Do Worms Like Homemade Manure?

Homemade Manure Worms

I think so!
🙂

This morning I was checking on a section of one of my outdoor worm windrows (worm beds currently sitting over top of my vermicomposting trenches) where I had added a lot of “homemade manure” not too long ago, and was totally blown away by the number of worms concentrated in this zone. What’s interesting is that I added lots of “real” aged manure (aka “worm candy”) to these beds not too long ago (and yes, I’ve been meaning to write about it ever since – haha), and the resident worms (those that overwintered in the trenches, along with countless others that hatched out this spring) absolutely went to town on it. It was like a worm magnet! My point here is that they LOVE this manure…yet the homemade stuff seems to be even more appealing!

It didn’t always look that way though! When I first made it I ended up letting it sit for quite a few days in the garbage can I mixed it up in. This was great for rotting it down and getting the cardboard nice and soggy, but I think it also allowed it to go pretty anaerobic. When I first put it in the windrow (likely for the first 2-3 days) the worms wouldn’t go near it! Then all of a sudden they went crazy for it!

Anyway, I definitely think I need to do some experiments with this stuff!
8)

Homemade Manure Worms

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Comments

    • Barb V.
    • April 30, 2010

    I receently learned that some horse/cow manure might contain the herbacide picloram. Googled the name and made me suspect all of my local sources of manure and even the mushroom compost. Anyway, ALL THE MORE REASON to mix up a large batch of your HOME MADE MANURE. Besides my inner-mad-scientist will get a good workout. lol

    • Anna
    • April 30, 2010

    I got to thinking about your use of the word “manure” and consulted dicitonary.com. It seems that the term originally meant something that was made by hand–so you’ve brought the term full circle. Nicely done :).

    • Bentley
    • May 1, 2010

    That’s really interesting, Anna! Thanks for sharing that.
    8)

    • Bentley
    • May 1, 2010

    Barb – thanks to you as well for sharing that info. I hadn’t heard that. I’ve never encountered issues with aged manure myself, but it never hurts to be cautious!

    • Paul
    • May 3, 2010

    Mixed up my first small batch today and added it to the bin. This stuff is great! Smells pretty good too as there’s strawberry bits in there. I can see this being consumed much faster than the whole bits I was throwing in before, without the possibility of going goey on me.

    • Bentley
    • May 3, 2010

    Sounds good, Paul – let me know how it works for you!
    8)

    • Barb V.
    • May 13, 2010

    I spread my first batch of homemade manure on my outdoor pit a few days ago and it is alive with worms. Many more than observed with regular horse manure [aged], but that may be due to warmer weather.

    • Paul
    • May 18, 2010

    Meant to get back earlier, but you know how things are. My worms LOVE the homemade manure. I was just poking around in the bin tonight and the concentrations of worms in the pocket I fed a few days ago are amazing. Just like in your pictures above. I haven’t seen that in my bin before. This stuff really is great!

    • Stephen
    • May 24, 2010

    Bentley,

    I just made my first batch of homemade manure. I used one third shredded junk mail, one third finished compost from my regular composting bin, and one third frozen, then thawed kitchen scraps. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thanks.

    Stephen in East TN

    • Stephen
    • May 30, 2010

    Bentley,
    I went out today to check on my worms and they are populating the section of the bin where I put the homemade manure. They seem to be loving it. Thanks for this website and for all the great information.

    Stephen in East TN

    • Stephen
    • June 15, 2010

    Well, I went out yesterday and the worms have consumed most of the homemade manure I gave them three weeks ago. So today I started a new batch using the same basic formula, 1/3 finished compost, shredded junk mail and pre-frozen and thawed kitchen scraps. I’m letting it mature in a five gallon bucket for a few days before I add it to the bin.

    Thanks again for this great site.

    Stephen in East TN

    • Colleen
    • June 16, 2010

    I just wanted you to know that I had made the HMM and threw in a good handful of worms. I had another mortar tub with the normal manure and peat mix and at least a thousand worms in it. I recently made outdoor bins and dumped both of these mortar tubs into the outdoor bins. When I dumped them I had EASILY 2-3 times more worms in the HMM than in the other one… I was floored!!!

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