Question on fermented food for baby chicks

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by alessadry, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. alessadry

    alessadry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 17 chicks are 5 days old today (lost one this morning sadly and couldn't find a reason) and am considering starting them on fermented food after reading here some benefits.They look healthy and happy overall (just have a weaker one that will eat only starter chick mixed with egg and water and one that gets itchy fits every now and then) and I have a few pasty butts throughout the day, but clean them as soon as I notice them. Here are my questions:

    Can fermented food help with pasty butt?

    I am planning to buy them probiotics Monday, do they still need probiotics if I start them on fermented food?

    Can it be kept out all day long for them to eat?

    Can they get sick from overeating it? Last night I offered my chicks mush made with chick starter/electrolytes and a bit of egg yolk and they it like crazy non- stop for 4 hours (a whole little bowl of it!) and now wondering if the one I lost this morning got sick from over eating. It seems like they eat wet food like crazy compared to dry.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    My adult hens will bypass scratch for simple wet layer feed. I limit the amount I put out for a few reasons. I don't want any sitting out at the end of the day. I don't want to draw mice. Those are my two main reasons.

    I would feed the chicks only a small amount in the morning and perhaps again in the afternoon. Enough that they all get some but I would want it to be finished within about 15 minutes or less.

    I don't do the fermented feed. I make a very simple mash of the regular food and water. I let it sit and get mushy for only ten minutes or so before I feed it to them.

    A little ACV and a tiny bit of molasses mixed in the mash is how I handled pasty butt in a few chicks two years ago. Did it cure it? I really am not sure but it did not hurt them either. I gave the molasses in the feed three times a week for a month.
    I used a very very small amount maybe 1/8th teaspoon per chick. It is much easier to mix it in the water then add that to the dry feed.
     
  3. tifanicole

    tifanicole Out Of The Brooder

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    I am right with you! Man!!! I hate being new at anything lol. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so that trial and error stuff just feels like a bunch of failure [​IMG]
    I fermented the chicks food after reading up on here but I found the little ones got it all over their chests :/ So until I figure things out a bit more I guess we are back to dry chick starter and probiotics in the water.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    babies play in their food. That's what they do. a little feed on the feathers is no biggie. give them a place for a dust bath (a plug of sod from your untreated lawn will give them many advantages, dust bathing being the least of them!) and they can clean themselves up. If you make it a bit thicker, it will not be as messy.
     
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  5. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you giving them fermented feed then I wouldn't think you would need any additional pro-biotic supplements, as pro-biotics are what is fermenting the feed. As for them getting sick from eating too much, anyone, including yourself can get sick from eating too much, Fortunately chickens can instinctively regulate their food intake.
     
  6. tifanicole

    tifanicole Out Of The Brooder

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    I hate being new! lol My son speculates that maybe I need a different feeder. But I think the hard likely to make a mess no matter what. I can definitely strain it to be a bit thicker though.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Are you keeping water over it when you make it? That's not necessary. Most of us are now making it thick, like thick oatmeal. the serving spoon will stand up in it, and when it's ladeled out, it will hold it's form. A few years ago, it was recommended to keep water over it, but that whole idea has pretty much been displaced. Check out the article at bottom of my signature.
     
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  8. tifanicole

    tifanicole Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome thanks!
     

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