What kind of feeder for fermented baby chick food?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Melinda29, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. Melinda29

    Melinda29 Hatching

    Mar 19, 2015
    Hi everyone!

    I am brand new to BYC, but not to chickens. I need some help with my latest batch of babies, though!

    I recently researched quite a bit about fermenting feed and definitely wanted to go that route this time. We have a mix of roasters and layers that were hatched on Friday. On Saturday, I mixed their starter feed with water to ferment. On Sunday, it was a gloppy mess, the consistency of yogurt, even after it had been strained. But I figured the brand of starter I bought here must be ground more finely than most or something....

    I gave it to them on Sunday morning in one of those small round plastic feeders with little holes all the way around, that you screw a jar on top. It was labeled as a chick feeder.

    On Sunday night, I checked and one chick had fallen through a hole and was trapped under the jar for I don't know how long. She was almost dead, but we nursed her back to health. I took the jar off and left the base since it seemed like that was the problem, but Monday morning, another chick had gotten trapped and was dead. I don't understand. I tried giving them the fermented feed in a pie plate, but they waded through it, got covered it it, started picking at each other to eat it, ugh! It was a huge mess. I keep looking at other chick feeders to try, but think, "Nope, they could get trapped in that one, too."

    I don't understand why this isn't working. I'm not sure if it is the feeder itself, or the fact that the food was wet and stuck to them so they got too heavy to climb out, or both....

    What do you use? Do you just wait until they are bigger to start giving fermented food? HELP!!!
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
  2. Odelia

    Odelia Songster

    Feb 20, 2014
    I have never tried giving fermented feed to day old chicks. I would wait a couple of weeks personally. How many chicks do you have? If I only had a few chicks I would put it in a large ceramic ramekin.
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I put mine in a shallow straight sided bowl. I always keep it shallow enough so that they can't fall in. Initially, I'd just put a plop of it on a paper plate or on a piece of cardboard. What ever works. As you've found out, and thanks BTW for sharing your experience: If there's any way for a chick to fall into something and drown, or get smothered, they will! And yes, they will stand in it, they will get covered in it, they will look like they've been in a cafeteria food fight, and they will then groom it off each other. Just like the baby sitting in the high chair, smearing chocolate pudding all over the place, chicks feel the need to become one with their food!
  4. Melinda29

    Melinda29 Hatching

    Mar 19, 2015

    I have 18 roasters and 8 layers.
  5. Melinda29

    Melinda29 Hatching

    Mar 19, 2015

    How big is your bowl and how deep do you put the food it?

    I had only put about 2 inches of food in the chick feeder, but it seemed like the fact that there were holes in the feeder that allowed them to climb in and then not climb back out may have contributed???

    Do you use a shallow bowl indefinitely? Like a pie plate? At what point do they stop climbing in?

    Thanks for your ideas!
  6. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    If you can find a couple small, thin pieces of wood, each 2" x !0" long, cut two squares, maybe 3" x 3" and glue them on the ends of the two pieces, forming a "v" trough. Then get a piece of half inch hardware cloth, cut to fit over the top of the tiny feeding trough, and you have a FF chick feeder that no chick can get caught in or get messy in.

    Your FF was too liquid and all you need to do is add more dry crumbles until it's a nice thick consistency. FF seems to accumulate liquid, the longer it ferments, so I just add dry feed to it to bring it back to the desired consistency.

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