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new feed for chicks this year

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1 new feed for chicks this year on Sat May 17, 2014 10:19 pm

mirycreek

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I used to start chicks on20% protein chick starter with some cornmeal sprinkled in then add handful s of tiny grit when they are three weeks old.  At about 6 weeks rather than using a grower I like to cut my starter with wheat to reduce the protein and cut costs.  In other years I have ground the wheat coarsely to start them out on it then gradually switched over to whole wheat.
However this year, inspired by a fermenting feed post by bluehill farm I have been adding water to a pail of wheat and letting it sit with a lid on for a couple of days.
The wheat sprouts nicely and after a few days gets a nice tangy smell.  It is soft and plump and all the birds are loving it.  I have beeen scattering it out on their pens each morning.
I dont know why I didn't think of this before  I think it will be a great way to start feeding whole grains to juvenile birds!
Has anyone else been doing this as well?

http://www.feathers-farm.webs.com

2 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Sat May 17, 2014 10:47 pm

heda gobbler

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Nice idea! How young are they when you start them on the sprouted wheat, and what percentage of their feed do the sprouts form?

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

3 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Sat May 17, 2014 10:59 pm

Mads


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Yes, I do this as well. I start giving mine some when they are a few weeks old. They don't eat very much of it, but they quickly learn what it is, and within a week they are expectantly waiting for it! Plus, it's much easier for them to digest since it is softened. The other added benefit is that the enzymes have converted many of the sugars in the grain so they utilize much more of the feed.

Mads

4 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Sat May 17, 2014 11:02 pm

Mads


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heda gobbler wrote:Nice idea!  How young are they when you start them on the sprouted wheat, and what percentage of their feed do the sprouts form?

Mine are fed 50% sprouted grains and 50% grower/layer diet depending on age. Plus free range grass and whatever else they find!

Mads

5 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Sun May 18, 2014 8:21 am

CynthiaM

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This process is called lacto fermenting. I have recently began this too, I have two pails going, and keep adding to the first as the second is getting low. The chickens really do love this, and yes, the softened grain is so much better for them, especially with all the good bacteria. Too soon to see if there is really any difference, but I surely do believe the less that the body had to work on with hard grains is better for them. Some believe very strongly in this process and I think I am becoming a believer too. I have given this to my three week old chicks who are now in with the bigger chicks and they LOVe it too. There is such good bacteria in lacto fermenting I think I probably always will soak the grains. I mix wheat in with the hen scratch, works wonderfully. I use a sieve to get a couple of sievefulls out so it drains a little. Have an awesome day, CynthiaM.

6 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Sun May 18, 2014 2:59 pm

Hidden River

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I would like to source some wheat and try this. From what I have read on it, sprouted grains would be great for all my critters here.


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7 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Sun May 18, 2014 4:08 pm

mirycreek

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Oh im glad it has a name and others are doing it too! It is crazy easy to do and costs nothing extra.  I was initial ly concerned it would go moldy but no only gets a little bubbly and smells faintly of sauerkraut!
Glad to hear you use it with chicks as early as two or three weeks Cynthia and mads.  I was only giving it to older chicks but they took to it so fast I am going to try  a small amount on the younget ones too.

http://www.feathers-farm.webs.com

8 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Mon May 19, 2014 7:07 am

CynthiaM

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The lacto fermenting must remain with water covering it. I don't think the grain sprouts very much, maybe a bit, and certainly does not grow greens. Uncover it, and then the greens will come, smiling. The grain is so soft, it is easily digested. I have noticed some huge, nice poops out there....yes, I do notice odd things and wondered what was going on, nice plump clumps of poo, laughing....I read that it makes nice poop. Having good gut flora is as important for the human as it is for the critter, and this is what the process does, good gut flora. Wish I knew more about it and will certainly one day become a pro, as I love to study and research and understand. But everything I have read so far, it is a go....even for the human folk, good bacteria make this process such a good thing. I think that even young chicks could have it, provided they also have some baby grit.....need to get on that too, as I have a big hatch finishing off today....baby grit....hmmmmm...got an arena full of cow sand, which is quite soft and the older chicks sure did love to munch on that sand, some kind of grit I guess, smiling again. Have a beautiful day, CynthiaM.

9 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Mon May 19, 2014 7:08 am

CynthiaM

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Oh I do find the water gets rather murky and has white stuff on the top after about 10 days. I just drain some off and put on fresh. That white stuff gets on my hands (the birds in the chicken tractor area I don't use a sieve, I just use my hands) so I don't like that, kind of smelly and I don't like smelly hands, so yes, take out some water and replace with new if it gets ichy.

10 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Mon May 19, 2014 8:02 am

mirycreek

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No you're right cynthia no greens just little white sprouts emeging. I keep the lid on.
I havent kept mine that long yet I think 5 days is longest
When there is a small amount still in the bottom I add fresh wheat and water to it.  Kind of like the starter for sourdough or kombucha  Smile

http://www.feathers-farm.webs.com

11 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Mon May 19, 2014 7:03 pm

Rasilon

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mirycreek wrote:I used to start chicks on20% protein chick starter with some cornmeal sprinkled in then add handful s of tiny grit when they are three weeks old.  At about 6 weeks rather than using a grower I like to cut my starter with wheat to reduce the protein and cut costs.  In other years I have ground the wheat coarsely to start them out on it then gradually switched over to whole wheat.
However this year, inspired by a fermenting feed post by bluehill farm I have been adding water to a pail of wheat and letting it sit with a lid on for a couple of days.
The wheat sprouts nicely and after a few days gets a nice tangy smell.  It is soft and plump and all the birds are loving it.  I have beeen scattering it out on their pens each morning.
I dont know why I didn't think of this before  I think it will be a great way to start feeding whole grains to juvenile birds!
Has anyone else been doing this as well?

SO you soak it for 3 days and then feed? Can it stay longer?
geri

12 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Mon May 19, 2014 8:12 pm

mirycreek

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3 or 4 or ? I dont think it needs to be exact at all.The first time I waited 3 days and started another batch with leftover from first and fed some of it after a day or so.
I have two big pails on the go and just start more in the same pail when it looks low.

http://www.feathers-farm.webs.com

13 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Mon May 19, 2014 8:21 pm

Rasilon

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Can I feed my chickens lentils? I bought 4 big bags on sale and I don't like them, at least the way I cookedthem
geri

14 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Mon May 19, 2014 9:49 pm

KathyS

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I was sprouting wheat during the winter for my adults and they loved it. I also tried putting the sprouted grain in pans in the house so it could actually grow green shoots, thinking they would go crazy for it during the time of year when green stuff is at a minimum. But they actually weren't too interested. Their favorite seems to be soaked wheat with just a tiny sprout emerging.
I never thought of feeding it this way to the juveniles, but its a great idea. So today I started soaking a new batch for the youngsters.

Rasilon, I use cracked field peas and lentils as a part of my everyday feed rations for all the chickens. Its a great source of protein!

http://www.hawthornhillpoultry.com

15 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Tue May 20, 2014 4:53 am

Rasilon

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[quote="

Rasilon, I use cracked field peas and lentils as a part of my everyday feed rations for all the chickens.  Its a great source of protein!
[/quote]

Thank you I will feed to mine. I feed whole corn could I feed whole peas?
Geri

16 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Tue May 20, 2014 5:45 am

CynthiaM

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I don't bother to cover the pail. A nuisance, the concoction is in a place where no birds can dip their heads into that luscious pail of stinky stuff, smiling. I keep the strainer on top of the pail, straddled over it, ready for the scoop. Two pails on the go. As I said, when the water gets too, well, whatever it does, ichy, basically, I drain most off and put new on. If the grains are kept covered by water the activity below the water keeps on, no need really to keep the lid on, unless to keep other stuff out. As far as I can see, maybe I am wrong, who knows. I don't think I would give the product to any chicks that are younger than a week old, they need some good commercial starter (in my mind) to get them off to a perfect start, and the wheat and such might be all they would eat, so at least a week on starter, then just a tad of the fermented grains for them, they are so soft, I can squish that grain with my fingers, good stuff. Have a beautiful day, CynthiaM.

17 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Tue May 20, 2014 10:04 am

KathyS

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Rasilon wrote:[quote="

Rasilon, I use cracked field peas and lentils as a part of my everyday feed rations for all the chickens.  Its a great source of protein!

Thank you I will feed to mine. I feed whole corn could I feed whole peas?
Geri[/quote]

Whole yellow or green peas are very round and very hard! My thoughts are that they would not be easily broken down/utilized. Although I would have thought whole corn would be pretty similar, so I could be wrong. At least lentils are small and easy for them to pick up and should be no problem.
I'm careful not to over do the legume portion in their rations. Its among the highest protein content you can get for animal feed (around 25% for peas, and 30% for lentils I believe) so you don't want to overdo it. To give you a general idea, I would add about a 1/2 gallon pail of the legume mix to about 10 gallons of cracked wheat.

http://www.hawthornhillpoultry.com

18 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Tue May 20, 2014 10:17 am

Rasilon

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KathyS wrote:
Rasilon wrote:[quote="

Rasilon, I use cracked field peas and lentils as a part of my everyday feed rations for all the chickens.  Its a great source of protein!

Thank you I will feed to mine. I feed whole corn could I feed whole peas?
Geri

Whole yellow or green peas are very round and very hard!  My thoughts are that they would not be easily broken down/utilized.  Although I would have thought whole corn would be pretty similar, so I could be wrong.  At least lentils are small and easy for them to pick up and should be no problem.  
I'm careful not to over do the legume portion in their rations.  Its among the highest protein content you can get for animal feed (around 25% for peas, and 30% for lentils I believe) so you don't want to overdo it.  To give you a general idea, I would add about a 1/2 gallon pail of the legume mix to about 10 gallons of cracked wheat.  [/quote]

Ok Thanks. There are whole peas in my pigeon feed and they have no problem with them. I have added whole wheat and whole corn to my chicken feed in the past

19 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Tue May 20, 2014 10:56 am

KathyS

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If you have access to whole peas, why not soak them too? I think that would make them easier to manage, especially for younger chickens, and I'll bet they are more digestible that way too.

http://www.hawthornhillpoultry.com

20 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:45 am

Blue Hill Farm

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I love fermented feed! It's so easy to do and the birds love it.  Very Happy 

I actually soak/ferment my chickens commercial ration (everything from grower to starter) as well as whole grains. All my chicks this year have been eating fermented starter from day one and wow, what a difference in feather quality already! Just have to be extra careful about mold now that things are heating up. And only feed as much as they can clean up in a day. For mixing, I use a couple Rubbermaid bins that I store in an out building. I do keep the bins covered with old window screens to keep the bugs out. Though I’m pretty sure the chickens wouldn’t mind a few extra crunchy bits.  Laughing

My conclusions thus far are that chicks will choose fermented starter over dry starter every time.
(I still keep dry available 24/7 and feed fermented twice daily.)

21 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:50 am

mirycreek

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I havent tried soaking the crumbles yet..thought it might make a bit of a mess but I am converted on the whole grains for sure! So much easier than grinding..no dust or waste at all and if they miss a few grains they sprout quickly on ground and you have fresh greens!

http://www.feathers-farm.webs.com

22 Re: new feed for chicks this year on Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:51 am

Blue Hill Farm

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I find wet food (when fed in the right dish) less messy than dry because there is little to no waste. Anything that hits the floor/ground gets gobbled right up. And I finally have a use for the powder in the bottom of the bag!  Laughing

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