Simple Fermenting & also Fermenting Scratch for Laying Hens

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by yeshuaisiam, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. yeshuaisiam

    yeshuaisiam Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2012
    I didn't want to start 2 threads on this subject. Basically my family spends a FORTUNE on feed for our rather large flock. Just were introduced to fermenting so we are like kids in a candy store. Basically I have a 2 part question.

    1) What is a good process with simple materials to ferment layer pellets?

    (I was thinking of using a 5 gallon bucket filling 1/3 with pellets, the rest with water and leaving it sitting for 4-5 days in a cool dark area - would this work?) Also we did 1 bucket last night and it turned into "goop" sort of like cream of wheat. It has 2 inches of water over it. Is this right?


    2) Does fermenting scratch grains dramatically increase the nutrients where you can add more than 10%?


    3) Any good methods to strain the water?
     
  2. annabellaknits

    annabellaknits Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure this is in the rite thread but....
    I personally would not ferment pellets there's really nothing left in them to ferment. The reason for fermenting to go get whole grains to change there biology and pellets are just man made mixtures and everything a chickens needs.
    If you use whole grains then your idea should work. It may take some time for you to figure out the length of time to let fermentation happen. Anywhere from 3 to 5 days. You have to mix at least once a day. It's better to have a bit too much water then not enough. Mine always have about an inch of water but once I mix it it reconstituted. You'll know it's ready because it will be bubbling away and the smell will change to a bit more sweet.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Pellets, a bucket, water, correct temp (60 - 90*) and time. You can ferment whole grains, cracked grains, or any kind of prepared chicken feed. You don't need to strain the water. Once you have your first ferment matured (bubbling well) you can serve it up. Save back a couple of cups in the bottom of your bucket, add more water and feed, stir, and feed out again the next day. Continue on a daily basis. You can make it about the consistency of cooked oatmeal, so that it holds form when dropped off the serving spoon. No straining required. I would not plan on scratch grains providing much of my flock's diet. Any feed fermented will make the nutrients in it more bio-available. But it will not increase the nutrients there. It will not add more protein to the 10% that is in a bag of scratch.

    Not true. Pellets are just more processed than the other types of feed. Whole grains are ground with all of the nutrient additives that go into a bag of feed. That's mash. The mash is extruded into pellet form. Those pellets are then broken up into crumble. Any of these forms will ferment very well, and you will immediately start to see the benefit of FF over dry feed. As far as bagged processed feed having everything a chicken needs, I beg to differ. That's why free range eggs have: 30% less cholesterol, 4 x more vitamin E, 2 x more vit. A, 8 x more Beta carotene, 3 x more Omega 3's, and 30% less sat. fat than the eggs of birds who only eat pellets. (Mother Earth News 2007)

    While it would be desirable to be able to ferment whole grain feed, that's not economically practical, or even feasible in many areas of the country. There are no feed mills in my state that I am aware of.
     
  4. yeshuaisiam

    yeshuaisiam Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2012
    Thank you so much for your perfect response. I am very excited to start on this new venture of fermenting feed. We were burning through a ton of money and are hoping to not only save $, but benefit the chickens! It seems this is the perfect solution to our problems. :) Our chickens were "good" just not "great" and were burning through a lot of feed and mediocre laying.

    We have several buckets fermenting as I am writing this. :) We are also offering the dry pellets as well until we can convert them completely over. God Bless you for this response! All other pointers appreciated. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Go to the fermented feed thread. Surprised the mods haven't moved this over there! If you can keep the FF from freezing solid when you feed them, I'd take the dry feed away. I feed my girls in the coop (in the winter, outside the rest of the year) in the morning, then if they seem super hungry, give them a bit more in late afternoon. Really, they'll make the convert to FF slower if you give both dry and FF.
     
  6. yeshuaisiam

    yeshuaisiam Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2012
    Yes, seeing that you are in Maine, I understand it freezing. I'm in Texas and rarely would it freeze during the day - especially brought out at room temps in the morning. Will go to the fermented feed thread (it's long!) and look for more info. Thank you for all your help.
     

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