Keeping spent grains

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by PirateGirl, May 19, 2019.

  1. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    I’ve read through a few threads and would like some input from those of you that feed your flock spent grains.

    I’ve been fortunate to make friends with the owners of a small batch distillery a mile from my house. They are happy to deliver me a quantity of spent grains on a regular basis.

    My biggest question is how long does it keep before it is no longer safe to feed? I know there are variables, but in your personal experience? What are signs to look for that it’s gone bad and no longer safe to feed?

    I’m trying to figure out how much to get and how often and how quick my flock will got through it
     
  2. AltonaAcres

    AltonaAcres Songster

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    We got only several pounds of spent grain each time. Our chickens finished it off pretty quickly. I would think you could keep those grains for a while though, as they are supposed to be fermented.
     
  3. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    I have fed fermented feed in the past and do know what to look for there in terms of mold. I suspect it is similar with the spent grains.
     
  4. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    If you've got more than you think your flock will take care of reserve some off the top and try this. It's fabulous and well worth the minimal amount of work that gets spread over a number of days.

    And if you've never baked bread before don't be intimidated. People with less education and fewer resources than you have been making it with success for millennia, the ingredients cost almost nothing, bread comes in all shapes including perfectly flat, and whatever happens it's bound to be delicious.

    For an extra treat, whirl about 2 parts butter, 1 part shredded aged cheddar and a handful of chopped chives in your blender. Gather it into a ball or a cylinder and spread it on your hearty spent grain bread. A bowl of soup is not amiss for a hearty rustic meal.

    _____

    If you're really not feeling good about it, spread it on plants as a mulch. It's rich in minerals and will compost quickly enriching your ornamentals.

    The moral is, there really is no such thing as too much or "bad" spent grain.

    _____

    I forgot to say it makes pretty awesome toast to have at breakfast with farm fresh eggs!
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  5. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    Thank you! Yes, the guys I get it from are homesteaders and diy gurus in their own right. I think this is why they hate to see the grains go to waste when they have more than their own animals can consume. They said the water off the top would be great for my lawn and garden. I will definitely check out the link and try my hand st some bread. I’m happy to trade them things like bread and eggs in exchange for the grains.
     
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  6. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    I think you are a lucky woman!!!
     
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  7. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Songster

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    I would think smell will tell you about everything you need to know. Sour/tangy=Good, Rancid/mildew/moldy=bad.

    My girls are LOVING their FF! You stumbled into a treasure!
     
  8. Timothy Menezes

    Timothy Menezes Songster

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    Couple things, as a brewer of beer I can tell you that the spent grain is NOT fermented. The grain is boiled, the liquid is then drained off and put in a fermenter with yeast to become beer.

    My chickens love the leftover grain! But I wouldn't think wet grain is going to last more than a few days if left alone. You could always freeze it in portions that your flock can eat in a day or 2. Or dry it, but with weekly delivery's why bother.
     
  9. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    I’m don’t know a lot about the processes and how they may differ from making beer, but this is from distilling whiskey/bourbon, but I believe in this case also it is pre-fermentation. I’m thinking if the temperatures are cool maybe it can keep a week. Right now it still freezes at night, so that should buy me some time. I hadn’t thought about actually trying to dry it beyond draining some of the liquid. I may experiment with that.
     
  10. Red-Stars-in-RI

    Red-Stars-in-RI Songster

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    The answer is clear...get more chickens. :D

    I'd say only get what your flock can clean up in a day or two, unless you want to freeze some to do 2-3 "feedings" with your weekly delivery.
     
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