Using Whey?


14 Years
Dec 8, 2007
I think this would be pretty acidic with having added vinegar to the milk.
Hi, if you look at the papers that calculate the acidity of foods (which basically come up with fruits and plants basic, grains and meat acidic) they calculate just the mineral/ion concentration and add them up. Acidity mostly comes from high phosphorus, unbalanced by minerals from the left hand side of the element table. Much to my surprise, cheese is the most acidic of all classes of foods, while milk or yogurt are near neutral. And the difference is the whey. The organic acids you talk about do not really count, as, e.g., citric acid inside the animal reverts to alkaline compounds (bicarbonate). Look for acid renal load in scientific papers. The table is in a paper by Remer and Manz but is behind a paywall.


Still learning
Jan 28, 2018
Gower, Wales
whenever a little bit of milk here starts to sour, I stand the bottle in the window for some gentle solar heating, and once it sets and separates into curds and whey I give it to the chickens, as is. They love it, eating the curds and drinking the whey, and I'm sure it does them good, though I can't prove it :p


8 Years
Apr 4, 2013
So, I periodically make acid-set cheese from discount milk and end up with several quarts of whey remaining.

I can use a quart to make bread if I have guests (I'm on a low-carb diet so I need to feed bread to other people so I don't eat it all).

I can drink a cup or two (hot, with salt and pepper). No one else will drink it.

I hate pouring it down the drain, so ...

Can I use it up in any useful quantity making mash for my chickens? Mixing it with feed and/or scratch?

Especially, if I mix it with scratch will it help improve the nutritional quality? I only give scratch once or twice a week -- mainly as a training treat or to help the integration process by letting all chickens have a treat together. When I give scratch I often mix it with things like scraps from soup-making.

This is the best nutritional info I've found, but I don't know if the sodium content reflects mine because I don't salt the milk before making the cheese, preferring to salt the cheese afterward.,_fluid,_acid_nutritional_value.html

With my math disability I get lost in feed analysis numbers beyond simple things like % protein and grams of carbs. 🤣
Oh, yea.... give it to the chickens. They LOVE it! I just pour it as is in a pan for them, and they drink it like water.


Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
I'm still researching, as I find time. Not many studies, much conflicting information, small sample size, few suggested explanations.


Thus far, making wet mash with it seems best, plus all the water they can drink. Only in SMALL quantities. Continuing to look, but the gut feeling here from what i have read is that whey protein needs to remain under 2%, likely undder 1%!!! That both bad news and good - as many sources give the protein content of liquid whey at 1g (or 0.9g)/100g, meaining you make mash with it as if it were water, and you are just fine. Trying to make it with dried whey powder seems not worth the effort (and contrary to the intent of this thread, anyways), and certainly not worth the expense in terms of improved bird condition - half the studies find no change, the other half find small improvements (smaller than you can see) in weight gain (often paired with reductions in feed efficiency) for birds fed a whey protein supplimented diet AFTER their first 4-6 weeks of age.

Also, most of the studies are with broilers, which may - or may not - matter. Though one involved birds over 120 days of age as starting state, and found no detrimental effects, it was not looking at weight gain, only lactobacillus loads (total susbtantially unchanged, though compositions altered) in the gut and foot condition (no change).


8 Years
Apr 4, 2013
In response to all this, I only give the whey to my chickens (both meat and egg layers) when I have excess due to cheese making, which isn't all that often, in reality. So, it's a treat to them, so keep that as your main focus, like any treats... in moderation!

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