How much, by weight should I feed my layer chickens fermented pellets?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by PaulaBt, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. PaulaBt

    PaulaBt New Egg

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    Feb 12, 2017
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi,

    I am new and this is my first post. I have spent the evening perusing posts trying to find the answer to the question posed in the title of this post. There is plenty of information but I have not found the answer to my specific question.

    Chickens need 1/3lb/day of feed, however; if my pelleted feed is fermented then it is wet and this would obviously affect the weight. How much do my chickens need of fermented, pelleted feed per day? I would really appreciate it if anyone can answer this question. I certainly don't want my chickens to starve.

    Thanks in advance,
    Paula
     
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    Start out with the same weight dry, then add the water, which will affect texture and may have an affect on consumption. But they still need the same amount of layer feed on a dry weight basis.
     
  3. PaulaBt

    PaulaBt New Egg

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    Feb 12, 2017
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    Hi,

    Thank you for your response. That was my first thought, too but I have read numerous sites that say chickens eat less with fermented feed. If that is the case, then the direct dry measurement to wet wouldn't be correct. The following is one such statement from a site:
    "Because nutrients are more readily absorbed when feed is fermented, your chickens will eat less. (It’s believed that chickens will eat 1/3-1/2 less fermented feed than regular dry feed because they can meet their nutritional requirements with a lesser amount of feed.)"

    Is there any truth to the statement above?

    Thanks.
     
  4. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perhaps someone with more experience with fermented feed than me can chime in, but I'm skeptical that the reduction is that much, if any. If that were true, ALL commercial flocks would be doing it as some of them will house over 1 million birds, and to those guys feed cost is everything. To my knowledge, most of them still offer dry feed.

    But if a person wanted to find out on their own, offer the same dry measure of fermented feed, and see if they clean it all up. If they do not, then keep cutting back until they do clean it all up. That would be their consumption rate. Measure what that would be dry to see how the two compare. The second part of that is if you do find a reduction in consumption, keep very close tabs on their condition and production. Eating less may not be a good thing.

    I understand the theory.........so if the starch in the grain is converted through fermentation into digestible sugars......as in malted barley used for brewing, etc, it might be possible that better utilization is possible. But what about the protein? The calcium and minerals? Those are less likely to be converted to anything different than in the original form. So if you fed less, they would get less of what they need and production would suffer.

    The extension of that is if fermentation changes things, then the balance of the ration would then also have to change to account for it meaning you would have to buy or mix a different fermentation ration and I have never heard of anyone doing it.
     
  5. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    BTW, on something like fermented feed, one other reason why consumption may drop is they are not ABLE to eat as much of it. Perhaps they can't handle the additional acids, etc?

    I can remember some stunts researchers came up with to limit the amount of feed animals would eat. Once of them was to add salt to the point they could only eat so much of it before they would quit. That solved one problem, but created others.
     
  6. PaulaBt

    PaulaBt New Egg

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    Feb 12, 2017
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    Interesting. My hens have always had pellets available at any time they choose to eat. I started fermenting last week and they seem to really like it but at the same time I removed the offer of dry pellets so they are probably more hungry than usual.

    They also get a bit of cracked corn, mealworms, sprouted barley and every few days I give them kelp powder, probiotics, sunflower seeds and chia seeds. To ensure I am not starving them, after they finish the fermented feed, I put a relatively small amount of dry pellets in their feeder and they go right at it which they didn't do previously. My egg production has not dropped thus far, and that is the only way that I know of, to gauge the amount of feed that I am giving them.

    They have oyster shells and grit available at all times. They don't go outside at all this time of year so they only eat what I give them. They don't like the snow.
     

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