If you’ve been raising chickens with dry feed, you know that the general rule of thumb is to measure out about ¼ cup of dry feed per chicken.
However, dry feed and fermented feed are a little different, so how much fermented feed per chicken do you need?
Since fermented feed is a bit heavier and holds more water weight, you need a bit less compared to dry feed.
Starting out, just use the same amount you’ve been using for dry feed when you’re measuring out fermented feed and slowly decrease from there. If you haven’t been using dry feed, start with ¼ cup of fermented feed per chicken then slowly decrease from there. Read on to learn more.
A Good Amount of Fermented Chicken Feed to Start Out With
Unfortunately, there is no exact formula for figuring out how much fermented chicken feed you’ll need. It’ll vary based on the number of chickens, type of flock, climate, and other factors.
It’s important to make sure that your chickens will have enough food to last them throughout the day. Chickens are constant feeders, so if there isn’t food available, they’ll start eating anything else – like bedding, plants, feces, or in the worst case, their own eggs.
If You’ve Already Been Giving Your Chickens Dry Feed
If you’ve already been feeding your chickens dry feed, a good place to start is to use the same amount of dry feed you’ve been using for fermented feed.
Your chickens will eventually need less, but initially, they’ll probably eat the whole lot of what you’re giving them. After a few weeks, you’ll notice that they’ll stop pigging out as much and will level out at a lower amount of fermented feed.
All in all, keep an eye on how much fermented feed you have leftover at the end of each day and adjust the amount accordingly. After a few weeks, you’ll have a more accurate idea of how much you’ll need each day (which will be less than the amount of dry feed you were using).
Alternatively, you can use about 30% less of the amount of dry feed you’ve been using. Feed this to your chickens in the morning, and if your feeder is empty, give your chickens dry feed (so keep this on hand) and now you know you need to make a bit more the next day.
Then you can slowly increase the amount of fermented feed you use each day until you reach the right amount.
I personally like the first approach of starting out with the same amount you’ve been using of dry feed. Fermented feed can be reused to feed your chickens the next day, so you won’t be wasting it, and you’ll know your chickens are well fed.
If You’re Just Starting Out
If this is your first flock, and you haven’t yet figured out their regular eating patterns, I’d suggest using ¼ cup of fermented feed per bird at first.
You’ll find that this is more than you need, so try reducing the amount you use each day by ¼ cup in total until you reach the sweet spot for your birds.
Remember though that this isn’t an exact formula, so pay attention to how much feed you have leftover at the end of each day and adjust accordingly.
Check out my table below to help you measure out how much fermented feed you’ll need at first based on how many chickens you have.
|5 Chickens||1.25 cups|
|6 Chickens||1.5 cups|
|7 Chickens||1.75 cups|
|8 Chickens||2 cups|
|9 Chickens||2.25 cups|
|10 Chickens||2.5 cups|
|11 Chickens||2.75 cups|
|12 Chickens||3 cups|
|13 Chickens||3.25 cups|
|14 Chickens||3.5 cups|
|15 Chickens||3.75 cups|
|16 Chickens||4 cups|
|17 Chickens||4.25 cups|
|18 Chickens||4.5 cups|
|19 Chickens||4.75 cups|
|20 Chickens||5 cups|
Tips for Figuring Out the Right Amount Of Fermented Feed
- Always keep an eye on the amount of fermented feed leftover each day to help you figure out the right amount you need
- To avoid wasting feed, scrape out the leftovers after one day to use the next day
- Don’t reuse fermented feed that’s more than 3 days old because it gets too sour and becomes unappealing to your chickens
- Keep dry feed on hand in case you find you don’t have enough fermented feed; this way, you’ll have a backup to keep your chickens satiated
- If you’re using dry feed as backup, take note of how much dry feed you’re using to get your chickens through the rest of the day; add this amount (or slightly less) to your next batch of fermented feed so you have enough next time
When starting your chickens on fermented feed, you’ll find that you won’t need as much compared to dry feed.
Hopefully this guide helped you figure out the right amount of fermented feed you’ll need for your chickens to keep them happy and clucking!