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Fermented feed:

We go through a lot of feed each year and we use fermented feed to help aid in the digestibility of our flock. We are using Lacto-fermentation, which is a anaerobic process that ferments our feed naturally. Our feed contains Lactobacillus which is a beneficial bacteria We typically stick to fermenting whole feeds, such as whole wheat and whole corn. We maintain a large flock and like to spread our feed over their pasture as opposed to feeders as this promotes less competition for food, which leads to less injuries and a happier flock. The shelf life of whole grains is considerably longer than cracked and the cost is considerably less.

We are currently using a 2 barrel method. This allows for the first batch to be fully fermented before starting to use. Once the first batch is nearing the end of its cycle, the water/mixture can be placed directly into the new batch to allow for even more bacteria to continue to grow.

Steps that we follow for fermenting feed:



1 Place feed into a food grade container. Cover completely with water, leaving around 3" of water on top of the feed. Remember: If using a lid, place on top of barrel (do not seal tightly) to allow for any off-gassing to occur. Mix several times during the day to ensure any air bubbles are brought to the surface.

It is important to start with a clean, empty, food grade barrel.

We fill our barrel 2/3 of the way to the top with whole grains. (in this example we are using whole wheat)

We leave 3-4" of space between the top of the barrel and the water. This allows for grain expansion.

2 By now, the feed should have a sweet smell starting to form. Continue to mix daily.

All of the grains have supersaturated and only a light layer of grain dust is left on the surface.

3 The sweet smell of the feed should be in full affect. Continue to mix daily

The grain has now expanded and is currently 3-4" below the water. The grains are now producing carbon dioxide and fizzy bubbles can be seen at the surface.

4 The feed should have a semi-sweet and a bit of a sour smell starting to form. This is all part of the fermentation process.

The wheat has now expanded to full capacity and continues to ferment.

5 The feed should now have more of a sour smell to it. Time to start feeding the flock!

A sweet smelling aroma has now fully formed and you have an active ferment ready to feed, all you have to do now is strain and serve.

Apricot Valley Waterfowl