Vermiculture in the deep bedding

Compost worms

Deep beddingToday’s post is about a crazy
experiment that probably won’t work…but is worth the 90% chance of
failure.  It occurred to me that I could take a handful of compost
worms from our worm bin and seed them into the
of the
currently-vacant coop, then wait and see if the worms multiply. 
If the experiment works, the worms would increase the quality of the
deep bedding compost, and our flock could scratch the annelids up for
fresh protein once chicks displace our laying flock from their current
coop in October.

The biggest flaw in my
plan became evident when I pulled back the top layer of deep bedding to
seed the worms.  Even six inches down, the deep bedding material
was far too dry for worms.  I poured in the castings and worms
anyway and covered them back up, hoping that the critters would crawl
down to the damper layers, but I’m not holding my breath.

Black soldier fly and wormsHowever, this ill-fated
experiment suggested a different avenue of experimentation.  I
snagged worms from an area of our worm bin where the lid has bowed
down, creating a puddle after rains that then saturates the bedding
directly underneath.  When I dug into the wet spot, I discovered
soldier fly larvae

were four times as common as compost worms!  I thought black
soldier fly larvae needed to eat high nitrogen kitchen scraps, which
are in short supply on our homestead, so I’d given up on using these
insects as feed for our chickens.  But now I’m wondering if I
could make a black soldier fly bin full of wet horse manure and feed
the flock.  Back to the drawing board….

Our chicken waterer keeps the flock healthy and
the coop dry.  Maybe too dry?

Latest Comments

  1. August 22, 2012
  2. anna August 22, 2012

Leave a Reply