How old before feeding fermented food

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MandalaMaMa, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. MandalaMaMa

    MandalaMaMa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been wondering how old my baby chicks need to be before I start fermenting their food and giving it to them. They were born February 24 and I have tried some wet food once in awhile and they took right to it. But wasn't sure how soon I could give them fermented food. My older flock (which is 2 years old and been on fermented food for at least 1 year now) love it and I want to get the chicks on it as soon as possible. Any :/thought on this. :/
     
  2. Rochelesmit

    Rochelesmit Out Of The Brooder

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    I started mine at about a week old. They love it and are doing great on it!
     
  3. MandalaMaMa

    MandalaMaMa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started them on fermented food today and they took right to it. I'm so glad to be feeding them it. I love this stuff for my 4 older girls and really wanted to get the chicks on it.
     
  4. Matelew

    Matelew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was just thinking about this today. What kind of feeder do you since its moist??
    Also what's your process? I have seen it on a few blogs but haven't tried it yet.
    I tried feeding them sprouted wheat Monday the didn't seem too interested...so I don't know.
     
  5. MandalaMaMa

    MandalaMaMa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First I started by wetting their food to get them use to it. Hand feed them first and feed it to them a couple of days while the food was fermenting. To ferment their food I put it in a one gallon glass jar add water to cover the food plus about 1" more and added about a tablespoon of ACV. Watched it to make sure it was stay moist as it will grow. It took about three days until it was ready to use. I could see bubbles along the side of the jar. I'm just using a little cat dish to feed them in. I do have to watch because sometimes they'll poop in it but I have just been picking it out. I tried the chicken dish that you feed dry in, with the little port holes but they had troubles getting it out.
    I have been feeding my 4, two year old girls fermented food for 1 1/2 and they love it and are doing really well on it. So I really wanted to get my chickes started on it. Hope this was helpful.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I start my chicks on FF on day one. I start the fermented starter the day they go into lock down, so it'll be ready for them. In the brooder, they get some FF in an appropriate sized container. (small and shallow so they can't fall in and drown in it) They'll walk all through it and stand in it while they eat, kind of like babies play with their food. Their starter brooder is a tote (just for the first 24 hours) with multiple layers of paper towel. The FF goes in the corner to minimize the food fights, and I sprinkle dry crumble on the paper towels as well. I often buzz the crumble through the blender for the first week b/c some chicks have a hard time with the big crumbles.
     
  7. Matelew

    Matelew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the response...I am definitely going to try this...the last time I read up on it the person said it took10 days to ferment...but 3 days isn't so bad. I have been putting ACV in their water since day one. As for the feeder, this is the most frustrating part...I lose a lot of feed in that porthole feeder because they only eat what's easily accessible and try to scratch it out so I put it on a pie pan...I may just try using a small pie pan to put the fermented feed in. As of right now only the Buffs will eat from my hand the other girls all run...so we will see how it goes...starting tomorrow I will wet their feed a little and start fermenting some of the rest...wish me luck. How much feed do you give them at a time. I have been just leaving their food in the brooder for them to eat at will but I can see this being problematic with fermented feed. Also don't want to ferment too much...what do you do with it after three days to let it continue to ferment or do you put any you are not using in the fridge? Sorry for all the questions new to chickens as a whole.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Do a thread search regarding fermented feed. It should tell you everything you need to know. I just keep it going in the same container. Feed it out, leave a bit in the bottom, replenish it after feeding, and it's ready to feed again 24 hours later. You can either use a larger container and feed them twice/day from that one container, or use 2 smaller containers, and alternate between the two, so you always have a batch that's at least 24 hours old. With chicks, I give them the FF both morning and night, and have a feeder with dry crumble available, depending on how long the Ff lasts. I hang my feed and water from chains so they can be raised as the chicks grow. Much less mess that way. The Ff gets put up on an elevated platform, or sometimes put inside a shallow cardboard box (like soda would be packed in) to keep them from kicking it full of shavings.
     
  9. MandalaMaMa

    MandalaMaMa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Once it starts to get low i just add more feed to it and more water. Then mix it up really good. You won't need anymore ACV. It should be ready the next day or two. That's what I'm going to try anyway. Once you get it going it pretty easy. With my older girls I have two jars going so one is working while I'm feeding out of the other. My chicks are only 2 weeks old so they are eating about a cup to cup and a half in 24 hours. I have 8 babies. I'm also leavin it there too for them to eat at will. Usually it is all gone by morning so they are pretty hungry and are easy to feed by hand. I just put a spoon full on my finger tips and they go to town on it. It's so cutie.
    I've never had my fermented food go bad it just gets better with time but I've usually used it in 4 days. You don't have to but it In the fridge. Leave it out at room temp. There's an excellent thread on here about ferment food. Check that out when you have time. There are lots of posted on it. Can be overwhelming. But that's where I learned all about it.
    Don't be afraid to ask questions that how we learn. I've had chickens for 2 years now and am still learning. They are so much fun and bring such delight to our life. I guess that why I'm adding to our flock and we are currently building a new hen house.
    Good luck and keep my posted now how you are doing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015

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