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  1. #1
    Registered User smithers1970's Avatar
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    Default worms?

    hi hi!
    we're going to add worms to our compost; i've looked at ads for worms online,but wondering whether any of you have any great advice/places you'd recommend we get our slimy friends?
    thanks!!

  2. #2
    KimBob
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    Default

    Try asking this question over on our sister site, Homestead Garden. There's a composting forum there (might already be some info posted there that will help you). http://www.homesteadgarden.com/forums/index.php

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    Default worms-vermicomposting

    Check out this site:
    redworms-greenearth.com

    What a good spring project!!

    I've been researching this on-line too, we have a wooden box with a top ready for a worm box, there are a lot of good intstructions & links if you google "vermicomposting'
    Once the worms start multiplying I am going to take some out to put in the existing compost pile so they can get to work on that over the summer.

    Let us know how you make out with your worm project!
    darn- now worm smilies

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    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    I use red worms for vermiculture; however, they often don't do well in soil, so if you are going to use them in your compost pile, it is best if you have a tiered system where you can get the worms to leave the compost that you are transferring to your garden. You can get red worms at most nurseries; however, you can also get them at bait shops, as they are also used for fishing, and I suspect you can get them cheaper there!
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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    Default worms

    Thanks Mad Hen!!

    I will check at the bait store for worms, you're right, cheaper if no shipping.

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    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    The price I usually see is about $40 for 1,000 (via mail order, and not counting shipping), so anything lower than that is probably a bargain. If you raise them right, however, they will breed and multiply. If you dump them in your garden soil, however, they will pretty much just die off. I have a small "worm bin" that I raise mine in, and I use the castings and "worm tea" for my plants.

    When you check at the bait shops, ask for red worms or red wigglers. They are not the same as earthworms.

    There are some excellent books on vermiculture, the best one (in my opinion) being "Worms Eat My Garbage."
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Was trying to find the scientific name: Eisenia Foetida
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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    Registered User smithers1970's Avatar
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    Default

    wow! thank you all for the replies!! yay worms!

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    I did read some info on line by the author of worms eat my garbage & was so inspired thought I just might be willing to spend $40 on worms!!
    Our current compost project is a huge pile of maple leaves into which we've been dumping our kitchen waste all winter.
    When we get the first worms I plan on starting a bin as described on various vermicomposting sites, eventually hoping to put some of those offspring into the big pile of leaves so they can work on that pile. gets cold here so may have to preserve some of the worm population by bringing indoors to over winter.
    Also, if we get good at raising worms might like to feed a few to the chickens.
    This is first year for chickens & worms.
    Do you raise chickens too Mad Hen?
    Presuming a possibility by your name & little hen picture underneath.
    Thanks for your interest & very good on the scientific name!!

  10. #10
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Yes, chickens and goats. Mad Goat just didn't sound as good.

    I have about 50-60 chickens. Lost track in the mid-30 range as the sneaky little hens kept hiding their clutches and would just proudly show up with a flock of babies underfoot. No specific types, and a lot of "mongrels." I collect about 18-30 eggs daily, all colours and sizes, from bantam to Giant Jersey hens. And they are great little bug eaters.

    One note, though: if you put worms in your compost pile, just make sure your chickens don't have access. They will de-worm your pile in no time! Also, depending on HOW cold your winters are, and how big your compost pile is, you can sometimes overwinter outside by just tarping over your pile and letting the natural heat output by the decay process keep your worms happy. Otherwise, you can put a worm bin in your garage (or if you are like me and treat your worms kind of like pets, in your bathroom), and keep a portion of them in there to overwinter and breed. They multiply pretty quickly, given the right circumstances. I finally stumbled on the right combination, and mine are starting to really grow and eat!
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    One note on feeding worms to chickens. I don't know if the same holds true for red worms, but regular earthworms actually carry parasites in them that will infest your chickens' intestines and are actually bad for them (typically roundworm and cecal worm eggs). I'll have to ask my vet if the same holds true for all worms. The problem is that there are just about no liquid wormers made for egg-producing chickens. If you check the wormers out, they have big warnings on them to not use the eggs from chickens de-wormed with that particular wormer. My avian vet recommends waiting about two months after de-worming a chicken to use the eggs, so the toxins have an opportunity to pass all the way through the chicken's system and not end up in their eggs, but there have been no tests done to determine an actual "safe" time to wait.
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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    Default hens n' goats n' worms n' smart people

    Mad Hen,
    you did choose the right name!
    I have been talking about chickens for years, so i get them finally in a few weeks, very exciting!! Your variety sounds fun & intersting! everyone is getting tired of hearing about "when the chicks get here", i have also been hoping for a few goats, so sometimes i talk about them too.
    But they have to wait a while, so we can build them proper
    shelter. Gotta get everyone used to the chickens & worms first!
    We only have one acre.
    Thats great info on the tarp over the pile, i think it would surely work cause the pile of leaves is pretty big.
    Would love to hear more about your homestead!!
    Bet you garden too!

  13. #13
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    I was lucky enough to move into a property that was already set up for horses (no barn, but a big overhang and pasture), so with a little retrofitting, it became quite goat-worthy. I bought them to keep the brush down, but they are also cashmere producing goats, so I get a little bonus from them.

    If you want to go to chicken keeper's heaven, check out Murray McMurray Hatchery's catalogue. I got a lot of my chickens from them, and they have EXCELLENT livestock. The bantams, Giant Jersey, and some "mutt" chickens were given to me by my neighbor. I have the cutest little barred rock frizzled bantam running around right now. He was the product of a standard barred rock rooster and my little black frizzled cochin bantam hen. If I were starting all over again, however, and just doing egg-production (no meat chickens), I'd have just bought the Giant Jerseys. They lay enormous eggs!!
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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    thanks for conversing on my most favorite subjects!!
    Gonna go check out your e-bay store,
    if I can get there!

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    Default worm update

    Decided not to spend $$ on ordering worms. Instead, when the weather warmed up a bit I cut a 3' x 3' sheet of black plastic, cut holes in it & laid it on the garden. Put a small pile of old compost mix of grass, leaves & food scraps on top of that & made sure it was wet. The worms are coming into it up through the holes. Also, pulling back the plastic exposes several worms so they get added as well. we're just raising our own worms rather than importing them. Except, how to tell the difference between earthworms & redwigglers? night crawlers are easier to identify !

    Bait store is not a cheaper source for worms, cost $3 for a little cup!

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