Worm composting (aka Chicken snacks with a job)

Aug 17, 2020
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there are lots of types of worms for composting, are there any that are bad for chickens ? I want to keep the worm beds in the potting shed/greenhouse/chicken run.

Also, I would like to put the bottom of the chicken run which is chicken poo and wood shavings (pine) and straw into the worm bins. Thoughts ? opinions ?
 

1muttsfan

Up Northerner
10 Years
Mar 26, 2011
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Upper Peninsula Michigan
I'm not sure that pine shavings are not too tough for worm composting. Maybe if you let them age and deteriorate a bit first. I have a big pile of wood chips from the power company tree trimming crew, and after about 6 months they break down to where I find worms in the pile. That's when I know they are ready to go into the run.
 
Aug 17, 2020
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great advice! thank you. I will pre-pile-compost them prior to giving them to the worms. Hopefully the accompanying chicken poo with encourage decomposition.
 

CatsandCrops

Songster
Apr 7, 2020
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Cleveland, OH
I'm not sure where you're located at but I'm from the frozen tundra of North East Ohio where it currently feels like 9 degrees outside; we have to keep our worm farm indoors to keep them from freezing. We did ours in a double bin set up and have had it three years; we empty it completely in the spring to use for the gardens and chuck half the worms back in to start again. The other half get put into a smaller container and fed to the girls and garden throughout the season.

Worms will multiple to their container size and the amount of food they have. I don't believe there are any "bad" worms for chickens, but I could be wrong. I don't think straight chicken poop would be good for the bins; maybe after it has broken down a bit. I feel like it would be too high of levels of nitrogen for the worms (kind of like you shouldn't put it straight into a garden bed for fear of burning out the plants).
 

WestTNriverrat

Songster
Apr 22, 2020
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The thick end of the volunteer state.
From everything I’ve learned raising worms your not gonna want to use chicken manure the ammonia will poison the worms making a toxic bin. I’m sure it could be done with a large enough bed with large section of safe living material like aged horse manure shredded newspaper&cardboard leaf litter or stuff like that. We have cattle horses and chickens. I have to be careful not to add the horse and cow manure to soon to beds. Chicken manure just goes to regular compost pile to heat it up. The worms in there are on their own. I do have a bed I give chickens full access to in warmer weather I drag beside their coop. They do poop in it but it’s such a little amount and the size of it I don’t much worry. The chickens do break into my worms in winter they have to work harder for them because they are covered and deeper than normal they make a mess scratching around and looking for the easiest access.
 
Aug 17, 2020
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wow, so much to know about worms! The only thing I learned on my own about earthworms is that if they end up in water they look drowned, but if you toss them on dry land they come back to life. (I was startled by the 'dead' worm crawling around like a little zombie the first time I saw it, now I just fish them out when the rain floods the garden.

I found a local place that ships worms, but they start shipping in mid to late March because the worms cannot travel in the mail in the winter. (jokes about snail-mail anyone ? )

thank you all! very much appreciated... I will build the bin in the comfort of the basement this winter. Ready to give them a better life than I would have on my own thanks to you. Considering the cost of the starter worms it is good not to kill them on my first try!
 

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