Vermi-compost

Discussion in 'General Chicken Discussion' started by cogburn, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. cogburn

    cogburn New Member

    1,267
    0
    0
    Anyone else raise worms? I have several beds of red wigglers at different stages.. Amazing compost for seedling plants in the early spring, and Great treat for the chicks, teach them trust, hand feed a wiggly treat... And watch the show... Lol.


    image-3216415723.jpg

    Basic worm bin, really cheap, but effective...

    image-1487285717.jpg



    image-3877852863.jpg



    image-3345247699.jpg

    Black Gold !! Best Dirt in the world.....
    Cogburn
     
  2. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

    241
    0
    0
    I have a worm bed also. Unlike my granddaughter, I think it's cool to see them all writhing away when I take off the cover.

    However, so far my chicks are unimpressed. :confused: I took some out to them last night, sat in a chair and patiently offered them one. They finally messed with them a bit however I can't confirm that they ever actually ate one - so I put the rest in the "salad bar" that I built yesterday, filled with dirt and other compost and am now waiting on the seeds to come from My Pet Chicken.

    Do you think they will change their minds soon? I am so looking forward to also raising and giving them meal worms.
     

  3. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

    4,193
    0
    0
    I love to watch the bugs and worms in he compost bin. I used to collect worms and put them in my sandbox as a kid! Lol. And I used to raise mealworms for my reptiles when I had reptiles. I think a worm bin is such an excellent source of great earth for planting but also cuts way down on he organic trash on the curb. I hate to admit this, but I have always loved insects and worms. More of gods creatures. Oh, and I've thought about bees and bee keeping too.
     
  4. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

    241
    0
    0
    I am thinking about bees also. I know it's a lot more work than just setting out a couple of hives and letting them "do their thing". I'm going to start attending the local beekeepers association's monthly meetings (this coming Thurs. evening) and see what they have to say. Next spring would be the very soonest and I'll probably wait for a couple of years before I commit to something like that. With the state of honey bees in the world today, I do not want to get a hive and then be the reason they don't make it.

    I've always liked bugs and insects too. I think I was the only girl in my 8th grade biology class that was truly excited about the entomology project.

    Oh - and there was a mouse by the chicken coop yesterday while I was cleaning up the debris from the whole building project. It ran underneath the framing for the run. I was hoping to catch it for practice for the dog but it was too quick. I'm sure the chicks would not be impressed by it yet..... *sigh*
     
  5. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

    4,193
    0
    0
    Where there is one mouse..... Patience is a virtue. ;-)
     
  6. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

    241
    0
    0
    Yeah..... dang it. He/she was close to the garden spot too. I hope that doesn't mean that they find and eat any seeds I plant yet this fall...

    I'm still figuring this whole vermicomposting thing out though - how do you separate the good stuff from the worms without accidentally taking out too many worms?
     
  7. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

    4,193
    0
    0
    Not sure. I'm still doing just normal composting. I wasn't brave enough or rich enough this year to do both. I was kinda hoping you would take the lead there and teach me a few things. :)
     
  8. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

    241
    0
    0
    lol - we'll have to leave that up to cog.... I'm guessing he's been doing it longer and knows WAY more than me. I was lucky and was given a (fancy) worm bed. I paid $20.00 for the worms and they seem to be happy enough. I find lots of different sizes of the little guys when I open it up. I don't pay too much attention to it except to throw something in it every once in awhile.

    If I ever start another one - and I might even just switch over from this fancy set up - I'm going to do what cog has done and just use a plastic tub. They are cheap and, as long as you drill holes so that they have air and drainage, it works as well as this "official" thing I have. I had mine in the basement where it stayed pretty cool and they seemed to thrive. My SIL, on the other hand, left his outside...... *sigh* And then wondered why he lost all his worms. Also, he had no holes in the bottom so they were always trying to escape because they were "drowning". I attended a series of workshops that covered a whole bunch of permaculture-type subjects and a gal brought her worm bed one evening - it was exactly like cog's set up. She was even giving away worms to those who wanted some.

    Cheap tub ($5-6), drill some holes (1/4" - cog?), put it on a rack to keep it lifted up, tray underneath to catch the "worm tea", shredded newspaper, cardboard, some moisture and throw in kitchen scraps every so often and you have a worm bed! Easy peasy. Just don't let it dry out.

    Oh - and mine love, I mean LOVE, the cobs left from fresh corn on the cob. Not the ones with corn left on them (and WHO would throw those out anyway - right??? ;)) so much as the ones leftover from someone eating the corn off them first. I was amazed to see the "orgy" that was going on after the first time I threw a couple of those in the bed.
     
  9. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

    4,193
    0
    0
    I just saw this after posting. Looks like an article about bees.

    Yeah, that seems like a pretty simply operation. Not sure where I would keep it as I have house cats that go in my basement. They would be in the dirt all the time guaranteed!
     

    Attached Files:

  10. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

    241
    0
    0
    Oh - you can/probably should have a cover on it. Just use the lid that comes with the tub.

    Is that the newest issue of OG? I haven't gotten that one yet if it is. I also bought this at the MO State Fair from the MO Beekeepers booth:


    They said it was one of the best (despite what some of the reviews on Amazon say).
     

    Attached Files:

  11. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

    241
    0
    0
    And my worm bed is right here in my "living room". Since I am in a really small cabin (264 sq ft.), I just tucked it between my futon and a shelf, right under the A/C wall unit. It could really go anywhere out of the way: closet, under a table, on a shelf, etc. They really do NOT like the light so a dark place is great for them. I used to worry that they would try to escape so I kept a light on in the basement room where I had them in my old house, but here, I can't have a light on where they are or I'd never be able to sleep! That's why the baby chicks had to be in the (also very small) bathroom and I had to put a towel across the bottom of the door to block the light.

    Where there's a will there's a way.....
     
  12. cogburn

    cogburn New Member

    1,267
    0
    0
    Sorry been bizzzzy today !! Fixin to read the pages a while, after i lock down.. be right back.

    CB
     
  13. cogburn

    cogburn New Member

    1,267
    0
    0
    Spot on Tiny House.. I'll post a link.. Where I saw it... They multiply so fast.. I've got 10 times the worms I started with...
     
  14. cogburn

    cogburn New Member

    1,267
    0
    0

    Attached Files:

  15. BootedBantam

    BootedBantam New Chicken Mom

    596
    0
    0
    I want to do this. They want $40 for the bug class at the university. Please, Tell me how to get started.
     
  16. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

    241
    0
    0
    OK - here's a quick class (you can send me $$ in the mail for it):

    1) get some sort of bin (see above)
    2) Order worms or get them from a friend if you know anyone who has some and can spare some. I started with a lb. - they were $20.
    3) Shred or tear up newspaper and moisten
    4) Put worms and newspaper in bin
    5) Add in kitchen scraps - same stuff as you'd put in a compost pile (no dairy, fats, cooked stuff, etc. - just mainly veggie peelings, rotten veggies, etc.)
    6) Keep moist but not wet, worms can "drown" and if they are too wet, that's when they will try to crawl up and out of your bin
    7) Repeat step 5 over and over and occasionally add in more moist "roughage" (newspaper, cardboard, etc. I'm told they like the cardboard toilet paper rolls but mine have evidently heard that)
    8) Periodically harvest worm casings and use as fertilizer (I've not yet done this and will have to let cog take over on this point)

    No need to pay for a class, just research on the internet. There are LOTS of sites that explain all of this - with PICTURES! :D

    Here's where I got my worms:

    http://unclejimswormfarm.com/

    Looks like right now you can get 2,000 worms for $30.00 A friend and I paid $40 for 2,000 and then split them between us. (I made her count them all out...... KIDDING!!)

    :D
     
  17. kejmack

    kejmack New Member

    52
    0
    0
    I have a compost pile that is full of worms, but I don't "raise" them. I started the compost and they appeared on their own. There is even a Rare Earth Snake (that is the name of the species) living in there. I've seen him/her a couple of times.
     
  18. cogburn

    cogburn New Member

    1,267
    0
    0
    Yes.. I put some dried leaves, dry grass clippings, and a couple shovels of rough compost from one of my piles into the tub, mixed it well for the bottom layer, then tear a small newspaper, 6-10 pages into 1-2 inch strips and soak thoroughly in a bucket of warm water, add wet paper to the mix as this will be consumed slowly and used for bedding too, I feed the worms at one end of the tub, the other end is where I harvest them to start another bed, add to the garden around tomato plants, kids take a bunch and go fishing, or grab a handful for a chicken treat. Also don't allow the veggie scraps to mold, any mold or fuzzy stuff need to be taken out of the bin. I cut my veg scraps, dice them up and let it set in the sun for a while to dry a bit before adding especially if it's a piece of rotten something I'll cut out rotten spot. And try to maintain a balance of dry to moist top soil in bin, I keep a plastic coffee can half full of water in the center of bin to add moisture to air,
    Then sprinkle if needed the top soil in bin. And every 2-3 weeks they reproduce, and keep multiplying as long as they are fed regularly,
    And too much water is the worst thing to give them. You'll get the hang of it... Also take a 1/4 drill bit too and add holes in lid and around the top of bin as well as the bottom for drainage is necessary. Tutorial on the Internet I'm sure,
    I read it in a magazine years ago, and have not stopped with red wigglers for 12 years..
     
  19. BootedBantam

    BootedBantam New Chicken Mom

    596
    0
    0
    Sweet, going to try it, Outlaw loves them worms. Plus my daughter loves bugs. Worms are cheap here, they sell them at gas stations.
     
  20. Roslyn

    Roslyn A Round American Woman

    735
    0
    0
    I remember reading the directions for a commercial worm keeping tub thing from a catalog. It was on the short list for my birthday, but anyway......

    It came with stacking racks that were perforated or mesh on the bottom. Once the worms ate the goodies in the soil, then you added more damp newspaper and more goodies to the next tray, the worms worked their way up through the base of the tray to the new goodies allowing you to take the bottom tray, empty the "dirt and poo" and then placing that tray on the top and so on and so on.

    I've never done the worms, I let wild ones come into the yard though. They are fun to shine a light on and watch on rainy nights, who knew something with no legs could move so fast!!