How much scoby is needed???

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MichelleT, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. MichelleT

    MichelleT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 20, 2014
    Denver, CO
    Hi all. I'm one of those FF success stories. We had a hen that was having crop issues all summer and I wasn't sure she was going to make it. Started all the hens on FF in August and within 3 days she had drastically improved... it's like she's a new bird! She's beautiful and active and maybe it;s a coincidence, but given that she'd been "slowing down" for months prior to the crop issues, I don't think so.

    Anyway, here's the dilema. Because it's dark when I leave for work, my husband is now the morning feeder of the hens. That's all though... put the feed and water out, open the doors, and he's done for the day until I get home. Yesterday he used the VERY LAST BIT of fermented feed, leaving me none to add to when making a new batch. I didn't leave specific instructions not to use the entire container (I usually make the new batch when I notice it's getting low, but I was crazy busy this week), so I can't be too mad BUT I don't really want to go 4 days without FF while the (brand) new batch gets going.

    So, here's the question: He left some water in the container to soak the bits off the sides of the container. The water was a little foggy from the leftovers (nothing else in there but a LOT of water and a LITTLE bit of scraps. I used this water to start the new batch. Do you think that's enough to get the FF started quicker? Like maybe in 2 days??? Or tomorrow??? Should I be looking for scoby on the top to know it's ready? Or that it smells right?
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I make my FF in 3 1-gallon containers on a 3-day rotation. I use pretty much the entire contents of a container at their morning feeding, and all I do is use hot water to rinse whatever is left on the sides down to the bottom and add my grains to start soaking. So, for about 3/4 gallon feed it gets "started" with about a tablespoon of leftover bacteria and then ferments for 3 days.

    It sounds like you are using the single container method. What I would do is put enough food in there for at least three days. Tomorrow go ahead and feed them some. It won't be very fermented, but it will be soaked and expanded at least. That way you can keep feeding them the bulked up feed.

    Also, I have heard of using raw / unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to get things started.
     
  3. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could consider adding some unflavored no sugar yogurt to jump start. I have been adding homemade yogurt to my FF for the last week or so and the froth is amazing...

    Also if you have the GOOD fermented sauerkraut (no additives, found in the refrigerated grocery section or make your own), that will jump start as well...the liquid works great, and I added some to my FF the other day, and the froth again was amazing.

    ACV, apparently, not so much...

    Just some thoughts.

    I agree with the above poster that you would get benefits from just the one-day ferment, too, using the left over water.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  4. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I have read mixed things about the ACV. Some blogs/posts saying to add it if your fermented feed is at risk of going bad (ie to stall fermentation a bit) and then others saying to add it in the beginning to get it started lol. It's yet another example of the conflicting information you can get from the internet.
     
  5. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    LOL...poor guy, he didn't know. Great story about your hen. [​IMG]

    That little bit you had left should be enough to serve as a "starter", but it will take longer to get to full fermenty goodness (maybe as long as 48 hours). I go by smell and sight: should be little bubbles rising to the top and smell sour.
     
  6. MichelleT

    MichelleT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I checked on it late this afternoon and it had the bubbles but not the sourdough smell (yet). I gave them some anyway and they wolfed it down. [​IMG]
     
  7. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Great! Should still be plenty of good microbes in there for them. [​IMG]
     

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