favorite inoculant?

JMBern

Chirping
Jun 10, 2020
16
50
59
We are going to put the Deep litter into practice, and I have bought two different Inoculants.
One is Dr. Higa's Origional EM1 Microbial inoculant. (lactobacillus casei)
The other is a (sold as a probiotic barn cleaner) Sent Guard with Probiotic lactic acid bacteria, and other misc ingredients sugar cane, molasses, rice bran, mineral powder, sea salt Dill, lemongrass ginger etc.

Any recommendations? What do you use? Did I get the wrong things?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,515
20,795
907
Southeast Louisiana
Welcome to the forum, glad you joined.

I think I figured out what that Dr. Higa's is but I'm still confused on the Scent Guard. I'd never heard of either one either. I don't think either one will hurt the chickens. @JMBern may I ask where you heard of them? I'm just curious. I think they are marketed more for someone using a barrel composter on their back porch than for deep litter.

The Deep Litter Method is effectively turning your coop floor into a compost pile. For the stuff to compost you need certain microbes to eat the stuff. Those microbes are naturally in nature so they will show up, especially if the "compost" is on the ground. But if your first batch is not in contact with the ground then it can help by seeding the right microbes into the compost. I think that's what Dr. Higa's does. I'n not sure about Scent Guard. The way I seed a new compost pile is to toss a shovelful of dirt into it. Those microbes are in the dirt.

For the DLM to work you need to keep your litter at the right moisture level. Those microbes need enough dampness to be able to live and reproduce. If it's too dry they die. If it's too wet the good aerobic microbes die and the anaerobic microbes show up and take over. Those are in nature too and they will show up. The anaerobic microbes are the ones that cause the composting litter to stink. The good aerobic ones give you a nice earthy smell, not unpleasant at all.

If it starts to stink is how you know you have a problem. And it means it is too wet. That excess moisture might come from nature in the form of rain or something else, maybe from a leaking waterer, or their poop. If the poop builds up into a thick mess it doesn't dry out. Poop can build up under the roosts so you often need to manage that.

Again, I don't think either one will hurt the chickens, either separately or used together. I don't think either one will solve a bad smell problem either. You manage that by managing the moisture level.

Good luck and again :frow
 

JMBern

Chirping
Jun 10, 2020
16
50
59
Welcome to the forum, glad you joined.

I think I figured out what that Dr. Higa's is but I'm still confused on the Scent Guard. I'd never heard of either one either. I don't think either one will hurt the chickens. @JMBern may I ask where you heard of them? I'm just curious. I think they are marketed more for someone using a barrel composter on their back porch than for deep litter.

The Deep Litter Method is effectively turning your coop floor into a compost pile. For the stuff to compost you need certain microbes to eat the stuff. Those microbes are naturally in nature so they will show up, especially if the "compost" is on the ground. But if your first batch is not in contact with the ground then it can help by seeding the right microbes into the compost. I think that's what Dr. Higa's does. I'n not sure about Scent Guard. The way I seed a new compost pile is to toss a shovelful of dirt into it. Those microbes are in the dirt.

For the DLM to work you need to keep your litter at the right moisture level. Those microbes need enough dampness to be able to live and reproduce. If it's too dry they die. If it's too wet the good aerobic microbes die and the anaerobic microbes show up and take over. Those are in nature too and they will show up. The anaerobic microbes are the ones that cause the composting litter to stink. The good aerobic ones give you a nice earthy smell, not unpleasant at all.

If it starts to stink is how you know you have a problem. And it means it is too wet. That excess moisture might come from nature in the form of rain or something else, maybe from a leaking waterer, or their poop. If the poop builds up into a thick mess it doesn't dry out. Poop can build up under the roosts so you often need to manage that.

Again, I don't think either one will hurt the chickens, either separately or used together. I don't think either one will solve a bad smell problem either. You manage that by managing the moisture level.

Good luck and again :frow
I ordered both of these through Arbico Organics.
thanks for the tips its not on the ground so moisture management will be key.
Thanks for your response!
 

JMBern

Chirping
Jun 10, 2020
16
50
59
Never heard of this. I would not expect it to hurt anything, but I just pile it deep, occasionally sprinkle scratch on the top of it, occasionally add fresh to it.

Mrs K
scratch? is that feed that the chickens will enjoy?
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,952
11,350
636
western South Dakota
Yes, like candy. It is just whole grains, corn, wheat, oats.

I do live in an arid country, and I try and keep my bedding quite dry. It should be dry enough to absorb moisture from the chicken poop. When the chickens scratch around for the scratch, they break up the clumps of poop, so they dry out, and keep everything dryer. Then I throw it out into the run, and give the coop fresh bedding a couple of times a year. Then I throw the run bedding on top of my garden for mulch. The theory being the weed seeds are gone (not a perfect theory).

I use old hay for bedding. It works well for me, but I do not have that high humidity that others do. And I don't think it is really a complete deep litter method, but I do put the bedding in deep.
 

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