Found a fermented alfalfa product that is thrilling my flock

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by azygous, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Has anyone heard of Chaffhaye? A friend with horses turned me onto it. It's a fermented alfalfa hay product, and my chickens absolutely are going nuts for it. They eat every tiny morsel. A five pound bag runs around $5 and is tightly compacted and goes a long way.

    It's fermented so it's moist. It sets up a good flora in the gut. It helps make nice deep orange yolks. It's a great treat and occupies the chickens to keep down mischief. It's marketed for chickens, along with all other animals that eat green vegetation. It's a perfect winter supplement when natural browse is dormant.

    Just thought you all might be interested in checking it out.
    1 person likes this.
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Wow! Thanks for posting this - my birds are yearning for some greenery as the dog days of winter drag on! I am most certainly going to check this out!! This for posting, azygous! [​IMG]
  3. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    I ferment alfalfa cubes separately from the fermented feed. This is a great thing to do in winter. A forty pound bag of compressed cubes cost me $10 at the feed store. The cubes expand quite a bit in their own ferment. I add one or two cubes to the ferment at a time to replenish the ferment (backslopping).

    I throw in some boss as well. They get a scoop or two of the fermented alfalfa every day on top of their fermented feed and eat it all gone.

    IMO $5 is a bit expensive for five pounds, but if you don't want to do it yourself, I think fermented alfalfa has been a great thing to do in the dead of winter to consistently give them green food they would not otherwise be getting!
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Will consider this for next year's provision of greens. Would be easier than sprouting. I currently have 5 jars of various products sprouting in my kitchen.
  5. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    I got some free bags of chaffhaye from a boarder. Was feeding it to only one mare. Spoiled before I could work through it.
    At $5/5# that works to $2000/ton. If you factor in the high moisture content you are really paying closer to $2600/ton. I normally pay $125/ton and worst case $225/ton for good quality alfalfa. I have not opened a bag of chaffhaye recently but 10 years ago it was heavy with mature stems. Picking up a few 3rd or 4th cutting bales of alfalfa from the feed store for $10 sounds like a better deal. As a treat? Fine but not part of a cost effective sustainable feeding program. If you ferment your feed toss some pellets or cubes in the bucket.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  6. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    As I understand it, Chaffhaye is lacto-fermented, and what you may have seen as spoilage was yeast and not mold. So far, I haven't seen any woody stems. The chickens are cleaning up every morsel I put out. At $5 per bag, it's cost effective for me since my chickens aren't going to eat but a bag per month. I spend more than that in cabbages over the same period of time, and I'm sure there's more nutrition in the alfalfa.

    I'm recommending it as a treat, not a major portion of a flock's nutritional intake. It's simply a very simple, quick way to get greens into a flock's diet during winter.

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