Today’s Entertainment: SCOBY Decimation

Pecked SCOBYIf you’ve read earlier posts, you know that I make (lots of) kombucha tea. With each batch, a new cellulose pellicle is formed, starting as a thin, cloudy-looking film and growing bigger and thicker with each successive batch. The Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY) isn’t strictly necessary to properly culture a batch, if sufficiently strong tea from a previous batch is added to “inoculate” the brew…but it looks really cool in a jar (scare your friends!).

A few huge discs had formed in my 2.5 gallon kombucha vinegar jar and were taking up too much space, so I pulled the thickest ones out and put them in the refrigerator. They sat in a big bowl for a few days until I remembered them and tossed them out for the chickens and ducks. These things are meaty, rubbery mats, but the chickens will peck them apart without much effort. Sometimes the ducks even get in on the action.

As the photos show, the juvenile Bresse immediately figured out what to do. Some young drakes also enjoyed ripping off strips and swallowing them whole. It gave me pause the first time I witnessed it, but then I realized that if they’re capable of eating snakes and mice, a SCOBY shouldn’t pose a problem for them to digest. Given all the mud and muck they’ve been dabbling in lately, some probiotics should do them good, too.



I’m amazed when I see what the chickens and ducks do to a SCOBY – and reminded that they’re not that far removed from their dinosaur roots. Velociraptors with feathers…watch your fingers!


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