Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fermented Chicken Feed

Fermented Chicken Feed

Lacto-Fermentation is a way of preserving and enhancing foods through lactic acid. It's been around way before we've had ways to chill our food, can with high heat or use of artificial preservatives. Examples of  lacto-fermented foods we eat: yogurt, sauerkraut, fermented pickles...etc.

Benefits of fermenting chicken feed:
  • Increases digestibility
  • Preserves vitamins AND creates new vitamins. Specifically B vitamins (B1, B3, B12, B9)
  • Contains numerous helpful enzymes, antibiotic & anti carcinogenic substances
  • Promotes growth of healthy flora through intestines
  • Removes phytic acid (anti nutrient in grains that binds up minerals and prevents those minerals from being absorbed in the digestive system), thus allowing more minerals to be absorbed.
  • Increases egg weight and shell thickness
  • Reduces feed consumption = less feed = saves $$
  • Less chicken waste & what does come out is more solid and not as smelly
  • Increases growth rate (If you're raising meat chickens this is exactly what you want)

The process of fermenting chicken feed is really quite simple.

What you need:

  • Feed
  • Water
  • Food safe containers (with lids) (I went to our local grocery store bakery and they sold me buckets for $1)
  • Strainer

 First add some feed to you container.

Add water 

 Make sure the water is well above the feed. 

Place lid on the container.

I repeated these steps the next day and a third day. I ended up with 3 containers of fermenting feed. I labeled them 1, 2 and 3. So that I can keep track of which is which.

On the 4th day I strained the feed. It kind of has a sweet smell to it.

Replaced what I took out with new feed and add water if needed.

 I, then, replaced the lid on the bucket and took the feed out to the chickens.

Then next day I'll go to bucket 2. The following day to bucket 3. Then the day after I'll return to bucket 1.
The reason I'm using a 3 bucket system is to allow the feed I add 3 days to ferment.

*Note: When I got to the point of having to ferment a large quantity (due to having a lot of meat birds and them growing). I drilled holes in a bucket and stuck it inside the other bucket and lifted it to drain.*

That's all there is to it!

The chickens loved it!

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