In a previous post I shared how it was my wife Karen’s fault that I am addicted to hatching eggs. She really should have known that if she brought home an incubator I would have to use it, and when her evil stepmother repossessed that incubator did Karen did get me the little Brinsea mini I asked for? Nope she got me a Brinsea Octagon 20 advance!! This thing holds 24 chicken eggs, that must mean she wants me to hatch lots of chickens…..right? Well thats how I construed her actions, and when she suggested one of her pet hospital units might make a good hatcher that sealed the deal. Karen wants lots of chickens. I honestly don’t see how her actions could be interpreted otherwise.
I had tried sprouting grains for the girls last week and they loved them, last night i was thinking about the rice I get occasionally. It struck me that if the simple act of throwing a handful of grain to your chickens can be made more complicated by sprouting there must be something similar for cooked rice. After hours of intensive research I stumbled upon the concept of fermenting your livestocks feed. While the five minutes I spent skimming the first two pages of this post on Backyardchickens didn’t make me an expert,
it did provide me enough info to go off half-cocked into the world of fermented feed. My raw ingredients are cooked rice and expired active culture yogurt. The hardware are two five gallon buckets and one lid, I drilled a bunch of little holes in the one bucket basically turning it into a sieve that goes inside the other bucket. To start this very technical process I dumped half the rice into the holy bucket squirted in the yogurt then dumped the rest of the rice on top. After putting enough water in to just cover the rice I put the cover on loosely and stored it in the back corner of the coop. Why the orange cream yogurt? well it was in the back of the fridge, but also in that article on Backyardchickens.com they discuss using unpasteurized to provide the culture to start the fermentation. I didn’t have any and Whole Foods is way on the other side of town, so I googled fermented livestock feed and found that in Korea they use something called Lactobacillus to ferment animal feed. Didn’t have any of that either, but when I googled Lactobacillus up popped Acidophilus which thanks to Jamie Lee Curtis everyone knows is in yogurt and the rest is in the bucket! Is this gonna work? I honestly have know idea, but it sure made for an interesting morning and provided yet another way to make me feel that I really am doing something more than just throwing out feed for the girls.
Tomorrow or the next day I should have an update on the fermented feed project. As to when I hit critical mass in chicken production, I’ll let you know the number of chickens that finally tips Karen over the edge and prompts her to hide my incubator. In fact maybe we should make it a bit of a game, how about everyone posting the number of chickens that make Karen snap in the comments section of this post! I’ll send a dozen hatching eggs to the person that gets the closest.