Is there any profit?

Beekissed

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There's a couple of pretty big threads on it on BYC and many folks are using it now. I started 2 years ago with some CX birds and was mighty pleased with the results. I'll never go back to regular feed now...there's just too many benefits to the fermented feed.

Here's links to the threads:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/645057/fermented-feeds-anyone-using-them

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/644300/fermenting-feed-for-meat-birds

There is so much information about the changes in the feed during fermentation that it would be impossible to go into it all here but the short version is that it increases the digestibility and absorption of the nutrients in the feed so much that the chicken can get by eating nearly half of what they normally would eat of the same feed when fed as per usual. One member did the numbers on her feed costs and it totaled up to almost half what her costs were previously.

It also turns it into a probiotic and prebiotic filled feed ration, thereby increasing intestinal health and overall immune system health. It helps prevent coccidiosis, salmonella, e.coli, etc. and increases parasite resistance.

It converts sugars and proteins in the feed into amino acids, increases the absorption of vitamins and minerals and insures the bird gets more of what you are actually feeding.

It has some wonderful side effects like less smell in the manure as less undigested feed is passed through the bowel to end up on the coop floor. That same manure attracts less flies for the same reason.

Feather health, regrowth and molt recovery have improved..some even report better barring patterns after molt recovery. Chronic feather pickers seem to stop that behavior.

One lady had a young bird with cross beak that resolved itself after feeding the FF for a couple of weeks.

Egg taste is more mild, less sulfur smell or taste. Shells are thicker, yolks are bigger, laying improved.

Less heat stress noted in meat birds and layers alike, with less hyperhydration noted in the meat birds due to the feeding of moist feeds and better electrolyte balance. Meaty birds stop having nasty poops and have more normal, less smelly ones.

Chicks have less episodes of pasty butt, show more health and vigor and quick growth, with quick feathering as well.

The meat has a mild, more flavorful taste and it removes the gaminess of older birds.

Feces are more easily composted as they are more digested upon delivery.

And all that because we took chicken feed, added water, stirred it well and left it in a warm enough place to encourage growth of wild yeasts until enough organisms had grown to complete fermentation of the feed. That's as simple as it gets. There are all kinds of blogs and articles out there describing complicated ways and methods of getting fermented feed but it really all comes down to the same end result, no matter how it starts.

Those threads will give you a good idea how to get started and also holds a lot of info on how to feed it, what is the best consistency to feed it for ease of use and less mess, what feeders to use, etc.
 

sawfish99

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The answer is definitely - it depends. We live in Eastern CT where the market is large and varied. Pork - yes, I can make a profit. Rabbits - no. Chickens - yes. Veal - yes (requires having dairy goats on organic feed).
 

Homestead Journey

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Wow, that is some great information on the fermented food! We work to raise our animals as naturally and organically as possible, so I'm going to look into the fermented feed. Thanks for the info!
 

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