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Fermenting feed for a beginner with just 3 layer chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Ktribe808, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. Ktribe808

    Ktribe808 Chirping

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    Jan 2, 2015
    I saw a Facebook post about the amazing benefits of fermented feed. Great! I will try anything to keep my ladies happy and healthy. But the more sites I go to and the more threads I read, the more confused I get. I do understand that you cover the feed with unchlorinated water (we have well water so no problem there) and add "Mother" ACV. OK, so I have the right kind of ACV now (cloudy stuff) but where do I go from here? It is bitter cold in my garage and just about everyplace else except for inside my home and I don't want to make a gangbuster amount as my chickens tend not to read the chicken book and I hate waste. I also have a household of curious cats! So how much feed should I use for a trial run? I use pellets, which IMO are not that much bigger than crumbles. And from what I gather, water is added so it is above the feed and a few shots of the mother ACV right? Loosely covered? Will it smell bad? My husband already thinks I am crazy trying all kinds of stuff for my assortment of critters. IF my picky ladies eat the stuff, do I add more feed every day to the brew? Do I start new batches? I need simple! I understand the advantageous of fermented feed but I am scared I am going to screw it up. Please help a gal out!
     

  2. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Songster

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    Your post could have been mine just a week ago! I've got only 7 birds and wanted to try fermented feed on a small scale. I have 3 Tupperware containers on my counter each at a different stage of ferment. When I use one I set a new batch and take a scoop from the next to jump start the fermentation process. By the time I use the third one the first is ready to go again.

    You can use the ACV to get the first one going but after that just the residue in the container and a scoop from the next one is all it takes to keep the process going for me.

    It doesn't have to be sloppy wet. I keep mine like thin oatmeal consistency. I keep the containers sealed and stir them twice a day. They don't stink but have a pleasant tart sour smell to them. If I fermented them longer they would probably smell more.

    It is easy and all my birds do like it. It took a day or two for them to decide but now they crowd around the bowl.

    I got some flack from some on here for wanting to do it small scale and only offering it once a day as a supplement to their dry crumble but it's working fine for me the way I'm doing it.

    Taking the plunge seemed like such a big step but it really wasn't. Just ferment a cup or two to start and expand production as you feel comfortable. You really can make your production as big or small as you want it.
     
  3. Ktribe808

    Ktribe808 Chirping

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    Thanks! That sounds do-able!
     
  4. scalci

    scalci Chirping

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    Just wanted to say THANK YOU! for posting this! I am new at this also and only have 3 so I will benefit a lot from all of this info! :)
     
  5. centralcaligirl

    centralcaligirl Chirping

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    Hi I ferment feed for my three hens and it's incredibly easy. I put one day's worth of feed into a wide mouth container, cover with water and stir. Stir daily for for two or three days until you start seeing little bubbles in the feed. It will start to smell tangy, kind of like sourdough bread, and should be thick like oatmeal. Then it's ready to feed. I feed out all but two or three tablespoonfuls, which I leave in the bottom of the container as a starter for the new batch. Then I use that starter for the next day's batch, and I repeat the process daily, leaving a starter behind and adding fresh feed and water.

    You can use ACV but it's not necessary. bacteria and yeast will come from the air and settle on top. A daily stirring will help them get into the feed.

    Also, there is a great article on how to do this somewhere...

    @lazygardener
     
    blackdog043 likes this.
  6. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

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