Bagged Manure-05-30-31

Quick update on the bagged manure “compost” front.

Remember how I said I hoped I’d end up being “surprised” by the results of this one? Well, so far that’s definitely been the case! Worms have moved into the material in both of the beds it was placed in. Again, in some ways this was to be expected in the case of my not-so-ultimate (lol) bin, which I’ve been having no luck keeping nice and moist – but I was still surprised by the number of worms (lots) I found in the compost.

I’m actually starting to think that this might be something of an “ultimate” missing ingredient that could help me to get this bed back in good shape, since it holds water very well, yet it doesn’t have the same heating potential of even the well-aged horse manure I have in my other beds.

I only had a small amount left, however, so I simply put more in the corner where my original test spot was located (will let you know what I did with the rest of it in a minute).

As you may recall, what I really DIDN’T expect to see happen was worms moving into the sheep manure compost that I placed in one of my aged horse manure beds. It wasn’t quite as many worms (as in the “ultimate” bin), but interestingly enough, there now seems to be more worms in that zone than in surrounding aged horse manure zones!

I have a sneaking suspicion that temperature and moisture content are playing an important role here. It’s been very hot as of late and the worms seem to be congregating down near the bottom and sides of my outdoor beds. The material up higher tends to be very warm and not nearly as moist. The sheep manure compost on the other hand seem to hold moisture better, and it doesn’t feel as warm, so this may help to at least partially explain why the worms are attracted to it.

The next thing I want to test is the use of sheep manure compost in an indoor bin. Yesterday I mixed up the remaining amount with some water then put a big dollop of it over top of some bedding materials in one of my Euro bins. Almost looks like a fresh cow patty! lol

NOTE: Please keep in mind that this is an experiment, and that I have many years of experience with this sort of thing. I would NEVER recommended adding wet sloppy material like that (and that quantity), much less any sort of (untested) “manures” to an enclosed plastic bin. This particular bin actually has really good aeration, and lots of absorbent bedding in it, so I’m very confident there won’t be any issues at all.

I’m actually really interested to see what the Euros do with it! Temperature and moisture content aren’t going to play as important a role as they do in the outdoor beds, so if the worms do show an interest I think it may suggest some actual “food” value.

Anyway – lots more to come on the bagged manure front! Now that I know it has some potential value, I want to conduct a variety of tests with it, and try out some other kinds of bagged manures. It’s pretty inexpensive stuff, so it could potentially end up being a good habitat material to mix in when setting up a normal worm bin!

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    • Adam
    • May 31, 2012

    I’m still waiting for the free horse manure that I picked up to age a bit more, but I have about 36 ft cubed of it waiting. Can’t wait to get the 5 pounds coming my way to speed up their reproduction and processing speeds.

    • Mark
    • June 1, 2012

    I’m new to raising worms. I started my 8 14 gallon totes with a 50/50 mix of peat moss and bagged steer manure from Home Depot. In summary of the last 3 months: The euros have done quite well. I’ve found that they breed more frequently with more water in the soil than is recommended. They eat way less table craps than I expected. Just a 1/4 cup of layer chicken feed crumbles seems to be plenty of food for a week for a pound of worms. The consumption of paper and cardboard that I’ve added is low. I suspect that there is so much food in the bagged steer manure that the worms seem to eat very little of what I add with the exception of watermelon. LOL Watermelon rind seems to be a treat for my fishing bait. LOL

    • Mark
    • June 1, 2012

    oops,,,,,, could you please add an “s” to “table craps”….. should be table scraps….. I save the crap with my junk and it’s all in the garage…. LOL
    Thanks for the wonderful website! Mark

    • Ann
    • June 3, 2012

    Black Kow works too if run out of “real” aged manures.

    • Bentley
    • June 6, 2012

    ADAM – Sounds great! You should end up with loads of new worms!
    MARK – Very interesting – thanks for sharing. Steer manure is the one I might be a bit more cautious about since I’ve read it can be high in salts. Glad you’ve had good success with it (for those reading this, my recommendation would STILL be to test using a small amount, since not every bagged manure will be the same).
    Table craps? Are you a gambler?? lol
    ANN – Have you tried it? The worms like it? My guess is that it’s pretty similar to other bagged cow manure composts.

    • Mark Reed
    • June 7, 2012

    Oh! Salt, I was unaware of the possibility when I set up my totes 3-4 months ago. Oops, I guess buying composted steer manure is like shooting craps. Which I have unsuccessfully tried also. LOL I’ll test it and use a smaller percentage of composted manure to my mix next time AND I’ll try to find composted sheep manure, but, I haven’t found a source yet. For me, I love the option of the bagged manure. It’s easily available, ready to go, it doesn’t smell, you don’t need a truck to haul it. I’m glad you’re experimenting with it. I’d love to see/hear something about rotating moisture levels to promote cocoon production but I realize that vermicomposting is the main focus of your business. Great site for the home vermicomposter and/or worm grower!

    • iJohn
    • August 26, 2012

    I bought some composted Lamb manure… Is there much of difference between composted Lamb manure and composted Sheep manure… Is one better then the other…

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