Next Experiment: Fermented Feed
Whether it’s yogurt or sauerkraut or sourdough or cod liver oil, fermented foods are good for human health. Apparently, fermentation is good for chickens, too.
Here’s what I found about the benefits of fermented chicken feed.
- It increases the digestibility and nutrient absorption. The protein usage increases by 12% and it enhances the content of certain vitamins.
- It improves gut health and strengthens the immunity. It makes the chickens more resistant to e. coli, salmonella, flagella, and coccidia and increases parasite resistance.
- Less food is consumed because of the increased nutrient absorption and the food itself doubles in size when fermented. Chickens go through a Lot of chicken food so decreasing the food bill is a definite boon.
- They lay better quality eggs. My hens haven’t started laying so I won’t be able to verify this one but all reports indicate giving chickens fermented food will result in increased yolk size, increased egg weight, increased rate of laying, better flavor, and thicker egg shells.
- A much improved end result – chicken poop. With less undigested matter in the feces there is less nitrogen in the manure, less smell, fewer flies, and less ammonia. Not only that but their stools are more solid and they poop less. How great is that?!
It seems to be an uncomplicated process. Not as easy as just pouring crumbles into the feeder but pretty close. Put the food in a jar, cover it with enough water to give it room to expand, put a plate or towel over the top, let it sit on the counter for 3 or 4 days, stir daily, add more water if needed.
It appears there’s nothing to lose so, I started my first jar today.