CCX

CrealCritter

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Ok finishing up on my very first bag of fermented all flock 21% protein feed and felt it only right to give you my personal assessment.

The pluses
1) Fermenting feed will SAVE YOU $$$. I've only raised CCX a few times but I fed dry the other times start to finish. And the feed bill was high. Since changing to fermented feed my feed bill is about 1/2 of what I remember being before.

2) I've changed my feeding schedule because the chickens eat and then pass out. they sleep most of the day and night in-between feedings. I found that the 12 on 12 off schedule I used for dry food didn't work well at all. I would pull their feed and there was still a lot left that I had to dump back into the bucket. So now I feed them once in the morning and once in the evening. Enough for them to full consume before they pass out.

3) they do not have that smell that @FarmerJamie can taste. Nope they now smell like pond water and catfish. Which is much more pleasant that nasty CCX smell.

4) their poop is not dry, they have soft poop now that doesn't at all resemble the feed. it's loose and brown. I was always under the opinion that poop should not look like feed. With fermented feed it doesn't look like feed at all. The chickens must be digesting it better now.

5) they drink way less water, I would venture to say at least 1/2 as much if not more than that from what I recall.

The Minuses
1) Make sure your using fermenting containers that are big enough. I split a 50 lbs bag of crumbles into 4 5 gallon food grade buckets with screw top lids. This was pushing it to the max. It would be more better to have used 5 5 gallon buckets because the feed expands when it's fermenting. I didn't have a flow over but I did have feed pushing up on the lids to where they were difficult to unscrew.

2) it's messy... With the loose chicken poop and wet feed, yeah it makes a mess... Be prepared to change out beding more often than you would with dry feed.

3) cultured milk is not required to get fermentation rolling but it does give it a kick start. I split 1/2 gallon of fresh cow's milk between the 4 buckets and fermentation started within 2 hours. So if you can get your hands on fresh (warm) from the cow milk you'll be better off.

4) inconvenient. Let's face it yeah it's a lot easier to feed dry than fermented. Rip open the bag and scoop some out. Fermented feed requires mixing with water and extra vessels to keep the wet feed in.

My opinion...
I won't raise another CCX unless I can feed them fermented feed. It really is worth the extra time and hassle. I haven't lost one yet and they all appear fat, dumb and happy and most importantly healthy.
IMG_20201215_223336616.jpg
 
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Mini Horses

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Good analysis, thank you! I have never raised CCX but, have considered it. The raising mess is not the issue, the mess of butchering is. 😁 a day to dread. I'm hoping to get a partner for a batch. I will have fresh milk...goat girls.

Now we await your report after butchering and sampling taste tests.

They look real good there, upright posture, not just laying around. That's a plus. I would be using an outside pen, opening for free range in penned area daily.
 

baymule

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I raise mine in a chicken tractor, moved daily. The resulting poop pads are watered in, sometimes seeded with grass seed. This has really helped my poor sandy soil.
 

CrealCritter

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Good analysis, thank you! I have never raised CCX but, have considered it. The raising mess is not the issue, the mess of butchering is. 😁 a day to dread. I'm hoping to get a partner for a batch. I will have fresh milk...goat girls.

Now we await your report after butchering and sampling taste tests.

They look real good there, upright posture, not just laying around. That's a plus. I would be using an outside pen, opening for free range in penned area daily.

I would have them outside but it's to cold for them this time of the year.
 

CrealCritter

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Good analysis, thank you! I have never raised CCX but, have considered it. The raising mess is not the issue, the mess of butchering is. 😁 a day to dread. I'm hoping to get a partner for a batch. I will have fresh milk...goat girls.

Now we await your report after butchering and sampling taste tests.

They look real good there, upright posture, not just laying around. That's a plus. I would be using an outside pen, opening for free range in penned area daily.

The other times I raised CCX they were outside. But this batch was a spur of the moment thing and they would freeze to death if outside.

Butchering not so bad... Just remember to remove the craw and you'll be OK.

I'm going to start my next 50 lbs sack of feed to ferment. Though this time I'm going only add 10 lbs of feed per 5 gallon bucket and try city water over a pond water starter and see what happens. I've left a little fermented feed in the bottom of the buckets to kick start the fermentation.
 

Mini Horses

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I understand why you have them inside, just meant I would do mine when they could be outside. Butchering I can do but, sure not favorite chore. 😁 so, it's always a dread to do because it's such a messy day.....especially with a lot of them and you are working alone! Makes me wonder why I do. :lol::lol:
 

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Creal, what is the consistency of your FF? I mix mine to the consistency of mashed potato or cookie dough. I find that a 50# bag mixes at least 6 buckets for me. If anything, I find that my chicken's poo is dryer than it would be if feeding dry feed. I think it's b/c they digest it better, and have more healthy gut flora. Agreed, the feed conversion rate is much easier on the wallet.
 

CrealCritter

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Creal, what is the consistency of your FF? I mix mine to the consistency of mashed potato or cookie dough. I find that a 50# bag mixes at least 6 buckets for me. If anything, I find that my chicken's poo is dryer than it would be if feeding dry feed. I think it's b/c they digest it better, and have more healthy gut flora. Agreed, the feed conversion rate is much easier on the wallet.

Mine was mixed the consistency of stew. l didn't blend so well still had chunks of lumped together feed. I started feeding them that day. I would alternate buckets for daily feedings with coffee cans full of wet feed.

I do have a nice mixer now for my cordless drill, i'll will use that going forward.
 

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Helps if you add the water into the bucket first, then the feed. Easier to mix that way. I found some long handled ladles with holes in them some years back and have used them for stirring and dishing out the feed since then. Comes in real handy for these 5 gal. buckets.

Looks exactly like this one but with a little longer handle...have a black one and a red one, but the red one has a less rigid handle, so I don't like it as much.

1608171549277.png


I'm with LG...my feed mix is like real thick mortar, so not much excess moisture. My CX poops were not runny and seemed like normal black and white stool like any other chicken. Only the cecal poops look brown and liquidy and they stink no matter what a person is feeding.
 

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Bee, I use that exact kind of scoop. I find them at the dollar store. And, yes, it works best if you put the water in first. Often, I don't even bother to mix it up. Water. Feed. Perhaps a stir. I like to keep 2 - 3 buckets going at a time, depending on the time of the year, and what temp I'm fermenting at. A perfect ferment for me will puff up, kind of like a yeast sponge... even though it's much dryer. Now, with temps down in single digits... I may feed a combination of FF and dry. B/C the FF freezes solid by mid day. If I feed only FF, I find myself having to gather up tubs of it to bring in to thaw out for next day. It's all subject to my weather patterns. I find that it's a total waste of feed to give FF to the ducks! They just slosh more of it through their water bucket than they eat! I'm mixing my FF in the garage, which may be in 30's. As the weather gets more consistently cold, I'll move the operation into the heated side of the basement. Water from laundry sink with buckets on a rolling platform, add feed, and let it set till ready to feed out. Then, I can roll it out to the garage, transfer to a sled, and trundle it to the chicken coop.
 

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