Meatie Experiment: FF 'vs' Crumbles

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jrsckn, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. jrsckn

    jrsckn Chirping

    Apr 10, 2012
    After reading and implementing fermented feed for my layer chicks a month ago, I decided to do an experiment for the 25 CX meaties I had on order. I started this thread to keep all my posts together so they don't get lost in the fermented feed thread. Hope you enjoy, I'm excited to finally get started [​IMG].

    Abbreviations: CC- crumble chicks; FFC- fermented feed chicks; FF- fermented feed; ACV apple cider vinegar w/mother

    Purpose: to compare different methods of raising meaties to determine the most beneficial way to raise them. Feed intake and cost will be examined and compared to processed weights. The chickes will be raised using three methods; dry crumbles, fermented crumbles, and fermented crumbles with pasture.

    Preparation for chicks: 5/28/12 Begin fermentation. Add 4C purina medicated start and grow, 2 tablespoons ACV, 1/4C liquid from fermentation bucket for 11 week old chicks, cover with water - approx 2L total, stir, and loosely cover. Stir several times a day.
    Fill dry chick feeder with 3C purina medicated start and grow(PMS&G). PMS&G was chosen because there is a large population of feral cats in the area and while it shouldn't be necessary for FFC, precautions were needed for CC so to keep data consistent, the same feed must be fed to both chicks.

    Day 1 5/30/12
    Meaties arrived at 4:30pm. They were placed in the brooder. Eight were placed on one side of a 1/2" wire mesh divider and were provided sugar water (1/4C sugar per gallon of water). Seventeen chicks were placed on the other side of the divider and were provided sugar water with 1 tsp of AVC per half gallon. The chicks with the ACV in the water drank more frequently. After one hour, dry crumbles were provided for the 8 chicks and fermented feed was provided for the other 17 chicks. CC consumed the dry feed but the ff was untouched. By 9pm, the CC were active and FFC were mostly sleeping. Crumbles were added to the FF to encourage eating. The FFC ate the crumbles but left the FF.

    Day 2 5/31/12
    7am- CC ate a decent amount of feed and spilled crumbles all over but the FFC hardly touched the ff. The FFC were observed fighting over dried poop so the 18" ff feeder was removed, dry crumbles were added. The chicks ate the crumbles voraciously. A tupperware lid with a spoonful of ff was added with crumbles around it to encourage eating of ff while being able to closely monitor consumption.
    4pm- ff was completely gone, another spoonfull was added
    9pm- ff was eaten again and more was added
    - all chicks were doing well, eating, drinking and active
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  2. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Songster

    May 9, 2011
    Arco, ID
    Looking forward to updates. :)
  3. kelpieschick

    kelpieschick In the Brooder

    May 15, 2012
    I'm excited to see your results too! I started out giving my babies FF exclusively (which they loved) but because of my long work days I ended up doing half FF and half crumbles. They like both of them equally and it seems to give them the same benefits. They have normal poos and they don't stink at all. So far (knock on wood) they are all healthy and happy. One thing I noticed when I started giving them the dry food too is that their water consumption jumped up big time. I also got a few with poo stuck to their feathers which had not started until I began the crumbles.

    I am surprised that your babies did not like the FF. Mine loved it right away. Did you use ACV ?

    I look forward to hearing your progress!
  4. AbbyDog

    AbbyDog In the Brooder

    Dec 2, 2010
    This may be an ignorant question, but what is the 'medication' in the medicated chick starter- and would it interfere with the acv bacterial culture?
  5. jrsckn

    jrsckn Chirping

    Apr 10, 2012
    The medication is amprolium, it prevents the chicks from getting coccidiosis by blocking thiamine uptake. It doesn't stop the fermentation process with acv at all.

    I did use acv so I'm not sure why they didn't like it at first. A couple stood and ate it like crazy but that did not influence the others one bit lol.

    Day 3 6/1/12
    7am- chicks all appeared in good health. CC had spilled dry feed everywhere so the feeder was removed to encourage scratching which was successful and the feeder was replaced a couple hours later. FFC had consumed all their feed so it was refilled.

    In the kitchen, the dish strainer towel had some mold growing on it due to the hot humid weather over the weeked. Mold was also observed on some biscuits so the remaining ff was strained and placed in the refridgerator in case of contamination. The liquid was discarded, bucket washed, and a new batch of ff was started with 4C feed, 3T ACV, 6C water, and a scoop from the bottom of the older chick fermenmt bucket to get things fermenting quickly.

    I decided to get my first weights on the chicks, I wanted to do it on day 1 but I didn't want to stress them out too much after being at the feed store all day. My results were not too surprising since the FFC didn't eat well the first day and a half. The one surprise is I have 1 extra chick in the ff group; apparently I can't do simple math lol. All chicks were weighed in ounces. FFC were: 2 at 1.875, 2, 8 at 1.75, 5 at 1.5, and 2 at 1.375. The average weight of FFC was 1.67 ounces. CC were: 2.5, 2.125, 2, 2 at 1.875, and 3 at 1.75. The CC average weight was 1.95 ounces.

    Without getting a before weight, it's hard to draw conclusions but based on the fact that FFC hardly ate for the first day and it's highly unlikely the heaviest chicks all went in the CC pen, I think the CC are off to a better start so far. But, their feeder is almost empty. They started with 3C of crumbles and the FFC started with 4C and still have 16oz of wet fermented food in the fridge. The ratio of CC vs FFC is 8:18; there are 10 more chicks eating ff and they are eating approximately the same amount of feed as CC! Even with the reduced intake on day 1 that is astounding.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  6. Island Roo

    Island Roo Songster

    Feb 14, 2012
    Duncan, BC
    You started a new thread for the experiment! [​IMG]

    My meaties were hesitant (at first) to eat the FF but they were already used to dry feed. I would not have expected the same from day-old chicks getting their first meal. On my next batch maybe I'll sprinkle dry over top the FF to get them started.

    Also interesting observation about the ACV water.

    Thanks for sharing your experiment / results!
  7. Okay, now my curiosity is peeked. Feed Store chicks are fed crumbles when they arrive. That might be why they reject the FF immediately and have to get used to it. I would be curious to find out if birds received directly from the mail would go straight for the FF, of if they would have an adjustment period too.
  8. jrsckn

    jrsckn Chirping

    Apr 10, 2012
    These chicks were ordered thru the feed store but were never unpacked, they were left in the travel boxes all day; very disappointing. They weren't given heat, food, or water. I also thought it was interesting they didn't go straight for feed no matter what it was, they were happy to eat their poo instead of ff [​IMG] Adding crumbles on top helped though, I've found this batch really likes scratching for their food so maybe that has something to do with it, who knows.

    Glad you guys are enjoying this as much as I am [​IMG]
  9. FWIW, I had to sprinkle crumbles on top of the FF too. They ignored the food for a day or two, then started gulping it down like they were starving. Now they eat about 2 troughs a day.
  10. jrsckn

    jrsckn Chirping

    Apr 10, 2012
    Day 4 6/2/12
    I refilled the ff several times and finally upgraded to a round 8-chick feeder and they used it! I think they have gone through half of the 2nd batch of ff. I added 4C to the CC so I do believe the FFC are eating more than them now. Total feed used to date (but not necessarily eaten) is 8C for FFC and 7C for CC.

    An interesting observation is the CC are more spread out away from the heat lamp than the FFC. They will sleep in groups of two all over the brooder whereas the FFC usually group together under the lamp or very near the highest heat area. I wonder if this is because the FFC are eating cooler wet food and need the extra heat to keep warm; it seems plausible.

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