We have our first rooster. His name is Santa. The kids named him, what can I say?
While researching how to ferment chicken feed, I discovered that roosters shouldn’t eat the same feed as the hens. Say what? I learned that layer feed is too high in calcium and it could damage his kidneys. I had no idea. Sorry Santa. Long story short, I reached out to a couple of friends to ask if their roosters eat the same feed same layer crumble as her hens. Hard no.
I have been feeding my flock layer crumble for years because of how easy it is, but I knew I could do better. I wanted to switch to a better quality feed, because not being able to identify what the chickens were actually ingesting was bothering me. Also, when the chickens step on the crumble it breaks into powder. The coop floor is covered in this powder, so everytime I look in the coop I just see my money in powder form all over the floor. So the wasted money, mystery ingredients, Santa’s kidneys, and my love for a good fermenting all inspired me to move over to organic fermented feed.
My friend had her husband call me to explain what he feeds their 50+ chickens. He told me his feed recipe and how he ferments it. He was even kind enough to give me a jar of the liquid from his fermented feed to speed up the process for me!
I mixed up his recommended ratios of 1 part organic barley, 1 part organic wheat, and 1/2 part black oil sunflower seeds.
I put it all in a plastic bin, covered it with water and waited for the stink. Within 3 days the feed was bubbling! So satisfying.
This morning we fed the fermented feed to my flock for the first time and they gobbled up every last piece of it.
No more high end floor powder and Santa won’t need dialysis!
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