Our little chicks, now pullets are growing so fast, and are already moving to the next stage of feed. It reminds me of babies with the different stages of baby food! They were eating chick starter food, with no snacks for the first 6 weeks. They are now moving to Pullet Developer, and will eat this until they are at the laying age which is around 18 weeks.
We are using still using the Coyote Creek brand, which is 100% certified organic and non-GMO project certified. I am super happy, because a local store just started to carry the feed, so I won’t have to pay for shipping anymore!!!
I continually do research on chicken food, and came across the method of fermenting feed. Feed fermenting is covering food in water and letting it sit in a cool dark place for 3-4 days. this helps create probiotics that help with digestion and gut health. Studies have shown that feeding fermented feed can help increase egg weight, eggshell thickness and boost the chicken’s intestinal health and immune system. It has also shown to increase their immunity to diseases including salmonella and E.Coli!
Long Story short – if you will be buying eggs from me at some point THEY WILL BE AMAZING!!
There are some good money saving benefits of fermenting feed:
- Chickens will eat less, because nutrients are more readily absorbed
- Don’t have to add brewer’s yeast to chicken feed. Fermentation add vitamins (vitamin B, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin)
- Don’t have to add probiotics powder to chicken feed, since fermentation also adds this.
- Best of all there will be no waste, because chickens love it. It isn’t as messy as non fermented feed, so there is also less spillage.
To Make Fermented Feed
Supplies needed: glass container (or BPA free plastic container), cheese cloth (I actually used a shelf liner with holes, since I couldn’t find cheese cloth), chicken feed, and water
Fill container 1/3 of the way full and add enough water where feed is covered with an extra inch of water (need to leave room in the container for growth) and cover. After one hour it absorbed all the water, and I had to add more.
Store in a cool, dry place (I just put in in my pantry). Stir a few times a day, and add more water as needed. You should start seeing some milky liquid and bubbles forming. Smell the mixture. It should smell a bit tangy, like sourdough. After three days, strain and feed the solids.
I decided so I would always have feed ready to go I would start a new batch every day. I will also offer days of non fermented feed, so my chickens don’t become food snobs. There will be times when we take a vacation, and I don’t want them to only prefer the fermented feed.
A snack option I will be offering soon to the chickens is sprouts. Haven’t fully figured out what type of sprouts I will be offering them, hopefully will have this figured out in the next week of so.