New to fermenting. Tools/equipment needed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chickmama2, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. chickmama2

    chickmama2 Just Hatched

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    Hey all. So I have dived into the fermenting world this week and I have a question. What do you all use to put your feed in? I have a flock of 8 and the plates / pie pans I've tried either gets turned over or they walk/step in. Thoughts? Suggestions?

    Do you feed them the water too. Like a pig slop or drain it first?

    Also how long do you leave the fermented food out before you pull the uneaten feed? Hour? 2 hours? (Mind you we still are trying to figure out our ratio needed)

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  2. centralcaligirl

    centralcaligirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Several people have made little wooden troughs for their feed, which I may try at some point. I only have three chickens right now and I use a dog bowl - the kind that has a wider base than top.

    I find that when it's drier it's easier for them to eat. I drain off the liquid and use it as the starter for my next batch of fermented feed.

    I'm still trying to figure out my feeding ratios too!
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think everyone does it slightly differently, but here's my "set up":

    What do you all use to put your feed in? I have a flock of 8 and the plates / pie pans I've tried either gets turned over or they walk/step in.

    I have 4 birds. I use 2 ceramic cat (or small dog) bowls placed on a pair of bricks side-by-side, so there's 2 feed stations. I used to use larger containers and the birds would stomp on it, so these smaller ones make it more difficult for them to stand in and they're also durable and clean easily. The reason I have 2 FF stations is because even with just 4 birds the lowest rank bird tends to get picked on, so this spreads out the flock and keeps them from fighting over the food as much.

    Do you feed them the water too. Like a pig slop or drain it first?

    My birds like it dry as possible, and so I mix my ferment very thick, like thick oatmeal. If it's more watery than they'd like, I'll add extra dry feed on top before serving.

    Also how long do you leave the fermented food out before you pull the uneaten feed? Hour? 2 hours?

    My birds usually finish off most of the FF in a couple of hours (they get layer pellets the rest of the day). But once in a while they don't, usually because it's raining and the FF has gotten too watery for their liking. As long as there's food in the bowl I just leave it out, even if it's the rest of the day. At end of the day I throw out anything that's left and take the bowls in for cleaning.

    For my flock I serve 6 heaping 1/4 cup ladle scoops each day. They could probably eat a little more but that's how much my bowls hold.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    This article written by TikkiJane will answer all of your questions:

    https://tikktok.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/fermented-feed-faq/

    My adult flock is usually around 15. I now have 46 chicks growing out. (what was I thinking??????) I feed my adult birds in dog food bowls that I buy at the $ store. It's easy to spread the bowls out for multiple feeding stations and plop the feed into them. Eventually, I'll make a trough feeder, but haven't gotten around to it. The chicks: I have various smaller containers I use. My favorite is to use the round plastic chick feeder, and put a dixie cup in the big hole to keep them from playing in that big hole. I've also used a plastic chip and dip container (again, from the dollar store). It has a moat around the outside for chips, and a hole in the middle for the dip. That works great as a feeder.

    Don't use metal. The acid in the FF will leach the metal into the feed, and ruin the container.

    You don't need to make your FF sloppy at all. Make it the consistency that you want to feed it at. Mine is about the consistency of drop biscuit dough. I simply leave a bit in the bottom of the bucket, and refill it. I use 3 gallon buckets b/c they are not as heavy to carry. I just grab a bucket and head out the door with it.

    I don't pull uneaten food. I simply cover it up (it's a rare event that there's any left over) at the end of the day to discourage rodents. You will eventually learn how much they will eat. You might try giving them a smaller portion in the morning, and then add extra around supper time, until you figure out how much they will eat. Their world will not come to an end if they don't have food in front of them 24/7!
     

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