No doubt that many of you have heard the buzz about keeping your gut healthy with probiotics and fermented foods. Well, a chicken’s health is no different. In fact, the health of a chicken is directly related to how healthy their gut is. If their gut it out of whack, then they can develop illnesses. So taking extra measures to ensure this part of their body is in good shape will go a long ways in terms of the chicken providing you continually with healthy meat and eggs.
Fermenting a chicken’s feed is an inexpensive and easy way to promoting a good gut health and also has some other positive effects..
- increased absorption of nutrients in feed
- probiotics in feed will promote overall health of chicken
- creation of b vitamins like niacin, thiamin and folate
- naturally increases egg weight and shell thickness
- stronger immunity
It is said that because the chickens will be receiving more nutrients and vitamins brought on by the fermenting process, they will eat 1/3 to 1/2 less feed! You can go a step further and supplement this with some home grown fodder and will drastically cut down on your livestock feed bill.
Fermenting chicken feed is easy-peasy, here’s what you need:
- 1 gallon sized glass jar
- distilled water
- chicken feed, crumble, and/or oats
- cheese cloth
- rubber band
Simply, add the feed and enough water to cover the feed by a few inches and wait a few days. There should be a fermented grain smell (similar to sourdough starter), by the second or third day.
I have used fermented chicken feed with my recent batch of chicks and they prefered the fermented food over the dry feed. It’s a good feeling when you know you are giving your chicks the best start at a healthy life.
Using the process described in the video, you can keep this a small project or make it more large scale by using 5 gallon buckets to ferment the feed. All it takes is three days to start your chickens on a healthier path. As well, other livestock will benefit from this fermentation process, so start experimenting! Best of all, with the extra money you will be saving, you can start some more homesteading projects.