The Great Fermentation Situation

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Poultry crumble is good for chickens.  Right? Right!  But want to know how you can make it even more nutritious?  Keep reading and I’ll tell you how I did it and the bumps I had along the way.

FERMENTATION!!!!

Not only does fermenting the feed make it easier to digest it boosts the protein by a ton.  Fermenting is all about GOOD BACTERIA.  Think PROBIOTICS.  After all gut health is important for everyone.

Oh and did I mention that it will save you some money?  Here’s how:

  1. Less waste: the ladies can’t knock all of the feed out of the feeder and pick and choose what they want to eat.
  2. Bigger Nutritional Payload: fermenting feed makes the vitamins more available for digestion
  3. Decreased Intake: This kind of goes with “Bigger Nutritional Payload” they need less feed to get the vitamins and nutrients they need.
  4. Immune Boost:  It strengthens their immune system.  If they get sick less often you aren’t buying as much medicine or replacing chickens or losing out on egg production.

So now that you know the WHY let’s address the HOW.

  1. Scoop a days worth of feed into a 5 gallon compound bucket with a lid.
  2. Level the feed and cover it with water
  3. Stir.  Make sure you eliminate any dry spots in the feed.  It will absorb the water and swell and you’ll have to add more water.  THE GOAL IS TO HAVE THE FEED COVERED BY 1 TO 2 INCHES OF WATER (the water keeps the oxygen from causing the feed to mold)
  4. Last step…LET IT SIT.  3 days is usually what we go with in a warm area.

So the following are some tips so that you don’t make the same mistake I did.

  • This process goes better in a warm environment.  I started off trying to do this in my freezing cold garage and the fermentation process went a lot slower.
  • Use a lid that will be loose or pop open.  Gases will be released and you don’t want anything to EXPLODE!!!
  • There are a few ways to know if it’s working: a yeasty smell, a foamy layer on the actual food (not the water), and my personal favorite it’ll bubble!!
  • Be on the look out for any mold or bad smells.

And there you have it!  Now if only I could get myself into eating more fermented foods.  I have kind of drawn the line at yogurt.  Maybe I’ll venture into trying Sauerkraut.

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(Yes it looks gross but the flock loved it)

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