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  • Writer's picture三重県剪定伐採お庭のお手入れ専門店 剪定屋空

Cockcrowding Fermentation Floors in the Shed: A Guide to Making and Optimizing

Fermentation beds are created by the action of microorganisms that break down poultry litter and leftover food in the poultry house to create an environment that reduces odors and supports the health of the chickens. Here are some key points for its creation and optimization. 

1. Basic composition of a fermentation bed

Cockcrowding Fermentation Floors in the Shed: A Guide to Making and Optimizing

We mix bark, rice bran, oil cake, EM bacteria, charcoal, isotropic charcoal, rice husks, and feed zeolite, but Here are some other things that can improve the quality of fermentation beds.

How to Raise Chickens

Leaf litter: promotes the activity of a wide variety of microorganisms.

Bird and livestock manure: rich source of nitrogen that promotes microbial activity.

Green manure: improves soil nutritional value.

Coconut shells: improve moisture management and aeration

Seaweed meal: Provides trace elements and minerals

Wood vinegar: pH control and promotion of microbial activity

Cleanliness and sanitation are very important in poultry house management. It must be managed to maintain the proper balance of microorganisms and to prevent the growth of pathogenic microorganisms.


3. How to make and maintain a fermentation bed

The following is an explanation of the basic method of making and maintaining a fermentation bed.


- Order of inclusion 1. charcoal, 2. zeolite for feed, 3. humus, 4. charcoal, 5. oil cake, 6. fallen leaves, and other organic matter

- Fermentation accelerator or EM (effective microorganism) solution (Appropriate amount if fermentation does not progress too much)

Most of the mixture will be mixed by stirring, but if you want to establish anaerobic microorganisms in the lower layer of the floor, I found it effective to mix the surface layer and its middle layer when stirring.

2. **Prepare the floor**.

- Flatten the floor of the poultry house and clean and sweep it.

3. **Spraying of fermentation accelerator or EM solution**.

- Spray fermentation accelerator or EM solution evenly over the material. This will aid in the fermentation of organic matter and reduce odors.

4. **Mixing**.

- After spraying, mix the material well. This will allow the microorganisms to spread evenly.

 (Mixing too much of the bottom layer will kill anaerobic microorganisms.)

5. **Maintain**

- Each day, stir the surface of the floor with a weed to mix the organic matter and chicken manure well.

- If the bed has dried out, add a little water to maintain humidity. However, avoid excessive humidity.

- Add rice bran or rice husks about once per cycle (depending on the fermentation situation) and remove the old ones to maintain the quality of the bed.

6. **Periodic check**.

- Check for odor and humidity and make adjustments as needed.

7. **Harvest**.

- After several months, a fully fermented compost will form in the lower part of the floor. This can be used as fertilizer. (Too much chicken manure may cause the soil to become too strongly alkaline.)

Note: The best method may vary depending on the type and amount of microorganisms used and the type of bedding material, so adjust to your specific situation.

To take full advantage of the characteristics of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms, soil hierarchy and environmental conditions must be considered. Below is a description of the soil layer hierarchy and characteristics to make the best use of both.



- Decomposition of organic matter to produce gases (methane, carbon dioxide, etc.)

- Produce energy in the absence of oxygen

- Some are pathogenic

Specific reasons why anaerobic microorganisms should be present in the lower layers of the fermentation beds in poultry houses from a balance perspective are as follows.

1. **Complete decomposition of organic matter**:.

- The process of decomposition of organic matter gradually shifts from aerobic microorganisms in the initial stages to anaerobic microorganism activity. This increases the likelihood of more complete decomposition of organic matter.

2. **Odor Control**:.

- Anaerobic microorganisms are responsible for odor control by breaking down some toxic substances and ammonia. However, some anaerobic reactions (e.g., hydrogen sulfide production) can cause odors and must be properly balanced.

3.**Methane production**:.

- Under anaerobic conditions, methane gas can be produced by the activity of microorganisms called methanogens. Methane is a known greenhouse gas, but may also be used as energy.

4. **Pathogen Control**:.

- Some anaerobic microorganisms are able to inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms. This may reduce the risk of pathogens in poultry houses.

5.**Changes in the redox environment of the soil**:.

- Proper coexistence of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms dynamically changes the redox environment of the soil. This can facilitate a variety of chemical reactions and mineral transformations, potentially improving soil structure and nutrient status.

However, there is also a risk that excessive formation of an anaerobic environment will reduce soil aeration, resulting in poor air quality in the poultry house. Therefore, maintaining the proper balance between aerobic and anaerobic conditions is key to maintaining a healthy environment in the fermentation bed.

These microorganisms play a wide variety of roles in nature and in the human body.

Consider the impact of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms as they relate to poultry house and chicken health.

1. **Bacillus**:.

- Some Bacillus species are used as probiotics, which aid in chicken digestion and inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms.

2.**Pseudomonas**: Some species of Pseudomonas can be pathogenic.

- Some species may be pathogenic, but are usually less of a problem in the digestive system of healthy chickens.

3.**Azotobacter**: Direct effects on chickens have rarely been reported.

- Few direct effects on chickens have been reported.

4.**Mycobacterium**: Some species can cause disease in chickens.

- Some species can cause disease in chickens, but the risk is considered low under normal conditions in poultry houses.

5.**Clostridium (Clostridium genus)**:.

- Some species of this genus are pathogenic and can be harmful to the health of chickens. As an example, Clostridium perfringens can cause necrotizing enterocolitis.


- No direct effects on chickens have been reported.

7.**Bacteroides**: Not reported to have any direct effects on chickens.

- Present as part of the normal flora in the gut and usually do not cause problems in chickens.

8.**Desulfovibrio**: No direct effects on chickens have been reported.

- No direct effects on chickens have been specifically reported.

Maintaining proper cleanliness and sanitation is very important in the management of poultry houses. Control is required to maintain the proper balance of microorganisms and to prevent excessive growth of pathogenic microorganisms.

Importance of charcoal

Activated charcoal, bamboo charcoal, and charcoal, in particular, have the ability to adsorb toxic substances and odor components due to their porosity. The main advantages and considerations of placing charcoal on the bottom layer of the fermentation bed in a poultry house are listed below.


1. odor adsorption

Charcoal adsorbs odor components and reduces odors in poultry houses. 2.

2. humidity control

Charcoal has the ability to absorb excess moisture and helps maintain proper humidity.

3. adsorption of toxic substances

Charcoal adsorbs ammonia and other toxic gases and can be expected to improve the air quality in poultry houses.

4. support of microbial activity

The surface of charcoal is home to many microorganisms that help break down organic matter and support soil health.


1. frequency of replacement

- Charcoal has limited adsorption capacity and should be replaced periodically to maintain its effectiveness.

2. proper amount of placement

- Excessive placement of charcoal can reduce soil aeration and drainage. It is important to place the proper amount.

3. cost

- Using large amounts of charcoal may increase costs.

Overall, placing charcoal on the bottom layer of the fermentation bed in a poultry house can be effective, especially in odor management and humidity control. However, it requires proper management and regular replacement.

The principle of fermentation in a fermentation bed is based on microbial activity. Below are the details.

Principle of fermentation beds


1. supply of organic matter

Fermentation beds contain a variety of organic matter. These organic materials are a source of nutrients for microorganisms. 2.

2. microbial activity

Once organic matter is supplied, microorganisms (especially bacteria and fungi) in the soil begin to break it down. Aerobic microorganisms require oxygen to decompose organic matter, while anaerobic microorganisms work in the absence of oxygen.

3. generation of energy

Microorganisms obtain energy by decomposing organic matter. Carbon dioxide, water, and other substances are produced in this process. Some organic matter may be released as methane gas due to the activity of anaerobic microorganisms.

4. heat production

The process of decomposing organic matter is also known as an exothermic reaction. Thus, the fermentation bed can become warm, which helps keep the chickens warm, especially during the cooler months.

5. odor reduction

A fermentation bed with the right balance of microorganisms and proper humidity and temperature will reduce odor by inhibiting the formation of harmful gases such as ammonia.

6. compost production

Over time, fully decomposed organic matter accumulates in the lower part of the fermentation bed, which can be used as high-quality compost.

Effective operation of a fermentation bed requires proper humidity, temperature, and microbial balance. By maintaining these conditions optimally, fermentation beds help maintain a healthy environment in the poultry house.

The optimal balance of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms may vary depending on soil depth and application, but when considered as a fermentation bed for a poultry house, the following balance can be considered

Soil volume and balance

It's more like a sand bath or a dirt bath

It is sometimes difficult to put a large amount of soil in a chicken coop, and we would like to keep the amount of soil as low as possible, but it is better to have a depth of at least 40 cm (actually, we would like about 60 cm). Below are some examples of soil layers within 40 cm.

1. **Surface layer (0 - 10 cm)**:. 

- This is where **aerobic microorganisms** are primarily active because of the abundance of oxygen. This layer is responsible for the rapid decomposition of organic matter and the prevention of the formation of toxic gases such as ammonia. Aeration of the surface layer should be maintained.

2. **Middle layer (10 - 30 cm)**:. 

- This layer is an area where aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms coexist. This is the point where the activity of **anaerobic microorganisms** increases because the oxygen supply is somewhat reduced. Here, decomposition of organic matter continues and some anaerobic reactions also begin.

3.**Deep layer (30 - 40 cm)**:.

- The **anaerobic microorganisms** are primarily active in the deeper layers of the soil, where the supply of oxygen is very low. This is where methane gas production and other anaerobic reactions take place.

In terms of balance, it is important to create an environment in which both aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms can operate effectively. The specific proportions take the form of enhanced aerobic activity in the surface layers and increased anaerobic activity toward the deeper layers. This balance can be achieved by properly adjusting soil aeration, drainage, and organic matter supply.

Differences in microbial activity with soil depth depend on factors such as oxygen supply, moisture, and the presence of nutrients. These factors greatly affect the aerobic-anaerobic balance of the soil.

1. **Oxygen supply**:.

- **Surface**: The surface of the soil is in direct contact with air and is therefore rich in oxygen. This allows aerobic microorganisms to be active. Aerobic microorganisms use oxygen to break down organic matter to produce carbon dioxide and water (aerobic respiration).

- **Middle & Lower Layer**: Oxygen supply decreases as one moves deeper into the soil. As oxygen decreases, anaerobic microorganisms increase. Anaerobic microorganisms use other compounds as electron acceptors in place of oxygen to break down organic matter and obtain energy. Gases such as methane and hydrogen sulfide may be produced in this process (anaerobic respiration).

2.**Moisture supply**:.

- Excessive moisture can block soil pores and prevent the supply of oxygen. This can change the environment from aerobic to anaerobic.

3.**Amount and type of organic matter in the soil**:.

- Where organic matter is abundant, microbial activity is enhanced. On the other hand, depending on the type and chemistry of the organic matter, certain microbial groups may become dominant.

Adaptation and competition are constantly recurring in the soil.


Within the soil, aerobic and anaerobic environments change dynamically in response to environmental conditions and external influences (e.g., rain, pesticide application, soil excavation, etc.). A temporary lack of oxygen, increased moisture, or fluctuations in the supply of organic matter can change an aerobic environment into an anaerobic environment or vice versa. During these dynamic changes, aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms attempt to continue their activities optimized for their respective environments. This process of "adaptation and competition" can be captured in the image of "competing for land. However, this "competition" is short-term, and over time a new equilibrium state is formed. The soil environment is in balance with diverse microorganisms coexisting and influencing each other. The specific proportions of soil layers vary depending on the soil type, region, climatic conditions, and intended use of the soil. In addition, it is difficult to give general reference values for "surface," "middle," and "subsoil" as terms, since there is no standard definition of specific depths and properties. However, considering a soil depth of 40 cm as a standard:. - **Surface layer (0 - 10 cm)**: 25 - **Middle layer (10 - 30 cm)**: 50% - **Deep layer (30 - 40cm)**: 25 These are specific percentages. This classification is for reference only. Depending on actual soil conditions and objectives, the thickness and characteristics of these layers may vary.


The balance between aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms in a fermentation bed is critical to maintaining a healthy environment in the poultry house. Aerobic microorganisms are active in the surface layers of the soil, contributing to the decomposition of organic matter and odor control. Anaerobic microorganisms, on the other hand, also play an important role, especially in the deeper layers of soil, contributing to the complete decomposition of organic matter and the control of certain pathogens.

However, this balance is dynamic and varies with conditions such as soil oxygen, moisture, and nutrient availability. Maintaining the proper microbial balance requires soil management and monitoring. This will ensure optimal air quality, soil health, and chicken health in the poultry house and sustainable chicken production.

At any rate, we are happy as long as our Ukos are growing well.


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