In February of 2013 I acquired two yearling heifers: one of the Highland breed and the other of the Galloway breed. Neither had received vaccinations that I know of. I turned them out in 3 acres of lush pasture that no animals had been on for 12 years. I do not feed them grain, nor do I intend to. Therefore, the manure they produce I consider to be free of chemicals, fungicides, etc.
Sometime later, when one of the bovines dropped a cow pie in exactly the wrong place–directly in front of the gate where I would step, I grabbed a shovel. I decided to place the wet smelly thing in one of my worm bins–one of those small stack-able plastic tray-type bins. I layed it on top of an almost full tray. Over a period of about a month I observed the progress the worms made with their pie.
They loved it!
Due to the ammonia, I am not sure how much fresh manure the worms could handle at any given time, but after more observations, I have concluded that using manure is one of the fastest ways to increase the population of your Eisenia fetida (red wiggler) composting worms.
In Compost Tea Making, I discussed feeding worms kitchen scraps. It’s certainly beneficial for the worms to have a broad range of food available–a microbial smorgasbord. However, using only kitchen scraps I have had problems with mold, resulting in worm die-off. I now think that the addition of some clean manure into the blend helps them to process all of their food better. I realize this is well tread ground I walk, but I am adding it as an update to the worm growing chapter in Compost Tea Making.
What do you think?
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