Pros and cons for fermenting feed.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Amandakae, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. Amandakae

    Amandakae Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 12, 2015
    Hi, I know that there are many many threads on fermented feeds, but I thought I would share some of my experiences and ask for advice from some of you more experienced meat raisers. I got 50 Cornish Cross chicks last spring. They were free range from very early. I fermented their feed and gave them limited rations, unfortunately too limited and it stunted their growth :confused:. Other than being very hungry at feeding time, they were very happy and seemingly healthy chickens until all of a sudden half of them died to coccidiosis.

    Now, I am not sure if I want to ferment our feed this time. I will be taking many more precautions when it comes to cleaning their feeders, and I will be feeding a medicated feed for the first little bit since we know that there are high levels of coccidiosis on our land. I will also be feeding them more feed in more feeders, with a dedicated eating area that I can clean between feeds. I really liked that the chicks did not seem to drink an enormous amount of water and the fact that their poo was solid and not stinky. Their coop did not stink at all. I hear about how people call their chicks little piggies and all they do is eat and poop and smell disgusting. My chicks were very active being free range, but I do not know if that has anything to do with the fermenting their feed. I know that this is a hot topic, so please just share your experiences with me.
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    I ferment my feed. The only time I don't is if it is below freezing or I am out of town. I ferment a mix of gamebird starter and scratch grains to make a 20% feed. The birds love it. I can't say there are many cons beyond just having one more thing to stay on top of, but its easy enough that I just put the grains in the container right after I scoop out their feed (I use 3 1-gallon containers that I rotate). I let the grains soak for a day then I add the crumble and that goes for another two days and then I feed. I found the grains swell more doing it this way.

    I would suggest you do something similar to what I do, which is the fermented feed in the AM but have meat bird pellets available all day (once they hit three weeks). I don't raise meat birds but I use the pellets as a sort of all flock feed since I have layers, roosters, guineas, and turkeys all together.

    In my experience, cleaning the feeders is not an issue, because if you are feeding the right amount it is picked clean right down to the last grain and crumble.

    How old were they when they died?
     

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