First time fermenting...


In the Brooder
Sep 1, 2020
I followed the advice given by most to leave about an inch of water over the feed. I used well water.

I’m 48 hrs in and it seems really watery to me. I guess I was expecting it to be more like oatmeal. It has a lot of bubbles and froth on top whenever I stir it but I don’t really smell anything yet.

Will I need to add more crumbles at the end to get it to thicken? I’ve heard some people drain it and reuse the water for the next batch. Should I use less water next time?

Here is what I used

3 cups of 20% protein flock crumbles
1 cup organic scratch grain
1 cup organic rolled oats
1/4 cup oyster shell
4 tbl each of hemp hearts and chia seeds
2 scoops of rooster booster vitamins

This was divided into two 1/2 gallon glass jars covered with cheesecloth and rubber band.

I have 12 chicks arriving in March can I ferment starter feed or wait until they move outside?


Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
There's a bit of adjusting when you first start to figure out exactly what water to feed ratio works for you. Most water should be absorbed in the first 24 hours, so if there's still water sitting there, then you can cut back on the amount in the next batch (and yes you can reuse the current container/water/leftover ferment). Caveat: I make my FF very thick, and I don't want standing water at all. Some folks do make it where the feed sits under a layer of water, and strain out the water, but to me that's just extra work.

Oyster shell shouldn't be mixed in. Serve it on the side and let the chickens take what they need.

You can serve chicks FF but don't be surprised if they don't want it at first (some people have better results, mine definitely take a couple of weeks to warm up to it). So just to ensure there's not a lot of waste, I'd make very tiny batches at first until you know they'll eat it.

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