I know I failed to do a blog about my chickens... but I have chickens! I have 6 at the moment, but if your on BYC than you know that only 1 of those count, so I need more! I have 5 silkies and 1 hamburg. Of those silkies 3 are still chicks, one is a rooster, and the other is my only laying hen. The hamburg is a hen who has yet to lay =) (the only one that counts according to BYC'ers is the laying one)
BYC was my tool in all information chicken related, and it is there that I stumbled on fermenting feeds. I also consult other sites like Natural Chicken Keeping and The Chicken Chick. Here is a quick explanation of fermented feeds and the benefits from Natural Chicken Keeping.
The fermentation process uses naturally occurring bacteria to partially break down the food, improving its enzyme content and increasing its levels of vitamins B, C and K. It also makes food more digestible, and boosts the "usable" protein level by about 12 percent.
The other benefits to using fermented feed:
Additional studies note that:
So I didn't read ANY negatives but a long list of positives. What originally made me interested in it was that BYC users were saying that it created less food waste and their chickens devoured it! It wasn't until I researched it that I found MANY benefits.
The first time I tried to ferment feed I got one good batch and a couple moldy, so I stopped for months. I began wetting my chickens feed prior to feeding to stop as much food waste and because the chickens prefer it; now if I feed dry they will peck at it a little than leave it and just look at me, sometimes even bhach at me like whats this nonsense!
Since I know all the benefits I decided to try fermenting again. I talked to some BYC'ers who had success and they told me it was really simply but it needed to STAY covered in water to prevent mold growth. I had read somewhere else equal parts water and feed. I made a batch a few days ago and it turned out PERFECT. The chickens love it!
Here is an image of what it looks like fermenting feed:
Today I started 3 new batches of fermented feed =)
I may need to scoop off the top of all three and start a fourth. My fermented feed is actually a mix of 4 different feeds. I have all flock crumbles, layer pellets, wild bird seed, and a few rabbit pellets that were left over from when my Isabella died =/, I also have a powder vitamin formula you see on the window I sometimes add in!
If you have children, and especially if you have multiple feeds like me than they will LOVE making this stuff!