Switch to Fermenting Feed and how often to feed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Icela, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Icela

    Icela New Egg

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    Hello there !

    I am pretty new in raising chickens. I would like to thank everyone in advance since I have been reading your posts and learning so much.
    Now I would like to have your feed back and advise. I have been feeding my girls with H&H No SOY No GMO layer feed and have been doing great until a few months back I believe they increased the amount of pellets in the mix and my girls DO NOT like the pellets...so they end up kicking it to the ground and wasting a lot of feed (which also allows for vermin to feel very welcome to the leftovers). I also left the feed out for them at all times for them. So I read somewhere about fermenting the food for three days or more and I would like to try doing so, in my efforts to not waste feed and hopefully get rid of the vermin.I have 11 girls 7 RI Reds /1 Barred/3 Easter Eggers and a NH Red Rooster. My questions are: How do you ferment your food??? and How often do you feed them, and how much per chicken? or anything else you may want to add...your experiences and knowledge will be very welcome. [​IMG]
     
  2. Icela

    Icela New Egg

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    " I want to live in a Society where people are intoxicated with the joy of making things " By William S. Coperthwaite
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    You'll get excellent how to in the fermented feed threads in the feeding and watering your flock section. Or you can type in a topic search at the top of this page. My girls got dry feed through the nasty cold part of the winter, but thankfully with return to warmer weather, I'm able to start their FF again. They did not do well on dry crumble, and are inhaling their FF. You'll get lots of advice on how often and how much to feed. I take them a bowl full of warm FF in the morning, and if they seem hungry and their crops are not full in the late afternoon, I take them some more. You'll eventually find out how much they need. It depends on what else they have available to eat... in the warmer months, my girls find quite a bit. In the winter, they are dependent on their food bowl with the addition of sprouts, table scraps and some scratch. I can't give you an exact amount of FF to feed your flock, but I can tell you what I do to feed 5 girls. I ferment crumble in a 1 qt yogurt container. I add some scratch and millet because I have it available. Started the original culture with about a tbsp. of ACV (with the mother) and enough water to cover the top of the feed. You'll want to start out with the container less than 1/2 full of feed, as it absorbs a lot of water. Stir twice/day, leave it open to room air, and when it starts bubbling, it's ready to feed. When I feed, I pour some into a bowl, add dry crumble to make it the right consistency, and top off the original batch with crumble and water. I find that it gets quite mature, so have been putting it in the refrigerator to keep it at the level of ferment that makes me happy. When I renew it, it sets out till it gets bubbling, then, in the fridge it goes. It is quite acid, so don't stir with metal, or put it in metal containers.

    With rodents to deal with, you'll need to be diligent to not feed your flock more than they can clean up in a few minutes. If you have hogs who won't share with the lower pecking order girls, you'll need to feed in several containers to allow them all to eat. You can also set up mouse/rat traps in your coop/run with a cover over them to keep the chickens from getting near the traps. Don't put out mouse/rat poison, as the rodents will horde it and chickens can then find it and eat it. They will also eat a mouse or rat if they are able to get ahold of it. You might do a thread search regarding mouse/rat traps. You'll find some interesting variations. When you deny the rodents access to feed, they'll be easier to catch. Is your feed stored in a rodent proof container???
     
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  4. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The "Fermented Feed for Meat Birds" thread has all the information you need and plenty of folks to answer your questions.
     
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  5. Icela

    Icela New Egg

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    yes, my feed is stored in a rodent proof container. Thank you for your input.
     

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