Fermenting chicken feed, Good idea?

Have you heard of fermented feed?


  • Total voters
    73

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
13,734
18,325
782
California's Redwood Coast
I like FF and I find it no effort, minimal time. As to saving money... firstly they eat about the same amount of food, I use layers pellets and it swells up 3 to 4 times volume but that just means they eat 3 to 4 times as much. secondly... they don't flick it about so none gets wasted in that way. thirdly...Love that sourdough smell!
That's great, glad you're settling in here at BYC! :frow
 

TheFarm41

Chirping
Nov 14, 2018
48
89
65
I have been looking for ways to lower our chicken feed bill and I came across the Idea of fermenting chicken feed. Does anyone use this method? Will chickens get drunk off of it? and is this a good idea? :confused:
Fermented Chicken Feed | The Health Benefits | A Farm Girl in the Making
Fermenting any grain for any animal, or human will make it more digestible. Which means easier for the digestive system to break down, and get more nutrients, vitamins and minerals out of it, thus getting more from your feed. It is super easy. We ferment whole grain barley, oats, and peas and feed it to our chickens, turkeys and pigs. It is also softer for the pigs to chew, so there is less grain wasted and passed through them.

Simply soak the grains in water, make sure they are covered with water, after the first day you may need to add more water as they soak it up. If they are not completely covered the top will mold. After 3 days or so, longer if it is cold, we begin feeding. No, it will not make them drunk, it is fermented, not alcohol yet. We make 50 gallons at a time and feed it for about 10-14 days before we need to make a new batch. It smells a little sour, but not really stinky. By the end of 14 days the brine is a bit thick and just starting to get slimy. We wash the barrel in between batches.
 

ally1327

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
5
20
16
I think I've found my groove with fermented feed. I have a Folgers coffee container on my counter fermenting their grains. Every evening, I grab it and a pasta scoop (don't know what it's actually called but a big ladel with holes in it to drain the liquid.) I scoop out about half the container to give to the flock (the remainder acts as a culture starter), and add another couple scoops of dry grain to the container. I bring the container back inside, use the spray nozzle in the kitchen sink to spray clean the sides of the container and bring the water level back up above the grains (plus a bit extra because the grains absorb some.) Repeat daily. As long as the grains are below the liquid level and the sides of the container are kept clean, I have no issues with mould or spoiling. The culture is so mature now that the container is active with fermentation by the next day (this batch has been going for months). The chickens get excited for their FF every evening when I bring out the container.
 

jeanette60

Chirping
Dec 5, 2016
11
4
54
I have been fermenting my commercial chicken crumble 17% protein, after reading many articles. Very small flock of Isa Brown hens. I have found that it is fermenting very fast. Around 24hrs, I'm assuming it's because its the start of our summer (South Australia) and I haven't had a cool enough spot for it to sit. It's around 75 to 100F. I've started putting it in the fridge after 24hrs. The hens love it and I am noticing better egg production, the feed lasts longer also.
 

SoCalGal

Chirping
Jul 7, 2014
4
5
61
Riverside, CA
I have been looking for ways to lower our chicken feed bill and I came across the Idea of fermenting chicken feed. Does anyone use this method? Will chickens get drunk off of it? and is this a good idea? :confused:
Fermented Chicken Feed | The Health Benefits | A Farm Girl in the Making
I ferment my feed and love doing it. Scratch and Peck Feeds has some great links and information about it. I have to be careful in the summer as if you let it ferment too long in the heat (so. Cal.) it turns moldy quickly. My hens love it. Trial and error will help you perfect it. They won't get drunk off it, LOL! Here is a great video: https://www.scratchandpeck.com/learning-center/videos-2/ And btw, you feed it to the hens daily, not a let-it-go feed. Hope this helps you on your journey! Oh, and I LOVE Scratch and Peck feed too!
 

spaceylocust

Songster
Oct 19, 2013
53
36
110
southern Missouri
I have been doing ff for a few months now and love doing it for my four birds. I have two coffee cans and only ferment for 48 hours (I live in florida )so make one can a day and alternate them. I also use a one gallon paint strainer and I just lift it out drain it and pace it in the dog bowel also feed black soldier fly larva most days they wait to eat the ff if they think I going to give the the bsf larva
Pete
Please don't make or serve your FF in metal!! It can leach the metal into the food.
 

spaceylocust

Songster
Oct 19, 2013
53
36
110
southern Missouri
This is a wonderful thread for people new to FF. I'm been feeding my girls & boys this since day one. No pasty butt on chicks!! Woo Hoo! Everyone is healthy and they love their food. There is absolutely ZERO waste, which means lower feed costs.

PLEASE DON'T USE METAL containers to either make or serve out your fermented feed. The FF can leach metal and chemicals into the feed. I use the plastic trays from the farm store. If everyone mobs me (when I forget to get the trays first) I just throw the feed out on the grass.

If you have city water with chlorine in it, let it sit out 24 hours to off gas because the chlorine will kill the good bacteria/yeast and prevent a proper ferment.

Also, it isn't mandatory, but I've found it reduces any smell to add a "blorp" of raw apple cider vinegar with the mother to the container. I use a food grade plastic container that is about a gallon. Half fill with feed (I tell the feed store not to grind the feed) and then half with water and stir. The lid just sits on top to keep out bugs.

Several months ago, I adopted 4 pullets from a "facility." Boy did they stink!!! After 2 weeks on my feed, their stink was gone.
 

AntiqueB

Chirping
Aug 27, 2020
116
320
96
Bergen County, NJ
I ferment my feed and love doing it. Scratch and Peck Feeds has some great links and information about it. I have to be careful in the summer as if you let it ferment too long in the heat (so. Cal.) it turns moldy quickly. My hens love it. Trial and error will help you perfect it. They won't get drunk off it, LOL! Here is a great video: https://www.scratchandpeck.com/learning-center/videos-2/ And btw, you feed it to the hens daily, not a let-it-go feed. Hope this helps you on your journey! Oh, and I LOVE Scratch and Peck feed too!
I use Scratch and Peck, too, and they like it. I tried fermenting it, but even after 4 or 5 days, it only smells like wet feed. I have yet to get the "yeasty" smell, and the added vitamin mix makes it a bit. . . gloppy?
 

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