Poultry Manure

rocksintheheadJanuary 16, 2014

Has any one heard that you shouldn't use poultry manure for vermicomposting? I read this yesterday "Poultry manure is not recommended as it is too high in nitrogen and minerals.". I bought a bag of Epsoma "Garden Manure" and thought it might be a tasty treat for my worms.

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sbryce_gw

Fresh poultry manure in large amounts would be a problem. Small amounts of composted poultry manure should be OK. Check the label to see if there are any other ingredients in it. Start with a small amount in the corner of your bin and see how the worms respond.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 5:52PM
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klem1

You can do much better than chicken manure and store bought amendments. I have a feeling you might be confusng products containing plant nutrients with those containing worm nutrients. Manures range from exelent(horse) to poor (birds and fowl) , generaly reflecting the animal's ability to digest and extract nutrients from what they consume. Horses (parden pun please) waste more food than they convert while chickens are our most effecient domestic animal. Chicken manure is about as good a source of N as anything you can buy so most people apply directly to soil between growing seasons and as plant side dressing after ageing a short period. Your worms will love horse,cow and rabbit if you age it a bit first or used with lots of brown bedding.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 11:31PM
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chuckiebtoo

Klemj: "You can do much better than chicken manure and store bought amendments".

"Store bought amendments" is an excellent place to start my rant about wormin' without Walmart.

My initial reason for getting into this thing we do was as a focal point for my intention to recycle stuff, eliminate chemicals from my footprint, and get by without help from corporate America while growing my tomatoes.

It has broadened into using worms as a tool for teaching all those things to our children and grandchildren.

Kids are especially attracted to wormies and take up the whole thing about conservation and stuff much easier with a handful of squirmers in their hands.

Whew! I'm through.

Cb2

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 6:51AM
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rocksinthehead

I bought the "store bought amendment" because I don't have the space to have a truckload of fresh manure dropped off and let age. I wish I did. I found a local source of horse manure. If I had the space I would get a 5 gal. bucket of it and let it age. I don't need much because I have just an 18 gal. tote for my worm bin.

I didn't set up a bin as much to recycle all my scraps, don't have that many but more for my fascination with nature and how the natural cycle (of plants mainly) works. Kind of the opposite of most peoples' reason I guess.

I have been putting in way to many coffee grounds, my main food waste, and it's effecting the bin. So I have been looking for other sources of food. I tried to get scraps from the local fruit and vegetable store but nooooooooooooooo, they don't give them away. Since it's spring again I am going to look more at local farms and the like.
Any ideas in this pursuit would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:40PM
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rocksinthehead

In my quest for worm food I have considered a layer of hay and straw on top of the bedding and under the top layer of leaves. They seem to break down quickly.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 5:31PM
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sbryce_gw

Straw would be bedding. I would be concerned about hay heating up, but if you are having success with it, then use it. Leaves would be bedding.

I would snag the 5 gallons of horse manure. If it is in a pile at a stable, it has already aged enough. I have used horse manure no more than a day or two old with great success.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:28PM
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rocksinthehead

Good point about the hay heating up.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:55PM
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Niivek

If you’re like me and most of your food waste is coffee ground and frozen pizza wrappers, you could try buying the occasional bag of baby carrots at the grocery store. You’ll feel better about yourself for attempting to eat healthier and get the bonus of a month later finding a bag of unopened rotten carrots in your vegetable drawer in the fridge that you can feed to the worms.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 10:09AM
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equinoxequinox

rocksinthehead what a nice post. I can so understand your "more for my fascination with nature and how the natural cycle (of plants mainly) works" reasoning. I too like the idea of a creating a little eco system that is alive. It is the same for those who have a fish tank with a reef system or a model railroader with a realistic setup. Perhaps you or me or others here have an interest in all three?

I think the worms mostly want moist surface area because it allows the slime or biolayer of tasty goodness and a cool area to hang out the worms crawl towards.

Egg cartons, paper towel rolls, watermelon rinds?

The better you eat the better the worms eat.

Green bean tails?

Lobster shells :-) ?

The rind from the lime tail twist on the martini?

Squirrels in the yard? They must poop somewhere. Just joking.

Your bin sounds very well cared for and doted over. Maybe plant something and use some up? Or harvest and put on the sad spots in the lawn. If you put the seeds from a squash into the bin then when they germinate you can tell if those areas of the lawn are better or worse. Then just mow and nobody will know.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 12:52AM
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rocksinthehead

Man, it's like people are reading my mind here, ie.
"If you're like me and most of your food waste is coffee ground and frozen pizza wrappers, you could try buying the occasional bag of baby carrots at the grocery store. You'll feel better about yourself for attempting to eat healthier and get the bonus of a month later finding a bag of unopened rotten carrots in your vegetable drawer in the fridge that you can feed to the worms."
I bought a head of iceberg lettuce for my worms ( I prefer romaine and raw spinach) and what's left of veggies that I've been eating when they get old. I have been slicing some off the iceberg head and putting it in the food processor for the kids (my worms). I also cooked up some rice for them. It did two things, gave them some food and got me over my fear of cooking rice without burning it.

And "rocksinthehead what a nice post. I can so understand your "more for my fascination with nature and how the natural cycle (of plants mainly) works" reasoning. I too like the idea of a creating a little eco system that is alive. It is the same for those who have a fish tank with a reef system or a model railroader with a realistic setup. Perhaps you or me or others here have an interest in all three?"
True here, I used to have an aquarium for quite a few years and love to see model railroads done up right, they look so cool as a mini representation of the real thing. I also plan on getting a microscope so I can check out the worm ecosystem even more.

"Your bin sounds very well cared for and doted over. Maybe plant something and use some up? Or harvest and put on the sad spots in the lawn. If you put the seeds from a squash into the bin then when they germinate you can tell if those areas of the lawn are better or worse. Then just mow and nobody will know."

I'm working on growing some indoor herbs to spice things up a bit for the worms.
And last but not least, "woo hoo, I got some local horse poo today. I did a google search for manure in the area and got nothing. So I went on Craigslist and put a post about looking for local manure. The first couple of days there were no hits there so I looked on Craigslist for people that give horse back riding lessons, board horses, and sell cows. I contacted four of those and got replies from each one. I asked if the sold it or gave it away. Three of the four said I could have all I want for free, just scoop and haul it yourself. I went to two places today and got two five gallon buckets from each. One had used straw as bedding the other wood chips. I got a bucket of aged and fresh from each one. (Oh ya, one of the two sources today replied to the first post about looking for manure.) I am going to get some cow poo later this week. Now I have many good sources for it and can find out what the worms prefer.
The second place I went to I almost had to stand in line. It seemed everyone had the same idea now that the warm weather is here. I figure horse poo will be easy to get because people like to keep them as pets and are happy to give it away so they don't have to deal with it.
When I got the 5 gal. buckets from Lowes and Home Depot (color coding the buckets) I made sure I got lids that fit really tight for odor control. They each have a simple lid that snaps on tight and is not too hard to get off again. I didn't want the kind of lid like comes on a bucket of paint that you practically need a chainsaw to get off.
I am having a lot of fun with this, my first attempt failed, the bedding was way too dry. Now I use 60% coconut coir and 40% composted manure and humus from the garden center. It stays nice and damp. On one half of the bin I have shredded brown paper shopping bags and the other half leaves from the woods. I think I am going to change it to all leaves, a lot of microbes and cridders in them.
Any way, my mind is a whirl of ideas for this.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 5:36PM
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pskvorc(3)

"You’ll feel better about yourself for attempting to eat healthier and get the bonus of a month later finding a bag of unopened rotten carrots in your vegetable drawer in the fridge that you can feed to the worms."

Gee... That's NEVER happened to me. ;)

"If you put the seeds from a squash into the bin then when they germinate you can tell if those areas of the lawn are better or worse. Then just mow and nobody will know."

FINALLY! REALITY about viable vegetable seeds in compost!

Paul

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 6:32PM
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