Thursday, May 23, 2024

How To Make Homemade Probiotics For Chickens

Barley Homemade Chicken Layer Feed

How to Make Chicken Probiotic (LAB) for Healthy Chickens

For a feed that is a little more complex, you will love this barley-based feed. Barley is great for chickens for energy and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. This recipe also has more palatable grains for your hens to pick over to give more diversity. For this recipe, you need:

  • 10 cups barley
  • 5 cups split peas
  • 4 cups oat groats

You can add to this feed as well to incorporate multivitamins or treats. The only downside to this mix is that it tends to be more expensive than commercial brands. But the upside is that your hens will lay the most delicious eggs.

Korean Natural Farming & Jadam

Probiotic farmers typically use the best organic practices from a wide variety of alternative practices. This allows them to combine the methods that best support their endeavors while also creating the healthiest soil to sustain their crops.

Farmers, such as myself, have begun to look at Korean Natural Farming and its relative in Korea, JADAM, for inspiration, Heidt says. In KNF and JADAM, local ingredients are used to make inexpensive liquid fertilizers that contain probiotics.

Organic farmers cant afford to buy liquid fertilizers, but they can afford to make their own. JADAM and KNF provide many recipes for making homemade fertilizers.

Established in 1991, JADAM is a group of organic farmers whose goal is to bring farming back to the farmers while also spreading an ultra-low-cost method of farming. Their efforts include sharing a do-it-yourself system of making natural pesticides and liquid fertilizers that are also organic, environmentally friendly and just as effective as expensive commercial versions.

KNF incorporates numerous farming techniques that includes making your own plant supplements, fertilizers and pesticides by using the microorganisms native to your area.

Many probiotic farming practices originated from KNF practices. Some of these include transplanting beneficial indigenous microorganisms into your farm ecosystem and using fermented plant extracts to create organic fertilizers.

The Benefits Of Fermented Chicken Feed

Feeding fermented feed daily to poultry, fowl, or water fowl is an excellent way to provide a natural probiotic option to your flock. Unlike natural options, a synthetic probiotic should not be offered daily.

  • Increase in egg weight, providing thicker shells
  • Boost in intestinal health, forming a natural barrier to pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella
  • Lower feed consumption, digesting and absorbing fermented feed more effectively
  • Providing and preserving vitamins and minerals found in fermented whole grains B vitamins such as folic acid, riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin.

Humane husbandry allows individuals to want more for the animals in their care. Something as simple as fermenting chicken feed leads to an overall better egg and a healthier hen. This is a win for both the chicken keeper and the flock.

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Straining Fermented Chicken Feed


After 3 days or 72 hours of fermenting, your feed is ready to be served to your chickens.

Make sure it smells right and doesnt have any mold growing on it before you serve it to them. Hold your strainer over a bucket and scoop some fermented feed into it, letting the liquid drain.

Save the liquid to make another batch of fermented feed. This will speed up the process, since it already contains beneficial bacteria.

If you are not planning on reusing the liquid from the fermented feed, go ahead and scoop the feed and place it right on the ground for your flock. It will naturally strain into the ground.

Benefits Of Poultry Probiotic Powder

How to Make Homemade Probiotics for Chickens

Chickens love yogurt, and I will give my flock the occasional bit of plain unflavored yogurt as a treat, however, excessive amounts of dairy products can cause diarrhea in poultry.

Their bodies aren’t designed to digest the milk sugars found in dairy, so for this reason, probiotic powder specifically designed for poultry is a far superior choice to introduce good bacteria into their diet.

The Poultry Probiotic powder also has a much longer shelf life, as long as it is stored in a dry, airtight container.

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Prepping The Natural Ingredients For Your Flock

One of the many beauties of this recipe is that you can easily make it your own using the healthy ingredients that you have on hand in your kitchen. For Lisa and her flock, her go-to ingredients include oats, dried black soldier fly grubs, sea kelp and black oil sunflower seeds. Simply mix them together, put a pinch of your favorite herbs, add in some melted coconut oil, let them harden in ice cube trays, and you’ve got a delicious, healthy winter snack for your flock. Not only will you supplement their diet with essential nutrients for winter, they will also generate heat as they move around, scratching and pecking for their snack.

The Recipe

Step 1: Mix together the below ingredients in a large bowl.

1 Cup Whole Grain Oats 1 Cup Dried Black Soldier Fly Grubs 1 Cup Unsalted nuts 1 Cup Organic Coop Kelp 1 Cup Black Oil Sunflower Seeds Step 2: Add a pinch of dried marigold or rose petals*

*You can use your choice of dried herbs. See below for the full list of winter supplements

Step 3: Add 1 cup of melted coconut oil and stir to combine, making sure all of the nuts and seeds are covered.

Step 4: Spoon or pour your ingredients into silicone ice cube trays and chill until firm. Grab a few cubes for your flock to enjoy and save the rest for another day!

So Can Chickens Eat Sauerkraut

Yes! Chickens can eat sauerkraut. However, because of the high salt content, they should only consume a small amount occasionally Sauerkraut is a probiotic and can aid in the development of good bacteria that can help your flock fight salmonella and E-coli.

Although sauerkraut is not harmful to chickens, its important to know how to feed them properly to keep your flock healthy and happy.

Any curious pet owner will want to be fully informed on which foods their feathered friends can and cannot eat. Chickens are omnivores that thrive on a variety of vegetables, fruits, table scraps, grains, and cereals.

Lets take a look at what you need to know to feed your chickens some sauerkraut.

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What Prebiotics Can I Give My Chickens

Chickens will naturally find their own prebiotics if they are allowed to free range or spend time on grass pastures each day. If their pen has become barren of grass and weeds, they wont be able to search out their own prebiotics and youll need to provide these.

Remember that whole grains are a good source for prebiotics, including wheat and barley. If your chickens eat grains in their feed every day, they are off to a good start. Here are some other foods to give them to increase their prebiotic intake:

  • Dandelion greens
  • Flaxseed
  • Sweet potatoes

In the winter it may be more difficult to provide these extras for your flock if you live in the north and rely on your garden for these extras. Try sprouting wheat grass as a natural form of prebiotic fodder for your hens.

Add The Water To The Chicken Feed

Inexpensive Probiotics for Chickens

The type of water you use is important. You dont want to use clorinated water. If that is the only kind of water you have, you can leave the water out on the counter in a bowl or cup for 24 hrs uncovered and the chlorine will evaporate. Using well water or purified water is best.

Step 3. Stir the chicken feed and water together really well and let the fermentation process begin!

Put it in an area at room temperature and not in direct sunlight. Place a lid on loosely to let the gases escape and put something under it in case it overflows. You will want to give it a good stir once or twice a day and make sure the feed stays below the water to prevent mold from growing. I like to stir mine in the morning and at night to make sure the bubbles arent pushing up the feed above the water so mold can grow. As I mentioned, you might need to add extra water as needed. Since the feed is absorbing the water you want to ensure there is enough water in the jar for the feed to stay submerged.

Step 4. Once the fermentation process is complete, pour off excess water and store it in the fridge.

Depending on the climate that you live in, it will determine how many days it takes for the chicken feed to ferment fully. If your environment is on the colder side, anywhere below 68 degrees celsius it can take up to 4 days for your homemade fermented chicken feed to reach its full potential. You will start to notice bubbles apear on day three or four and notice a strong yeast smell.

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The Benefits Of Probiotics For Baby Chicks

I also add a little sprinkle of probiotic powder to my chicks’ feed. Providing chicks probiotics right from hatch will help keep them disease-free later in life.

Probiotics are thought to combat coccidiosis and salmonella in chicks.

So starting the little ones off using natural preventative measures can have lifelong benefits.

Gather Supplies To Ferment Chicken Feed


Fermenting chicken feed takes 3 days before it is ready to serve to your chickens. If you want to be able to offer this daily, you will need to have 3 jars, buckets or containers of fermented feed going at once.

If you only have a small flock of 6 or less, you can easily use a 1/2 gallon mason jar or an equivalent size container. For larger flocks, consider using a 5 gallon bucket and lid.



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Yakult Dosage In Chickens

This probiotic is easy to find, they are generally sold in corner stores or supermarkets. Each bottle of Yakult is 80 ml and contains more than 8 billion Lactobacillus bacteria, which help improve intestinal flora.

The way to supply this commercial ferment is quite simple, all you have to do is mix the contents of a bottle of Yakult in 2 liters of water and then pour this mixture into the birds trough so that they ingest. You can supply this probiotic 3 times a week.

Cons Of Making Homemade Chicken Feed

Following Where He Leads...: Easy Peasy Homemade ...

Making chicken feed isnt for everyone. Some people find that its not worth the hassle for their hens. But we dont think about it that way. There are a few setbacks, but if you have the time, the rewards are worth it. Here are a few cons of making your chicken feed.

  • Time: The most significant setback is that making chicken feed takes time. Even the most basic feeds take time to buy the supplies, mix, and store. Not everyone has the time it takes to dedicate to making feed. And thats ok. You have to do what is best for your flock.
  • Storage: Making chicken feed in small batches takes a lot of time. It makes more sense to make larger batches and store them. But then you run into the problem of where to store these large batches of food. Some people find that getting containers for ingredients and mixed food is too much.
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    How To Make Homemade Probiotics For Chickens

    One of the least expensive ways to make your homemade probiotics for chickens is by making apple cider vinegar from scratch. You can also make fruit scraps if you dont have a lot of apples.

    Ensure you use a non-reactive container, a little apple cider vinegar as a starter, and plenty of fruit.

    Procedures on how to ferment apple cider vinegar as a healthy probiotic for your chickens:

    • Place some fruit scraps in a big, non-reactive container.
    • Press down to remove air sacks
    • Cover scrap with water and add about ¼ cup of real apple cider vinegar.
    • Stir, cover loosely with cheesecloth and allow to sit at room temperature until bubbly, usually a few days to a week

    Bubbly fermented feed

    You dont need to filter off the fruit from the extract, you can feed them the whole batch of vinegar and fruit scraps in small amounts each day with their food. If its easier, you can add one or two tablespoons of the liquid to their water each day and toss the scraps in their pen.

    Other ways you can make probiotics for your poultry include

    1. Ferment whole grains or ground feed rations for 2 to 4 days

    2. Make homemade yogurt, kefir, or other fermented daily products

    3. Create small batches of fermented vegetables

    You should have in mind that fermented foods should have vinegar or sour smell to them, but they should never smell rotten, rancid, moldy. If they do, ensure you compost or dispose of them.

    Probiotics For Chickens: What They Do & When To Use Them

    What Are Probiotics So Whats Going On in the Gut

    A chickens gut harbors billions of bacteria

    When It Makes Sense To Use Probiotics

    Healthy adult chickens don’t need a probiotic supplement

    We recommend providing a probiotic to chicks for the first week of life. This seems like a reasonable and cheap pre-caution.

    We recommend giving newborn chicks a probiotic

    Providing probiotics to adult chickens after they have been treated with antibiotics also seems like a reasonable course of action.

    • Lactobacillus acidophilus
    • Enterococcus faecium
    • Bifidobacterium

    Probiotic Strains Typically Found in Yogurt

    • Lactobacillus acidophilus

    Probiotic Strains Typically Found in Sauerkraut

    • Lactobacillus plantarum

    Probiotic Strains Typically Found in Sourdough Bread

    • Lactobacillus plantarum

    Probiotic Strains Typically Found in Miso

    • Aspergillus oryzae

    Probiotic Strains Typically Found in Soft Cheese

    • Bifidobacterium
    • Lactobacillus casei

    What about Apple Cider Vinegar ?

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    Basic Chicken Feed Recipe

    Ingredients are measured by parts

    Mix the feed using a unit of measurement that suits your particular situation by changing the size of the unit of measurement. For example, one part could mean a coffee can full, a scoop full, one cup full, one bucket full, etc. In essence, this recipe will make 12 parts total. So, if your unit for measuring is one cup, youll be adding 2 cups of cracked corn, 1 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of kelp, etc. which will then give you 12 cups of dry feed when the recipe is complete. If you use a 1 gallon scoop for your unit, you will get 12 gallons of mixed dry feed.

    Here is the basic chicken feed recipe:

    • 2 cracked corn
    • 1/2 flax

    NOTE: Its important to use organic / non-GMO ingredients when possible.

    NOTE 2: Use 1/4 part aragonite for layers as a calcium supplement

    Make Your Own Homemade Sauerkraut


    If youre the type of chicken owner that prefers to feed your flock the healthiest foods, then you may want to consider making your own. Homemade sauerkraut is so much better than any of the stuff you can buy at the grocery store.

    The best part, you dont need any special crock or equipment, but you will need to make sure you have some mason jars.

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    The Kind Of Sauerkraut To Feed Chickens

    Not all store-bought sauerkraut is the same, this is the reason many pet owners create their own. However, if youre like me, youd rather have a list of the best sauerkraut probiotics.

    When shopping for sauerkraut to share with your chickens, opt for fresh sauerkraut that is made without vinegar. The label should specifically say probiotic or fermented or raw.

    The two brands that are best for probiotics are:

    Wildbrine Raw Organic Kraut 240 mg

    If youre buying sauerkraut to share with your chickens, avoid the flavored varieties as they may contain seasonings that can be toxic to your chickens.

    How To Feed Chickens Sauerkraut

    If your chickens love it, then its okay to feed them a small amount, as long as you dont do it everyday. Ensure youre feeding them the best sauerkrauts for probiotics, so theyll get the most benefits.

    Put a small amount in some bowls and mix the snack with the rest of their feed. This will ensure that one chicken doesnt eat too much of the sauerkraut and it is spread evenly throughout the flock.

    Dont forget to change out their old dirty water with some fresh, whenever you feed them.

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    When Is It Apple Cider Vinegar

    When the vinegar is ready it should smell like a good vinegar! If it smells like wine or alcohol, it is not ready. Return it to the dark cupboard and wait a bit longer. When the vinegar is ready, replace the solid flat lid and store. The vinegar has an unlimited shelf life.

    Adding two tablespoons of your homemade vinegar to your chickens water a few times a week will keep their digestive tracts healthier, reduce their susceptibility to intestinal parasites, and just help keep them healthier and more robust. A good post to read about chickens digestive tracts and natural and also harmful bacteria and parasites can be found here.

    Now you know how easy it is to make fermented foods to benefit your flock. Why not grab a jar and start some fermented feed today. Please come back and let me know your experience and how things worked out.

    Its All About The Protein

    Homemade Natural Probiotics For Chickens

    You would think that because the chickens are taking a break from laying that they dont need as much protein. But this is not the case, they actually need more protein. Their bodies use more energy during winter trying to keep their body temperature up in the cold weather.

    Continue feeding them high quality feed throughout winter . To up their protein intake give your chickens high protein treats. None of the following in this list should ever become their main feed. Treats should only go up to 10% of daily intake and that is all that is needed.

    • lentils

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