Suddenly refusing fermented food

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChickenHawk12, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Lazygardener....Speckledhen's Third Hand knowledge is here now so re-direct your snarkines this way.

    I will say this once and ONLY once nor will I discuss it. Fermenting feed is a controlled rot plain, simple, and fact. Fact 2, rotting food can go really wrong really fast. Fact 3...fermenting requires wetting feed, wet food and environmental effects means mold and botulism which equals dead birds. Fact 4...if an animal who eats anything from cold pizza, baked chicken and feed to nails, screws, and jewelry won't eat it...the animal is obviously the one with the smarts in the owner/animal group. Fact 5...the person whose birds started dying was my friend here in KY who called a couple days after she began feeding FF to her birds, including some age had just purchased from me. Their crops stopping functioning properly and the u r breath indicated sour crop. Necropsies of the ones that died confirmed sour crop and botulism. The smell was horrendous. The feed that was fermented was fresh mill feed.

    So feed what you want and consider yourself lucky...thusfar. but if animals are refusing to eat it...trust the animal to be a bit smarter than yourself about what's not right to eat especially when they will eat just about anything.

    For the record, I personally know 6 other people who tried FF and it killed theirs as well...diagnostic testing proved botulism as CoD.

    Yes my response was sarcastic, direct, to the point and not open for discussing because frankly I do not have the time to waste on silly. I call stupid for what it is. Remember...luck runs out. Just as I have suffered predator losses and Soeckledhen has not...she and I know it is luck and a mere matter of time....that us also fact for our environments.

    Have a nice day.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    My apologies if I've offended. However, I did agree that there was a problem with the feed. Note Bold print. Fermentation is not a fad. It has been around far longer than any of us as a method for keeping, preserving and enhancing food. Sour dough bread? Sour kraut? Yeast bread? Yogurt? Buttermilk? Vinegar? Wine? Good old fashioned pickles? All have yeast or bacteria introduced into them to make them better for human consumption. Yes, any food product can have problems. I've seen a jar of apple sauce on the grocery shelf oozing down the side, with a good 2" of the product bubbled out of the jar, and black mold floating on the top of the remaining contents. Obviously, there was a problem there. I had a bag of feed that my birds wouldn't eat, whether served up dry or fermented. (nothing visibly wrong with it, looked and smelled just fine.) I tried all ways, but listened to them, and returned the feed. Have never had a similar problem with any feed, fermented, or other wise since then. But, if I do have a feed problem, I'll be looking at the feed first. Dry feed can have even more issues with mold contamination that fermented feed.
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Just remove the choice. They aren't eating the FF because it's cold out now. They just don't like putting beaks into a cold mixture is all.

    You don't need water on top of your FF at all, so you can dispense with that. If there is water on top when it's done absorbing fully into the feed, just add more feed until you have a drier mix that is more along the lines of a mortar mixture instead of a soupy one. That's another reason they won't eat the FF at times...soupy, cold wet feed isn't pleasant to put a face into. There's absolutely no reason to keep the feed under water, no matter what you may have heard or read, it's not necessary and only causes problems like this.

    As for sour crops and botulism....I'd say someone mismanaged the feed if that was their results. Some people lack the common sense it takes to manage a controlled fermentation process and that's okay...it's best if they don't try it. Sour crop and botulism is not a common problem when feeding FF...at all. No more than botulism in home canned goods is...that's the sign of poor canning techniques, is all. Yet, fear mongers will use a few incidents of poor techniques to scare the masses about both things~both of which have stood the test of time for millions of people and millions of chickens, all of which came to no harm while using both methods.

    Living in fear is not living. And, no , just because the chickens won't eat something doesn't mean it's harmful in some way...in this case, it's cold and gloopy compared to dry feed. Easy choice.

    Just don't offer the choice of the dry feed and mix a dryer mix and problems solved.

    BTW, just LOVE it when people with no experience whatsoever in a feeding method feel competent in giving advice on it. [​IMG] Next time I need surgery I'll give y'all a call and see if you can remove an organ for me, just because you know people who have had one removed. [​IMG]

    Cetawin~Fact 1: Your friend who lives in KY isn't you, so your first hand experience? Nil. By definition, first hand means it was you, not your friend. Your experience isn't even experience, it's an anecdotal story from someone else who experienced it. SHE had the experience, not you...and from the sounds of it her experience was a botched effort at fermentation that resulted in problems and then she quit....VERY little experience. Someone who tried it once and did it so poorly she killed birds is not someone I'd be putting much faith in.
     
    3 people like this.
  4. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So is there actually any benefit to just wetting the food a little bit?
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Not much other than they can't bill out the food all over the floor as well as they can when it's dry. Makes it a little easier to get a big mouthful than when dry, as well.
     
  6. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, that sounds better than nothing.
     
  7. Chicken girl 15

    Chicken girl 15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Again I state only facts from my PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. . I also remind you I am on my first flock, only started easter day.

    I have a feeder of dry feed out and available 24/7 for them. Very first thing in the morning I had deliver 2 gallons of "soaked" feed. I wouldn't call it fermented since it only sits 24 hours . The girls come running and tripping over each other for breakfast every morning.

    Facts about the way I do my wet feed.
    I only add enough water to make a paste not a slurry.
    I only soak 24 hours as I'm terrified of killing my flock from sour feed.
    I haven't "washed" the bucket I soak in since I started. Kind of like a sourdough starter.
    I add fresh or frozen berries to their wet feed as I dump it in the feed pan.

    Could I be doing this wrong? Oh heaven's yes, I probably am by most standards.

    Could my way be the best way? Well heck yes, but probably not.

    Its all based on PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, as well as personal preference. Also a good relationship between the human and the bird. No one person is right. There really is no reason to argue, belittle or be ugly. Anything we have to say has a nice way of being said.
     
  8. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just started FF a few months ago, but one of the biggest benefits I think is having the moisture "built-in" to the food. I noticed my flock is now getting most of its water from the FF, and I have to refill waterers much less frequently. I have confidence they are well hydrated. My flock loves FF but also loves a simple wet mash.

    I think the modern use of dry food for convenience in manufacturing, transport, feeding etc. is not the best for animal health, esp. kidney health.

    To the OP, as others suggested, simplify your process and skip the dry feed. I have a big pottery bowl of FF. After I got good bubbles on day 3, I started feeding out of that batch twice a day. It should not be soupy or watery. More like wet cat food. I dip out a meal, leaving plenty remaining in the bowl, refill with dechlorinated water, add more dry feed, and stir. Get nice bubbles and pleasant sour smell. Feed second feeding end of day, refill. And so it goes.

    On the other hand, sometimes it is wise to respect when an animal refuses to eat something. The melamine scandal that poisoned so many dogs a few years ago comes to mind. Good luck.
     
  9. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I figure if it helps the powdery stuff to stick so that they actually eat it then it is helpful. I haven't made up my mind about fermenting food yet, my chickens don't seem to like the food even wet so I don't know what they would do with fermented food. I might try it for a while and see what happens after I do some more research. I don't have much room and right now I only have two chickens :) So I think a mason jar would be more than enough.
    For all you fermenting people out there can you tell me the absolute easiest way to do it? I work all day, can't be going out to feed the chickens three or four times a day. Thanks for any advice.
     
  10. Chicken girl 15

    Chicken girl 15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When you tuck them in to roost at night make sure to pull dry feed from reach. First thing when you get up and start your coffee pot, the girls have already been up for hours, go give them a dish of FF . Before you leave for work give the dry back. Repeat daily. If after a few days they still refuse the FF drop it all . Follow their lead.
     

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