As a general rule Manure can be used in Free Range Feeding of Your Worm Farming. Planning needs to be given so that manure is not too fresh / Hot. Ample space and straw mixture will regulate this. Chickens Given Free Range can poop which feeds the worms, and in turn, the chickens love to eat worms. If Planned properly chickens natural tendency to scratch will help naturally to mix straw to cool it down.
Chicken Poop in my Worm Farm / Which Came First / Chicken or the Worm!
How Can I use Chicken Poop to Raise Worms
The seasoned chicken manure can be excellent for flower gardens; Using chicken poop as worm feeding is an innovative idea. This uses the natural source means chicken poop for the fulfillment of food requirements in feeding your worm farm. .
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Chicken poop in my worm farm – This is the economically best use of manure of chicken. Chicken poop is organic and contains all the nutrients required for raising worms. This is slightly innovative and needs some space for keeping both chicken and worm together so that manure produced by chicken is readily available to worms and has no hindrance in attaining access to the fertilizer.
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It is constructed in a pleasant way to provide both chicken and worm with their natural habitat. Raising conditions should be like that it allows them both to have healthy living conditions and is not harmful to either of them. The bedding provided to the chicken should be smooth and comfortable. Used bedding then can drop into worm beds.
Free-Ranging Chickens will naturally mix it up for the worms as they search and scratch for bugs.
Characteristics of Chicken Droppings
Chicken droppings are relatively dry, contain a high level of salts, off-gas ammonia, and offer far much too nitrogen to put into the green bin.
Building the Area for Raising Worm on Chicken Poop
So, the chicken coop will be built with heavy-duty wire fencing as the floor. Below the level of the chicken is present in the worm bin. The fencing is porous. This fencing will allow the manure to pass through the floor but is built in such a way to prevent the chickens from eating the worms. Roosting bars above the fencing floor section will encourage the chickens to sleep where their manure will drop directly into the worm bin. The chickens would also have nesting boxes to lay eggs with traditional bedding of either straws or glasses etc.
Considerations Worm Bed Construction
The bin is site and function-specific. Think about what kind of functions you want to accomplish with your container. How much food (Chicken Manure) for worms you will be producing? What are the inputs you can use to feed it? You can also mix cooler manure in with it, Rabbit, Cattle, Horse Manure.
Before building the bin for raising the worms, the questions mentioned above must be taken into consideration. It surely depends upon the number of worms being raised in your boxes.
It also depends on the number of chickens being raised. It also depends upon the location in which the bin is going to be built. The sheet metal used must even be deciding what number and kind of birds and chicken are going to be raised. It is also agreed based on what kind of inputs or the raw material is supplied to the chicken or bird reared for worm farming.
Tow things, you have to feed the worms, something, and if you do not creatively feed them, They in turn can also be used as a supplemental feed for your chickens. It built properly it is a Win / Win.
Building the Bins
I built a bin with a reasonably large area. It is about 1.3m wide by 2m long by o.5m tall. It is made with ideal dimensions. It can hold about twenty heavy bags of fresh cow/horse/rabbit/chicken/manure ample new covering of kitchen scraps and sawdust. To protect the worms, the metal mesh was nailed to a wooden frame covering the box’s entirety to prevent the chickens from eating their wormy neighbors below.
The frame is removable to extract castings and add fresh food or water. The movable frame is of use in the regard that the bin of worms where they are raised can be easily cleaned and quickly be turned to make the oxygen supply smooth and constant or to remove any foreign particles.
The calamine (sheet metal), on the inside bottom of the bin, is built with a slant toward one end for any liquids to drain out and be captured. Water is manually added to the bin since it is not outdoors; worms don’t like warm bedding.
A slanted, folded piece of calamine is added to the exit to catch the liquid and act as a gutter. This leads to a 5-gallon bucket where we collect the beneficial and precious liquid fertilizer produced. The whole box is placed six trunks sunk into the dirt floor with a slight slant to ensure proper drainage.
Above the bin were placed three wooden roosting poles for the birds. At first, it took a few days to get our feathered ladies to realize that they had their own designated sleeping space. But eventually, they got the message, and now they all roost there comfortably.
Filling of the Bin
The next step was to fill the bin with the bedding. I visited our neighboring cattle farm and shoveled as many cow patties as I could find into sacks and transported them back to the farm. I had a hilarious time because three kids joined me in the effort.
They were grabbing patties, sometimes very fresh ones, with their bare hands and making poop jokes. I filled the bin with the bedding of the bin with excrement and samples of soil collected from a variety of habitat locations. Only one thing was lacking; the worms. Since a creature of the night vandalized our old bin. I had to search for infections on the farm myself to jumpstart our little colony.
Collection of Worms
While digging a swale near the fish pond, I noticed that the topsoil had a variety of worm species and eggs, especially in the shaded areas of eastern and southern regions of trees. I collected them as I dug and added them to the bin when finished. Another concurrent project at the time was digging a water drain for the farm kitchen. The prior method was to wash and dump grey water directly onto the ground outside the house, creating a gross, fetid, nutrient-rich stew that did not smell or look good, but it did create humidity in the surrounding soil that drew worms to the area. Redirect greywater to a small drainage ditch to be surrounded by bins and add worms. As long as greywater does not contain soap
The Top Layer of Bedding
On top of bedding, I added a layer of organic waste from the kitchen and a few juggleries. Worms enjoy and consume organic wastes; nut does not like citrus peels, hot peppers, and other strong-smelling or tasting foods. Crushed eggshells, coffee grounds, and foods like banana skins that decompose onto a slimy mess are great worm fodder.
Worms Life Cycle
Worms double their population every 40 to 50 days, depending on the food source, heat, stress, etc. they are light-sensitive, so a covering of dry organic material is a nice ‘blanket’ for them if you are not catching birds droppings or other manures, actual old blanket functions as a great cover.
Second Time Around
After building our first bin, I found some things, and I would do differently in the next design.
- Instead of using two pieces of calamine, I would use one piece to avoid leaks, ( in the previous, we have one leak that happens on one side of the box if the whole 5-gallon bucket is poured into it)
- A secure sliding mechanism for the chicken or animal protection lid would help put in food or for taking out castings.
- Build a version with a complete chicken coop above, complete with nesting boxes for the ladies to lay eggs.
- Recycling old calming is great since a lot of galvanization is worn away from its previous life as roofing in our tropical climate, but some of the nail holes probably contribute to some of the leaks. It can be experimented with tar or may a rubber from a rubber tree to try and patch any holes in future bins.
- For a really large volume and durability, a concrete or brick bin would be a great option.
Raising both the worm in the worm bins and chicken on the fencing section may have the following advantages
- Raising them in layer-wise sections eliminates the step of transferring the manure or bedding from the coop to the compost pile. Layering also helps in a better supply of oxygen and also enhances ventilation.
- This can feed the other worms to the chickens. A high proportion of protein diet is made available to the chicken and hence makes a balanced diet for chickens.
- This leads to less cleaning and bedding material needed in the chicken coop. The poop excreted in the feces is directly available to the worms. It makes ease in the cleaning of the fencing on the chicken and comfort for cleaning the bin.
- The warmth of the chicken coop will help prevent the worms from freezing in the winter. The chicken coop excreted is naturally warmer than the surrounding and helps in attaining the high temperature for maintaining the warmth.
Potential Problems in this Method
The chicken coop will be used as the ultimate source of feeding for worms. It may give rise to a few problems that are listed as follows
- Will the worms be happy with so much fresh manure? Is it about the natural habitat of larvae, either they are adapted to live in such a habitat earlier or not?
- Will the chickens happy with the wire fencing as the floor in the coop? Chicken is not adapted to the fencing floor; instead, they are adapted to live freely on the ground. The fencing may cause injures to their paws or maybe the reason for irritation.
- Will high moisture content needed for the worms make it too humid in the coop for the chickens? Naturally, the demons require high moisture, while the chicken usually cannot survive in high humidity. So maintenance of moisture level for both the chicken and the worms is a dire need.
- It will be difficult to access the worm bin for turning and adding the food scraps. The access becomes difficult as it is lying under the fencing floor of the chickens.
- It would smell worse because the manure will not dry out; rather, it will stay damp all the time. It makes the surrounding a sense of foul-smelling.
Vermiculture or Vermicomposting
Vermiculture or vermicomposting is a low-tech, organic method of using the digestive capacity of redworms to recycle the animal and chicken waste into solid or liquid organic fertilizer’’.
The worms may also be used as high protein feed for poultry; some enterprising farmers get into the business of selling the worms, casting, and worm teas, for gardening feed.
A great thing about using vermicomposting as fertilizer, besides its organic nature, is that plants can handle reasonably heavy dilutions of the teas without any ill effects. This method also helps maintain the life-death cycle by returning wastes to the land productively and beneficially.
In this method, worm towers in garden beds are built. They are made for constant and direct access. This method is usually present in Australia.
Other systems of raising the worms include worm tea spigot to their irrigation system for instant injection.
Final Thought / Caution
We did have a worm bin with lots of red worms out on the farm as part of our farm site nursery.
When using galvanized sheet metal, be careful because zinc can leach out from the corrosion and concentrate in the liquid fertilizer. It is a poison to most plants when focused, which is why it is liked to use old stamina sheets to reduce the potential for zinc accumulation in our soils.
Rabbit Poop Profitability Table
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