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Manure and vermicomposting???

Posted by blaundee none (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 14:51

I do not have time to turn a huge compost pile and I have a LOT of manure- mainly horse manure which is collected every day, with goat and chicken manure collected every few months. Could I use worms to compost the horse manure? Would I need to add other matter to it? (I usually put the goat and chicken manure/bedding mix on my garden but I have way too much horse manure for that lol)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Manure and vermicomposting???

Horse manure all by itself is an almost perfect worm food. You can feed it directly to the worms straight out of the horse. Since the C:N ratio is almost perfect, you don't need additional food or bedding.

There are a couple of potential gotchas.

A pile of horse manure can heat up. This will kill the worms. You either want to add a thin layer, so that the heat can dissipate and the worms cam crawl away from it, add it to one side of an existing pile and let the worms migrate when they are ready, or precompost it for a couple of weeks.

Various posters on this forum are in disagreement about the potential impact of dewormers. Some claim that dewormers will kill your worms. Some say that dewormer is no longer a threat to your worms after it is exposed to sun light. Others say that when you deworm your horses, let the manure age a while to let the dewormer break down before you feed it to your worms.

Goat and chicken manure will have different C:N ratios, and may need to be treated differently.

Here is a link that might be useful: K.I.S.S. worm composting plan for manure

RE: Manure and vermicomposting???

I continue to be amazed at the great quality of specific information offered not only here but many places on many topics on the web. Just regular people have such a quantity of knowledge and are willing to share. You guys post's here and across the web are way more interesting and informative than CNN or Foxnews could ever hope to be. Your posts are Grrreat!

RE: Manure and vermicomposting???

equinoxequinox, agreement is in order for your amazement. Learning almost anything is now right at the end of our fingers.

I will also say that without the manure of the horses, I would have a very difficulty maintaining my excitement and confidence of composting with the worms.


RE: Manure and vermicomposting???

I collect horse manure daily from our paddock and put it directly into wormbeds. This reduces flies and the need to add much additional water.
Unless you plan to make a sizeable $ investment, you should start a small breeder box and grow your own. I started with about 1lb and grew them into several hundred lbs in a couple years. It takes about 250 sq.' of wormbeds for me to vermicompost the manure of 1 horse. Straight manure is fine, nothing else is needed.

Good luck and happy wormin'


RE: Manure and vermicomposting???

"It takes about 250 sq.' of wormbeds for me to vermicompost the manure of 1 horse." That is some good information. As Sherman T. Potter might say 250 sq.' of manure sure is a lot of horse hockey.

RE: Manure and vermicomposting???

So, .2 pounds per ft'? What density of worms?

RE: Manure and vermicomposting???

We generally recommend starting with one pound of worms per square foot of surface area. Most bins, especially those made up of mostly horse manure, will support more worms than that. In time the worm population will increase to the optimum for the bed size and feedstock.

For a particularly large operation, we often suggest starting out smaller and learning the art of vermicomposting on a smaller scale rather than risk a huge financial investment in worms and bins.

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