Bagged Manure-06-06-12

I must say that I’m becoming more and more impressed with this bagged sheep manure compost. Although there aren’t many worms in the material I added to outdoor beds (likely because it has dried out quite a bit), the stuff I added to the indoor Euro bin has been a BIG hit! When I checked on the bin one day after adding the material there were already quite a few worms in it. By the time I checked on things yesterday, it looked as though they had converted a lot of it into beautiful worm castings! I also found some cocoons in the material, so I figure that’s a good sign as well.


This already has me thinking of at least one fun new experiment I want to try out. I’d like to compare a specific quantity of the original bagged material to the same quantity of material that’s been well processed by the worms in terms of plant growth promotion. The big question of course, will be whether or not the worms enhance the material at all (I’m leaning towards “YES!!”, but we shall see). Given how readily the Euros moved into the sheep manure compost, I suspect I could set up a bin using ONLY that material and not have to worry about harming them.

I have purchased two new varieties of bagged manure to test out as well (as you can see in the first image) – sheep manure once again – but a different brand – and cattle manure. So far, I’m not sure that the cattle manure is going to perform nearly as well as the first variety of sheep manure did. I’ve added it to multiple systems (including the Euro bin, as you can see below), and the response thus far has been pretty luke warm.

I suspect this may have to do with a higher salt content in the cattle manure, but it’s hard to say for sure. I’ll be interested to see how things play out over time – perhaps more worms will show an interest eventually.

I’ll be testing out the new sheep manure soon as well. As per usual, I’ll be sure to report back here with the results.
8)

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Comments

    • Mark
    • June 7, 2012

    Good stuff eh? No source for the composted sheep dung here that I’m aware of. Try equal amounts of moisture in those two samples, sheep and steer manures. Your sheep was a wet slurry when you first added it. Here’s something I’ve noticed, you probably already have in your experiments and it’s certainly in documents. Run that dung extra wet on top of your bedding for a week or two. Euros will eat both of them up. Since it’s on top of your bedding, if too wet, they can run to the bedding. Then take the lids off and let them dry for a week or two. Those euros will breed, lay cocoons fast. Then add water and food scraps. Bam! Back to heavy breeding. As your cocoons hatch, eventually, the younger ones really nail the food on top hard. While the adults seem more evenly distributed throughout the depths of my bin. (from inspections, still breeding)
    Now here is the one thing that baffles me: I get one or two “pearl necklace” looking worms, dead or dying, in each of my 10 bins each day or two. LOTS of possibles for me: I added the wrong kind of calcium carbonate at my original set up about 3 months ago, I pour one tote into an empty tote every 1-3 weeks to examine what’s going on in there and to keep it from going anaerobic, I’ve added/mixed in ALL sorts of paper wastes during inspections(colored ads/office/shiny cardboard/shiny ads/brown cardboard), when I received my worms-they were uniform in size-same age-IDK, I feed layer crumbles/chicken feed, SO it’s hard to nail down for sure why I have an occasional worm die on the surface. The thorough inspections show they almost never die below the surface.(but inspections may damage some worms) Not looking for an answer from you.. LOL Just something for me to ponder for now. I recently went to the wettest condition I’ve ever had and all of those cocoons exploded with hungry babies emerging, 1000s of them nearly all at once! So I’ll feed them, the white worms, the brown and white mites and the newest arrival, the spring tail, for a couple weeks. Then pull the lids and dry them for a couple weeks then harvest the worms and start with fresh bedding and more steer manure. IDK I might try the cheapest bale of straw or local hay (grass/timothy) I can find and do a 50/50 steer manure hay mix for bedding, add my scraps to that. I’d like to eliminate some variables that might play into the “pearl necklace” syndrome. Any thoughts on sawdust? (avoid cedar) A 50/50 sawdust/manure might be a good one. With 3-4 months in a tote, couple pounds of worms, LOL nothing but castings and cocoons left! Have a GREAT summer Bentley!

    • Mark
    • June 8, 2012

    I’ll add, I WILL be reducing the percentage of bagged composted steer manure to neutral bedding since you brought up the possible higher salt content of steer manure. IDK, maybe 25% manure to 75% neutral bedding by volume.
    I also am going to try a couple different beddings, depends on what is readily available at a low/no cost.
    There’s only 2 of us in the house, so there isn’t all that many scraps. Certainly not enough scraps for 10 totes, guessing 10 pounds of worms.

    • Andy
    • June 10, 2012

    I was using bagged dehydrate cow manure for awhile. Of course the worms love it. Until I found little pieces of metals in the finished vermicompost.

    • bob costello
    • June 11, 2012

    Bentley
    I was thinking, since reading about the bagged sheep and cow manure, and that they always seem to advocate rabbits with worms, I wonder then how it is they don’t bag rabbit manure and sell it also?

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