First time fermenting. Not sure if I've done it right

Tiana's chickens

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Dec 7, 2017
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hi, this is my first attempt to ferment some layer pellets for my girls. I started 2-3 days ago, added a tad of ACV with the mother about a couple hours after I put the water in. I just want to ask if it looks right and if I should do something better next time. I'm also not sure when it will be ready.
Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance

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JaeG

Crossing the Road
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Sep 29, 2014
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ACV isn't necessary and I'd add some more food to soak up all the extra moisture. I make mine so it's the texture of oatmeal. It will be light and bubbly on top when it's ready and smell slightly sour or tangy.

Once you've got your ferment going you can feed out what you need to them just add more dry food to what's left, add enough water for the food to soak up, then it will be ready to use the next day.

Here's a fantastic article that explains it better than I can:
https://www.google.com/url?q=https:...o4BRAWCA8wAA&usg=AOvVaw3r54_-ij1YhNh-Zc3niNvE
 

Tiana's chickens

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Dec 7, 2017
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ACV isn't necessary and I'd add some more food to soak up all the extra moisture. I make mine so it's the texture of oatmeal. It will be light and bubbly on top when it's ready and smell slightly sour or tangy.

Once you've got your ferment going you can feed out what you need to them just add more dry food to what's left, add enough water for the food to soak up, then it will be ready to use the next day.

Here's a fantastic article that explains it better than I can:
https://www.google.com/url?q=https:...o4BRAWCA8wAA&usg=AOvVaw3r54_-ij1YhNh-Zc3niNvE
You also need to mix it a few times a day.
2x JaeG advise, add more pellets until all the moisture is absorbed. Mix and keep adding until you get an oatmeal consistency. Try the ratio of 1:1

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Thank you very much! I thought I read somewhere that any pellets above the water would go moldy?
 

Tiana's chickens

Songster
Dec 7, 2017
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Wow okay so since the photos I posted 2 hours ago it's gone really bubbly on top of the water and when I stirred it, it was fizzy sort of. I'm really surprised how quickly it changed because it's looked the exact same the last 2-3 days
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
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Jun 23, 2013
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Mine has been going on for almost a year, no problems with mold. The mixing helps to get it going, it takes about 3 days for it to ferment depending on the warmth/heat. Cooler weather slows down the "cooking" effect. Go for the consistency of oatmeal, I use crumbles but pellets may need a bit more water, maybe not.
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
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Feb 14, 2014
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Hi
I agree with what the others have said but it looks like you are using a mash or grain mix rather than a pellet so you will get a different consistency. I may be mistaken about that but it certainly doesn't look like my pellets do when soaked. The grain mix does tend to ferment quicker because it hasn't been heat treated like pellets and therefore has more natural yeast on it to start the process. As regards concerns about it going mouldy, stirring it once or twice a day will prevent that but the CO2 emitted during the ferment also inhibits mould I believe which is why you loosely cover it.

I personally have concerns about these grain mixes/mashes because hens can pick and chose between the individual components, so some birds will eat more of one ingredient than another and the "fines" which are added to provide minerals, essential amino acids and vitamins may not be eaten at all because they settle to the bottom or get billed out of the feeder and lost on the ground below. Fermenting such aggregate feeds means that the individual components swell and make it even easier for the hens to pick out their favourite bits. This can lead to a dietary imbalance which can cause a multitude of health problems. The chickens will also waste a lot by billing it out to find their favourite bits. This can lead to spoiled feed on the ground under the feeder going mouldy or attracting rodents. If the feed is homogenous like with a pellet, then they eat it all without scratching through it to find "the best bits" because they know there are no "best bits" in there.
 

rosemarythyme

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I personally have concerns about these grain mixes/mashes because hens can pick and chose between the individual components, so some birds will eat more of one ingredient than another and the "fines" which are added to provide minerals, essential amino acids and vitamins may not be eaten at all because they settle to the bottom or get billed out of the feeder and lost on the ground below. Fermenting such aggregate feeds means that the individual components swell and make it even easier for the hens to pick out their favourite bits. This can lead to a dietary imbalance which can cause a multitude of health problems. The chickens will also waste a lot by billing it out to find their favourite bits. This can lead to spoiled feed on the ground under the feeder going mouldy or attracting rodents. If the feed is homogenous like with a pellet, then they eat it all without scratching through it to find "the best bits" because they know there are no "best bits" in there.

I've actually had less issues with whole grain mash once I began fermenting it. My birds were billing out a lot of feed when it was served dry - as you note, they chose their favorite bits. Fermented, everything clumps together and so the birds just eat mouthfuls of everything, including the fines they were wasting before. After the bowl is empty they then go around and pick up every bit they can find off the ground, so there's no mold or attracting pests.

I've had far more issue with dry pellets attracting rats as they're too easy for rats to pick up and carry off.
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
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Thanks. It is really good to know that fermenting actually has the opposite effect to that which my logic was suggesting. I'm somewhat wary of those feeds because over on the Emergency, Diseases section there have been a few instances where people using such feeds dry have had birds drop dead and necropsy identified Fatty Liver Haemorrhagic Syndrome, which is associated with a dietary imbalance. It is useful to know that fermentation will encourage them to eat all the components and therefore reduce the risk. I will recommend that in future instead of swapping to a pellet.
 

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