Great Success with EMs !!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by nevergiveup, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. nevergiveup

    nevergiveup Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2014
    Hi All,
    I wanted to share what I figure is a huge success with using EMs to soak and ferment my whole grains. EMs are Effective Microorganisms - a probiotic starter culture. After reading (in Harvey Ussery's book) that cracked grains are only at their best for up to 45 days and then start to go rancid, I stopped using them altogether. He cracks/grinds his own. But even easier and cheaper and environmental is to soak your whole grains. The whole grain has not lost any of its goodness. Thanks to advice from LindaB220 I am using EMs. I am managing a !lovely smelling bubbly fermented 5 gallon bucket of whole grains even in the dead of winter (its indoors but the 'heating'isn't on at night in that part of our house) in about 2 days. The cheapest grain here is barley but it works with oats or wheat as well. Corn/maize hasn't got enough protein, so don't use that in high proportions. Fill the 5 gallon bucket about 3/4 full of grain; fill with water; add 1/2 teaspoonful of EMs (and a teaspoon of molasses if you want but I havent found it necessary to the fermentation process when you do it like this). Leave at least 24hours and check that the grain is covered by water. This is an anaerobic process so no air please.

    I have a 7 month old flock of 8 heritage naked necks and they are giving me 5 eggs average a day in the dead of winter. It has been cold here (2,700 ft up in Granada Spain) ... although not nearly as cold as some places in the US - its been constantly well below freezing at night. Their poops are full of these friendly bacteria, of course, so the compost will be full of helpful soil bacteria for your garden.

    I think this is a great success, easy, cheap and full of goodness. the flock also get whatever fruit or veg we can rustle up and a sprinkling of birdseed while its cold.

    Hope this helps someone.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  2. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Hey, glad to hear someone else is using EMs. I've been using them for 3-4 years now. Great things, they are.

    The researched/traditional methods of EM ferments the feed for 2 weeks before feeding. They also use quite a bit more molasses and EM starter culture. I use about a 1/2 cup of each in a 5 gallon bucket of feed. To make the EM starter more cost effective, I use the "activation" method...this will turn your quart of EM starter culture into 5 gallons of "activated" EM. The activated EM is not quite as strong/potent as the original stock stuff, but it's more than adequate for uses such as fermented feed.

    IMO, you're probably getting more benefit from the soaking of the grains than anything else. 2 days isn't really enough time for the EM's to do much. It will help some, but you'll get way more benefit if you let it ferment longer. They take more time, hence the two weeks. I sometimes only ferment for a week, but usually do more like 10-14 days.
     
  3. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  4. nevergiveup

    nevergiveup Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2014
    Thanks for that pdirt. Yeh, I know that if you leave it longer the friendly bacteria have more time to work. I don't have the space for another 5 gallon bucket, but perhaps once the frosts are over I can find somewhere sheltered outside. I was/am so pleased at my chickens production and health just with this simple system that i wanted others to know.
     
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the past I have done two buckets. I have the space for another bucket, but combined between laziness and the fact all my other buckets are being used for other things, I'm just doing the one bucket right now. When the batch is used up, I just make a new one. They're without fermented feed for 10-14 days (they have dry feed), but they're just fine that way.

    The traditional methods, iirc, use 40% by volume of water to feed, and which results in a fairly dry ferment. I have at times used up to 100% water, which doesn't sit above the feed but rather soaks into the feed. For me, only 40% is hard to mix, it's difficult to get all the feed moistened and if I dont, will end up with dry pockets in the bucket. But I am still experimenting, it seems dependent on the feed. If it's too wet, I don't think there is enough air between the grains for the yeasts in EM to do their work and the end product can turn out a bit overly sour. Less water tends to result in a more normal smelling bokashi...pleasantly sweet-sour smelling. So around 60-70% water seems to be working for me.

    As long as your only soaking for a couple days now, i wouldn't worry about all that, since you seem to be getting good results.
     
  6. mothertochicks

    mothertochicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 15, 2015
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    Thank you for sharing! I am just starting to use em for soaking my feed. Want to learn from other who have used em. I think em is great for feed, coop, DLM method, and flies and odor. I just brought a lot from SCD and will try to use it. Thank you Pdirt because I have your posts and your review on amazon. Please keep postings.
     

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