Show me your Worm Composters

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mediazeal, May 19, 2009.

  1. mediazeal

    mediazeal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    Ok, I was hunting for worms for the kids thinking, "there has to be a better way"

    [​IMG] I have friends who will give me worms to compost with and I have compost makings.....
    what I need now are worm composter designs. [​IMG]
    Are you composting with worms?
    Show me your set up please!!

    Descriptions of how to construct what you use will earn extra points of appreciation.
    I will thank you, my chickies will thank you.

    Original Post below
    My first hatch of chicks are 4 1/2 weeks old. I gave them some grit for a treat this morning, then I went out and dug them up worms.

    I'm trying to hand feed them treats now because they still act like they hate me. They will get the hang of it, but coop life is coming soon and I need them to be willing to come close or follow me for treats (and locking back up in the coop, etc.)

    It's been blazing hot here lately and I had a terrible time finding worms. Finally found a moist spot with a few in it.

    Any hints on finding them worms? Are they more prone to be in moist beds? So I need to water the day before I want to find them?
    Is anyone raising worms for them?

    They are completely hilarious grabbing and running with the worms.

    My 2 day old chicks that hatched over the weekend are climbing all over my hand when I feed them crumbles. They come to my hand as soon as its in the brooder. Very different little chickies I've got in the 2 hatches.
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Finding worms in dry soil is tough. Do you have a compost bin. I can usually find worms in the compost. Big ones and lots of baby worms. Also try looking under logs, rocks etc. Good luck.

    Yes you can raise worms or buy at pet/fishing store

    Imp- worms taste like chicken [​IMG]
  3. GAchick

    GAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2009
    Pembroke GA
    I have a worm bin for my kitchen scraps. Dug out a worm for the chickies first worm treat on Sunday. It was a hoot watching them.
  4. mediazeal

    mediazeal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    Great ideas. I think I will both water my garden and start looking for a worm bin.

    Did you build one? I see plastic ones online.
  5. mechagrue

    mechagrue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2009
    Deception Pass, WA
    I set up a worm bin 2 years ago, and I love it! I just used a big rubbermaid container from Wal-Mart. Layer it with crumpled newspaper, soiled chicken bedding, bits of cardboard - brown stuff. Then add in green stuff, coffee grounds, eggshells as necessary.

    You may have trouble finding the "right" worms, I eventually got some from a neighbor's worm box. If you start scouring bait stores, look for "red wiggler worms." You can also order them online, but they cost a FORTUNE.

    On finding worms, here's the best way to draw them out of your yard: soak an area of grass with the hose. Sprinkle around a bunch of oatmeal. Lay down a sheet of cardboard or an old board. Flip over the board first thing in the morning (before it gets hot) and there will most likely be worms.

    These will probably NOT be the right worms for your worm box, by the way. You want small red compost worms - the worms in your yard will most likely be earthworms. Your chicks will love them, though!
  6. mediazeal

    mediazeal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    mechagrue, this is awesome info
    thanks very much

    what do you do about drainage in your worm box
    Can you post some pics of what you made?
    I'd love to have one for the garden as well as growing worms for the chicks

    Oh, and I have friends who have a worm composter
    They offered me worms to get started with
    So paper and food stuff, check
    available red wigglers, check
    design of how to set up worm box??? no check (they cost $100 bucks to buy so any design would be GREAT!)
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  7. MysticScorpio82

    MysticScorpio82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Maine, USA
  8. SimplyForties

    SimplyForties Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Carroll County, Va
    I have a couple of worm bins in my basement. Earth worms and composting worms are two different species. The main difference being that earth worms live in dirt and live a fairly solitary existence. Composting worms don't live in dirt and are happy all crammed in together! The best website for vermicomposting info is I'm pretty attached to my worms so I'm not sure I'll be able to feed them to my chicks! As stated in a previous post, red wigglers (eisenia foetida) and European Night Crawlers are two types of composting worms. They go through mounds of vegetable scraps and junk paper and turn out wonderful soil additives. I love my worms for all the hard work they do!

    They go through so many scraps that I've had to enlist the help of my vegetarian neighbor to come up with enough scraps for the worms and the chicks together!
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  9. MoTownChickie

    MoTownChickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2009
    Modesto, California
    Check out the video by GardenGirl. She shows how easy it is to make a vermicomposter with a plastic tub.

    if that link doesn't work, try YouTube.

    I have a bin I purchased and I just got red wigglers from the local bait shop. They are reproducing like crazy, so I don't feel bad about grabbing a few every once in a while for treats. I have a duckling that will jump for them - too cute.
  10. mechagrue

    mechagrue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2009
    Deception Pass, WA
    Awesome, Mediazeal! Finding the worms is definitely the hardest part.


    I have a blog post where I wrote about it here. As you can see, it's just a plain old storage tub which I happened to have lying around.

    I drilled some holes in the side, but I'm not sure those are actually useful. Most of the time they are clogged with gunk, so I doubt there's much ventilation happening. But the worms are happy enough.

    I also drilled some holes in the bottom for drainage, and set it atop the abandoned lid from another big storage box. However, in 2 years I've never had anything leak out the bottom. I've come to the conclusion that you would have to do something really wrong, in order to make liquid come out the bottom.

    When I first started the box, I would soak newspaper in water, then wring it out like a sponge before adding it. Now that the box is going, I never bother to do that. I toss in used coffee filters at least twice a day, and those have enough moisture to keep the box damp.

    Note that I live in the Pacific Northwest, where our humidity is high. If you live in a dry climate, you might find yourself having to add water occasionally. Your own common sense is your best guide - worms like it damp, but not soaking. You'll be able to tell at a glance if it's damp enough for them, or too damp.

    People get wacky with their wormbox designs, and some of the advice gets very detailed and specific. If all you want is a box with worms to eat your garbage, there's really no need to go overboard. After all, they're just worms. And it's pretty hard to kill them!

    I'm with SimplyForties. I can't bring myself to feed my worms to my chicks. I had a massive die-off over winter (thanks to my own stupidity - I left it outside in weather that got down to the teens, and they all froze to death). When I discovered what had happened, I wept for an hour.

    (When people ask if I will be killing and eating my chickens, I tell them that story.)
    Last edited: May 19, 2009

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