We lifted the towel off the buckets of fermented feed this morning – did it smell!! I don’t know what smelled worse, the fermented feed or the sardines in the dogs’ raw food…
I took the bin out to the chickens and Isabella came right up, no hesitation today!
Seconds later, all the girls bellied up, finding their spot around the bin.
Before I could let myself out the door of the chicken run, a couple of them had jumped into the bin for easier access.
We have been talking about fermenting our chicken feed ever since we purchased our baby chicks. There are many benefits to eating fermented food, both for the chickens and for humans: more available probiotics and digestive enzymes, boosts the good bacteria in the digestive tract, makes food more palatable to chickens.
We finally started this week by purchasing a bag of corn, oat, barley grain mix (COB) and a bag of wheat berries. The rancher we purchase our grass fed beef from suggested following the recipe given at Scratch and Peck. To start, we used 1 pound of grain (approximately 2 ounces for each bird) mixed with a gallon of water in a bucket, then let it sit at room temperature for 4 days.
This morning, the 3rd day, we drained the water from the grain mixture, poured the liquid back in the bucket to start the next batch of fermented feed, and placed the grains in a short plastic bin to take out to the chicken run. I placed the bin in an area of the chicken run where the girls could gather around all of the sides. Like all new things, the chickens stood a foot or so away from the bin, looking, pacing a bit, and looking again. Isabella, one of the White Leghorns, went up to the bin first to take a taste. She took one grain and placed it on the ground outside the bin, then another, then another. Soon, the rest of the girls bellied up to the bin and started eating. Sandy, one of the Buffs, took one grain and ran 6 feet from the bin, ate a little, then dropped it to the ground, ate a little more, then dropped, and then finished it. I have never heard the girls so quiet…
They didn’t finish all of the fermented feed this morning so I sprinkled it on the ground under the tree. I brought the bin in to clean up for tomorrow’s feed. As soon as I placed the bin on the floor, Roxy helped me clean up.