Anoxic Manure

Question from Eduardo:

My pile of manure being precomposted gathered some rainwater and
turned gray and anoxic. If I turn it and let it dry, is it still good
to use for my worms??

Hi Eduardo,

The way I see it, pretty well any (originally-worm-friendly) organic waste material that has gone anaerobic can be converted back to a valuable “worm food” – it really just comes down to the amount of patience you have! lol

If your manure has become very water-logged (and smells really foul) you may want to mix it with a fair amount of dry shredded cardboard and/or some other bulky, absorbent bedding material. This should help to speed up the recovery process considerably (versus simply leaving the material to sit and dry), and provide you with a nice food/habitat blend to add to your worm beds once it’s aged for a while.

Make sure to mix everything up regularly (especially if no being bedding mixed in) during the drying process. Remember, the idea here is to encourage the development of an aerobic microbial community. Of course, if you also happen to have access to some dry(ish) manure, or some other “living material” you can mix in with it, that should help a great deal as well.

Your manure should be ready to use once there is no longer a strong foul odor associated with it – but just to be on the safe side, start by testing it out on a small scale to see how the worms respond.

Hope this helps!

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