Fermenting Feed for Chickens: A Guide to Healthier Flocks

Published on 27 April 2024 at 14:25

If you’re looking to give your chickens a nutritious boost while also saving on feed costs, fermenting their feed might be the solution you’ve been searching for. Fermented feed has gained popularity among poultry keepers for its numerous benefits, including improved digestion, increased nutrient absorption, and overall better health for your flock.

What is Fermented Feed?

Fermented feed is simply regular chicken feed that has been soaked in water and allowed to ferment for a period of time, typically 24 to 48 hours. During the fermentation process, beneficial bacteria break down the grains, making the nutrients more accessible to the chickens. This results in a more digestible and nutritious feed for your flock.

How to Ferment Chicken Feed:

  1. Choose Your Container: Start by selecting a container large enough to hold the amount of feed you want to ferment. A food-grade plastic bucket or a large, non-metallic container works well.

  2. Mix Feed and Water: Add your chicken feed to the container and cover it with water. Use a ratio of about 1 part feed to 1.5 parts water.

  3. Stir and Soak: Stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure all the feed is wet. Then, cover the container with a lid or a cloth and let it soak for 24 to 48 hours.

  4. Stir Daily: During the soaking period, stir the mixture once or twice a day to prevent mold from forming on the surface.

  5. Feed Your Chickens: After 24 to 48 hours, your fermented feed is ready to be fed to your chickens. You can feed it to them directly or mix it with dry feed.

Benefits of Fermented Feed for Chickens:

  1. Improved Digestion: The fermentation process breaks down the grains, making them easier for chickens to digest. This can help prevent digestive issues such as impacted crop and sour crop.

  2. Increased Nutrient Absorption: Fermented feed contains higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes compared to dry feed. This means your chickens will get more nutrients out of the same amount of feed.

  3. Healthier Flock: A diet of fermented feed can lead to healthier chickens with stronger immune systems. This can result in fewer instances of illness and lower mortality rates.

  4. Reduced Feed Costs: By fermenting your chicken feed, you can stretch your feed budget further. The fermentation process increases the volume of the feed, so you’ll need less dry feed to feed your flock.

  5. Less Waste: Chickens tend to waste less fermented feed compared to dry feed, as it has a stronger smell and taste that they find more appealing.

Tips for Fermenting Feed Successfully:

  • Use Clean Equipment: Make sure your container and utensils are clean before you start the fermentation process to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Monitor Temperature: Fermentation occurs best at temperatures between 70°F and 80°F (21°C to 27°C). Avoid fermenting feed in temperatures below 50°F (10°C) or above 90°F (32°C).
  • Start Small: If you’re new to fermenting feed, start with a small batch to get the hang of the process before fermenting larger quantities.


Fermenting feed for your chickens is an easy and cost-effective way to improve the health and well-being of your flock. By following these simple steps, you can provide your chickens with a nutritious and digestible feed that will keep them happy and healthy for years to come.

Give it a try and see the difference fermenting feed can make for your chickens!

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