Fermented Chicken Feed Smells Like Vomit: Causes and Prevention

Lacto-fermentation remains one of the best ways to enrich your fermented chicken feed with a lot of nutrients. The good thing about most chicken feeds is that you can make them right from your backyard. However, the problems come in when the fermented chicken feed smells like vomit. What can you do?

Such a problem rarely occurs and if it does, it shouldn’t worry you anymore. Go through our research because it contains some useful information on the causes of fermented chicken feed vomit-like smell. Additionally, we will teach you how some ingredients may help during the fermentation process.

As if that is not enough, we will not get tired from discussing various benefits of fermented chicken feed. Besides, we will provide you with some tips while fermenting chicken feed. The only favor I request from you is the attention. Otherwise let’s kick off our discussion today’s discussion.

The right chicken feed smell

The right chicken feed smell

I thought you should know that fermented feed undergoes a metabolic process, which uses enzymes to chemically convert organic substances. Therefore, when you ferment chicken feed, what you are developing is probiotics for the flock.

Your birds will benefit a lot from various contents of the fermented feed, but only when the process is carried out properly. Molasses can be included in the ingredients to enrich the mixture with sufficient nutrients.

The smell of your chicken feed plays a critical role in determining whether the feed is good or gone bad. For instance, the smell of a good fermented feed should be something almost sweet, yogurt-like, and tangy. You may feel this during or immediately after the fermentation process is over. If you come across any of this smell, just know you are having not only healthy feed, but also fresh food for your flock.

Causes of vomit smell in fermented chicken feed

fermented chicken feed smells like vomit

Sometimes, your chicken feed is likely to smell rancid or like vomit; it’s horrible and you can’t feed such food to your flock. There are several factors that lead to this complication; even though it is not easy to determine the exact culprit. Below are some of the causes of vomit-like smell in fermented chicken feed;

1. Rodent Excreta

Here is the first and common cause of vomit-like smell in fermented chicken feed. It occurs mainly when the storage room has rodents or if you don’t cover the fermentation container properly. The batch is likely to contaminate, leaving you with a bad smell.

The bad thing about rodents is that sometimes they might not only feed, but also poop on the fermented chicken feed. Their poops are dangerous and may harm whatever you are fermenting. A horrible smell will hit you and you’ll be left with no otherwise, but to throw it.

2. Mold

Mold can be held responsible for an off-putting smell in fermented chicken feed. Miraculously, if your dry chicken feed contains mold, the fermentation process is the only way to fix. This is because there are lactobacillus bacteria that kill the mold, making the food safe again for your flocks.

However, this turns into a mess when mold pops up during the fermentation process and this occurs, mostly when the process is slowed down by a certain factor. Swelling of the grain will allow the growth of mold on the water.

You should therefore start by searching for molds if you feel vomit-like smell after you open the fermentation jar/container. Mold rarely grows in the water; just look above the water. You may remove the mold, especially when it is not too much; don’t forget to add enough water and then stir.

3. Sun exposure

Storage of the fermenting chicken feed plays a vital role in determining the final results. Mostly, you are not allowed to let the container in direct sunlight or in an open place. Sunlight may hijack the process, making the feed smell like vomit.

Fluctuating temperatures should be avoided as much as possible during the fermentation process. Such temperatures are known for expediting or slowing the process and eventually the final product. To curb these mishaps, you are advised to keep your fermenting chicken feed in a cool and dark place.

4. Wrong ingredients

There are some ingredients that are likely to cripple the entire fermentation process like apple cider and vinegar. As a poultry farmer, you are advised to avoid these items as much as you can; not forgetting yeast. These items are famous for making alcohol, meaning that your end-product will be somehow alcoholic.

You are likely to get a bad smell from the feed and no one would wish to play with the lives of their flock. Just through it if there is an alcohol whiff. This problem might also occur when you add molasses to the mixture during the fermentation. It’s healthy, but the addition should be done when the fermentation process is completely over. Failure to do so may also leave you with an alcohol-like or gassy smell in the chicken feed.

5. Plastic containers

The vessels you choose to use in the fermentation process can be another reason for vomit-like smell in fermented chicken feed. Investing in the right container is therefore highly recommended. Most of the recommended containers should have food-grade quality.

For example, stainless steel, BPA-free plastic, and glass jars. However, some chicken keepers have complained about some quality plastic containers, claiming that they sometimes ruin the fermentation process. Such plastics can be scratched easily, allowing the growth of foreign bacteria.

If you confirm that this is the real culprit for bad smell when fermenting chicken feed, don’t hesitate to use stainless steel or glass containers.

Tips on preventing vomit-like smell in fermented chicken feed

Tips on preventing vomit-like smell in fermented chicken feed
  • Proper storage is highly recommended. Rodents shouldn’t find their way in the container as they may poop on the grain, ruining the entire process.
  • If the feed features a rancid smell, throwing it is the rule. Don’t throw it anywhere; it should be in the garbage to prevent you chickens from feeding on it.
  • Regularly inspect for mold on the water. From the above section, you can realize that mold is one of the common culprits to be held responsible for vomit-like smell in fermented chicken feed.
  • Make it a habit to utilize de-chlorinated water. you may opt for distilled or well water. Alternatively, you may use tap water, but it should be left overnight.
  • Your feed or grain should be covered with a few inches of water
  • Stirring the feed is also recommended and it should be done several times within a day.
  • Remember to strain your feed whenever the process is over; preserve the water to kick off the next batch.


  • Can my chicken get sick after consuming mold?

Yes, chickens slightly differ from human beings. Since rotten or moldy food can make you sick, your chickens are also likely to be affected. However, share some food leftovers with your flocks, but it should be somehow fresh.

  • Can fermented chicken feed go bad?

Yes, but most of these feeds are pelleted before bagging. This plays a vital role in extending their lifespan in the shelves.

Final words

Making your own fermented chicken feed remains one of the best ways to reduce costs; make it a routine. The extra probiotics in the feed will benefit your flocks, allowing them to produce nutrient-filled and fresh eggs. Well, our article is resourceful for any chicken farmer; use it!