti roos would get so big. The females are about what I'd call normal for a medium-sized bird of their age. I ordered them through our independent feed store (Hoovers), so nothing fancy. I guess we'll see what happens.
 

Brenda Jones

In the Brooder
Sep 9, 2020
7
22
18
Upon request I am starting a thread about using fermentation to improve feed nutritive value and health benefits.

  1. Anyone doing it?
  2. How long have you been doing it?
  3. Your methods?
  4. Grains/feeds used in this manner?
  5. Your overall review of this method of feeding?
My chicks are just over 4 weeks old. I have had them for three weeks and started them on a fermented organic feed that I started 4 days before I got the girls. I used a mesophilic culture (from my cheese making) to get it started, my girls are pretty picky. I expected them to eat more... but they would rather go outside and pick at the grass and old spider web junk. I waste a lot of feed throwing out what they don't eat everyday.
 
Last edited:
Jan 16, 2020
98
114
63
Largo, Florida
Upon request I am starting a thread about using fermentation to improve feed nutritive value and health benefits.

  1. Anyone doing it?
  2. How long have you been doing it?
  3. Your methods?
  4. Grains/feeds used in this manner?
  5. Your overall review of this method of feeding?
Special human diets don't always translate to our fowl flock. While I enjoy a fermented beer here and then, it's probably going to add gases that could cause discomfort to our feathered friends. Your heart and spirit are right, but a good high quality layer feed with oyster shells only peppered in upon observing shells would be my recommendation. ❤ your spirit.
 
Jan 16, 2020
98
114
63
Largo, Florida
I've been feeding my layers fermented whole grains for around 4 weeks now. It started because I got a bag of Layena that they just refused to eat no matter how I starved them. So I finally gave in and threw them some scratch. Earlier in the year I'd read about fermenting feed so I started soaking it and playing with mixes.

Right now they get a mixture of scratch with wheat, oats, and soybean meal fermented in a bucket with a slosh of ACV in there. But there's something up with the unhulled oats, the girls wont eat them and when I looked at one, it was a soggy mess rather than a firm seed like the others are. So no more of those oats are going into the mix.

The birds really are self regulating as to what they eat. When I first added the soybean meal they attacked it. Now they barely touch the soybean. When this batch is used up, I'm going to be feeding the soy separately. They still refuse to eat any type of crumble, even game bird feed or chick starter, which they used to love. They seem healthy and they are laying really well.
Soy is NOT good for any female
 

CrisAnderson27

Songster
Mar 6, 2020
381
852
156
Ewing, VA
My chicks are just over 4 weeks old. I have had them for three weeks and started them on a fermented organic feed that I started 4 days before I got the girls. I used a mesophilic culture (from my cheese making) to get it started, my girls are pretty picky. I expected them to eat more... but they would rather go outside and pick at the grass and old spider web junk. I waste a lot of feed throwing out what they don't eat everyday.
My birds all love it. They finish everything in their troughs, and I come in every couple hours to restock the chick's feed. No pickiness, no leftovers.

Out of curiosity though, why are you wasting the leftovers? Back when I was learning proper portions I just stopped it back into my bucket to reuse?
 

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