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More Pets – Well, Sort Of

July 16th, 2014

Last week I received a package from Robin from Robin’s Outdoors.  She’s a fellow Maine blogger and writer and was kind enough to send me a few worms from her worm bin. I set them up in a container with shredded paper and some of the bolted lettuce from the garden. The method I’m using came from this post from Cornell.
worm bin 2
I’m hoping to have a few worms throughout the winter to feed to the chickens. I’m interested to see how they compare to my meal worm farm, which is producing a nice bounty that the turkey poults are enjoying.
worm bin 1
It seems like it should be quite easy – we shall see. I’d like to get a more permanent worm bin set up, but for the moment this plastic tote will do. It will be nice to have the worms converting winter compost into valuable worm casting and extra worms to feed the the chickens. Here in Maine the outdoor compost pile seems to slow way down in winter, this should help m produce more compost all year long.

Have you ever had a worm bin for composting or have you grown any other kind of insect?

6 Comments to “More Pets – Well, Sort Of”
  1. Megan on July 16, 2014 at 6:38 am

    I started a worm bin about 1 year ago. It took me awhile to get the moisture right. Now they seem to be doing great. Not sure i have too many “extra” to feed to the chickens though. I would love to hear more about the meal worms, thinking about trying it for our chickens/turkeys.

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  2. Nebraska Dave on July 16, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Susy, in my years of life I never really thought of raising worms for bird food. They were always fish food. If I ever get fish in my rain water tank I may have to raise a few to feed to them. With the constant rain here this year the tank and barrels have remained full of water. Terra Nova Gardens worm population has increased steadily since I started deep mulching two years ago. Now hardly a shovel full of soil can be turned without finding worms. When I started building the garden there not a single worm could be found in all the digging that was completed the first year. Mulching really draws in the worms and helps them multiply.

    Have a great worm raising day.

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  3. carol on July 16, 2014 at 9:00 am

    We’ve been putting the same 4 gold fish in our open rain barrel for 3 years now to keep the mosquito population down. They’ve grown significantly. We take them in for the winter and put them in a aquarium and then put them back out every Spring. We often check any standing water in pots for mosquito larva which they love along with their regular food. We’ve gotten quite attached to them!

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  4. Sue on July 16, 2014 at 9:21 am

    I’ve had worms in a bin in my basement all nice years I’ve lived in my house. When my husband and i divorced we each got half of the worms we’d had for five years. I bring people to the basement to listen to the worms. They think I’m kidding, but you really can hear them. It’s like a rustling. I’ve never thought of feeding them to any birds, but i sure get good compost and worm “tea”. I have the bin raised on a pedestal about 3″ off the floor. I drilled holes in one end and have a tray under that so I can harvest the “tea”. It also keeps the worms from getting too soggy. I also have holes drilled aroundt he sides to aerate it. When i feed them compost i cover it with a layer of shredded newspaper. Once in a while I put in a little compost from outside for the grit. It works well for me, and I have been able to give worms away to other people many times so they can start their own worm bin.

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  5. Jennifer Fisk on July 16, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I had a multi trayed worm growing system a few years back. It was very successful but once I got chickens, I didn’t have any food for them. Now that I have rabbits in cages with pans, I may begin another bin. I use Feline Pine in the bunny trays and dump the whole thing in my garden. The decomp of the pine pulls nitrogen from the soil. I use bat guano to replenish the nitrogen but I’m thinking the worms could process all the contents of the trays.

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  6. Lindsey @HalfDimeHomestead on July 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Yes! I have two big wooden coffin like worm bins under the deck (to keep them nice and cool) and a worm tower right outside the back door. We’ve had a terrible time regulating flies when the bin is kept indoors, so I just moved the tower right by the door.
    I mainly use them to process poop into worm castings from my quail and rabbits. They are very well stocked at this point in summer. Keep it moist and cool and they will eat and poop forever!
    Yay, you! Worm farming is particularly addictive, I think.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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