Fur, Feathers, Fluff and Fuzz, Poultry, Saving Money, The Piggy Bank

Ferment All the Things!

I’ve already written about fermented tea, and I’m sure you’ll hear about some of my other ferments in posts to come. But… did you know that you could ferment things for your animals as well? Ferment all the things!

After reading Welcome to the Farm, by Shaye Elliot, we began a 3 day fermentation on our grain. To do this, we fill a 1 gallon bucket with grain and then fill the bucket with water until we can see it just below the surface of the grain. I loose fitting lid, or towel is placed over the top of the bucket and the bucket is set at room temperature for 3 days.

We start a new fermentation every day so that we always have freshly fermented food for our hens. We currently have 12 hens and they make their way through most of this feed each day. I would adjust it accordingly for your chickens as after 3 days the ferment can begin to turn.

Moldy food is never good for any of your animals and can make them very sick, so it is also necessary to make sure that you clean out the feeder well each day. The fermented food can easily become stuck in the corners and edges of the trough and mold and turn sour to the point that it is no longer good for your chickens to eat.

The advantage of fermented grain? Well, as mentioned with fermented tea, good bacteria grow in the fermented grain and are great for chicken’s digestive health. Additionally, the fermented grain expands and sometimes will start to sprout, providing more nutritional value to your hens.

In providing more nutritional value, the shells of your eggs will increase in thickness. Added bonus? Bigger yolks. I may not like hard boiled yolks, but when it comes to bigger yolks in my poached or over-easy eggs… yes please!

This is also more economical. Since the nutritional value increases and the grain expands with fermentation, your chickens are full faster. Thus, you spend less money on chicken feed for your chickens that are not solely free range.

For now, we just purchase the grain from our local MFA feed supplier. However, at some point we would love to grow our own grains to make our own scratch to ferment for our chickens. However you choose to do it, I think the advantages definitely outweigh the draw backs.

Leave a Reply