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vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

From vermiculture and selling rabbit manure to rent-a-bunny for Easter photographs, this forum is a place to discuss other ideas for making a profit from rabbits.
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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#46  Unread postby eco2pia » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:07 pm


Kyah wrote:
The use of wood chips is generally not a great idea, but makes perfect sense when combining with rabbit poo. Usually the wood would take forever to break down because it has very low nutritional value to a worm bin.

I've never heard of this before. (???) Why is the use of wood chips not a good idea? I mean newspaper has low nutritional value too, but it's a great carbon source though. I love using wood chips in my bins for several reasons, but mostly because the worms absolutely love them. They also areate the bedding, and I find I don't have to change the bedding as often. The other reason I deliberately add them to my bins is because of a post I read on The Garden Web by Kelly Slocum. I'll have to go thru my notes and find it, but she said that the very best castings (in regards to plant response) was made with animal manure and hardwood chips.


I wonder if wormgineer is thinking of using just wood chips or something? I know in outdoor composting, wood products can really slow a pile down if there is too much, but with the amount of manure pumped out by rabbits and chickens, that hasn't been a problem for me either. But I deliberately put plain fresh shavings under my acid-loving blueberries and they take forever to break down by themselves.

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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#47  Unread postby Anntann » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:18 am


The wood chip thing.....wood chips tend to break down very slowly and are often not a good idea for general composting. (they also take nitrogen out of the soil). But that's STRAIGHT garden stuff. With the worms, they don't provide enough of anything unless combined with the manure or really rich er...garbage. Wood chips are pretty much just fiber...not good for nutrition.

Remember, Wormgineer is coming to us from a WORM COMPOSTING background...NOT a "geez I've got a ton of rabbit poo, now what do I do with it?" like most of us. From years of composting and now studying worm composting...it's ALL about balance. Too much of one type of something..and the worms leave...too much of something else..and they can die.

Balance is everything. hmmmm. that could be said for all of life's endeavors, couldn't it? :)

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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#48  Unread postby pfaubush » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:51 pm


So, I am curious about something. I am looking at starting a large, dug into to the ground some and built up above ground some type of bed. My 3 bin compost setup just isn't cutting it. How in the world does one go about separating the worms from the castings in this type of setup without having to do the entire thing one bucket at a time? And am I going to lose a ton of the worm capsules in the process? I have lots and lots of poop with more being produced daily. With how I intend to nearly double my herd again this year...I don't think small bins all over the place will work.

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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#49  Unread postby Jack » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:50 pm


screening
you use a screen over the top to lift off the castings and the composted is removed from the bottom, it's kinda cool, in the large scale ops, the top is removed the bottom removed and the new layer is put on top, I have see set ups of stacked bins, where they have screens in the bottom or just holes drilled for the worms, others do a one bin process, where it's all in there with drain holes and the worms just work their way through it, then they feed on corner and scoop most of worms out and reset. it's really cool, and I would do it, but sadly it would be seasonal for me.
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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#50  Unread postby pfaubush » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:32 pm


So, let me see if I'm understanding this right. A screen on the bottom, add stuff to that until it is all you want, lay a screen over the top of that and start doing it again. Once the top is filled, lift it out, pull the stuff out of the bottom and use what WAS the top as the bottom and start the process over? Sorry, if I seem thick. Just trying to work it out in my head.

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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#51  Unread postby Jack » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:26 am


I saw a commercial operation that actually dropped the bottom screen, ran a blade or something under the next form then somehow dropped it down so now it was the bottome and added a clean one to the top, but then that was on 6' by 100' bins, needless to say, I watch way to much late night science channel. There are some great tutorials floating around, and after the I saw the price of the garden store sets I kinda blanched

I always thought that the bakery bread racks, the plastic cartons that they deliver to the stores, would make a great tray.
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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#52  Unread postby PhoenixFarm » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:39 am


Jack wrote:I always thought that the bakery bread racks, the plastic cartons that they deliver to the stores, would make a great tray.


I snatched a few of those at a fair the morning after teardown. That time is great for picking up what others leave behind, but you gotta be early, cuz others are doing the same!!!
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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#53  Unread postby Shawnee&Trevor » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:53 pm


I have the same questions, say someone wants to buy the worms from you. How do you separate them out so you can get a proper weight? Or vice versa. How do you separate the compost from the worms if someone is buying that part from you?

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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#54  Unread postby Wild Vitality » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:01 pm


Shawnee&Trevor wrote:I have the same questions, say someone wants to buy the worms from you. How do you separate them out so you can get a proper weight? Or vice versa. How do you separate the compost from the worms if someone is buying that part from you?


Worms like dark and damp, and they will retreat from light and dryness. The details and logistics will differ depending on your setup, but for a home sized bin, my teacher uses her kitchen floor, which is linoleum, and just mops up afterwards. You could also use a baby pool, a tarp or similar.

Shovel your finished worm castings into your baby pool or tarp. The baby pool or tarp should be out in the sunlight. Pick a nice, sunny day to do this. The worms will crawl into the center of the pile of castings as they try to avoid the light. Scrape off the surface of the pile as it dries and the worms have retreated. Keep scraping off the surface, putting the worm-free vermicompost on a separate tarp, in a bin or what-have-you. Eventually you will have removed all of your castings, and will have a wriggly ball of worms left behind. You are now free to use or sell your freshly separated worms and/or castings as you see fit. Be careful not to cook your pile of worms. If you're doing this indoors, a bright desk lamp works, too.

It helps if you've been feeding on the other side of the bin from where you're harvesting castings, so that most of the worms will have already migrated.

Your castings will be full of cocoons. Need a Zen moment? Have small children you can take advantage of? The cocoons can be picked out, but it is tedious. The cocoons look like little brown bubbles. You don't have to pick them out, but if you're trying to increase your worm population, and you have child labor at your disposal, it may be worth it to you. Composting worms need a lot of organic material to survive, so they may or may not thrive in your garden when you amend with castings. It all depends on the garden.

There are youtube videos out there on separating worms and compost. Some people sell worms by the count, others sell them by bedrun weight. Bedrun would be worms with bedding, like a mini starter bin.
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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#55  Unread postby Jack » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:53 pm


that's one way, the one I saw was easier (one bin system)
put the fresh stuff after it's finished in ONE corner, let the rest go dry with just the one corner maintained (takes 2-3 days), scoop out the ball of worms, then do the above if you want 100% in a kiddy pool.
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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#56  Unread postby palmettogirl » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:20 pm


I'm very interested in this topic. I've done a good bit of regular composting but I'm just getting into vermicomposting. I have just a pet holland lop that I rescued and he is definitely a pooping machine. There is a worm bin design that I've been admiring called worm factory 360. Instead of paying 100 bucks for this design, I decided to recreate it for a fraction. The concept of this design is the multilayer bins. You start your worms in the bottom bin and once established you only place food scraps/newspaper, etc. in the next bin. Holes are in the bottom and the bin basically sits on the one under it. When the worms run out of food in the bottom bin, they migrate up through the holes to the next bin and so on. You remove the bottom bin and harvest the castings and then place on top. It also has another bottom part that worm tea drains into which is also good liquid fertilizer(you have to dilute it). I've taken 3 black plastic 5G bins(to start). The bottom bin will be just a drainage bin for compost tea and I'm putting a spigot in the bottom for easy collecting. The middle bin will be the starter bin. I may add more if it proves to work. 5g maybe too small but this is just an experiment and they were super cheap. You have to drill some ventilation holes in the top sides of the worm bins, etc. Anyway, I just started working on my bins so I'll have to see how things come out. :bunnyhop:

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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#57  Unread postby Wild Vitality » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:57 pm


palmettogirl wrote:There is a worm bin design that I've been admiring called worm factory 360. Instead of paying 100 bucks for this design, I decided to recreate it for a fraction. The concept of this design is the multilayer bins. You start your worms in the bottom bin and once established you only place food scraps/newspaper, etc. in the next bin. Holes are in the bottom and the bin basically sits on the one under it. When the worms run out of food in the bottom bin, they migrate up through the holes to the next bin and so on. You remove the bottom bin and harvest the castings and then place on top. It also has another bottom part that worm tea drains into which is also good liquid fertilizer(you have to dilute it). I've taken 3 black plastic 5G bins(to start). The bottom bin will be just a drainage bin for compost tea and I'm putting a spigot in the bottom for easy collecting. The middle bin will be the starter bin. I may add more if it proves to work. 5g maybe too small but this is just an experiment and they were super cheap. You have to drill some ventilation holes in the top sides of the worm bins, etc. Anyway, I just started working on my bins so I'll have to see how things come out. :bunnyhop:


I had a worm factory, and I loved it. I got rid of it when I moved. If I was going to replace it, homemade sounds great. I like that your trays are small. The trays in my worm factory were really heavy when they were finished.
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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#58  Unread postby Amy » Wed May 30, 2012 8:23 am


I've been vermicomposting for a couple of years, and have been waiting to vermicompost w/rabbit poo-now I have rabbits, yeay!!!!! But, what I was planning on doing is just putting a bin of some sort under the wire cage of my rabbit. My wire cage doesn't have a pan underneath, so everything would just fall into the worm bin. If urine is a problem, would adding more of the carbon (wood chips/newspaper) help with that??? My chickens are in the same bldg. as the rabbits, so I would "fence" off the worm bin so that they don't eat all the worms! Have any of you done something similar (letting all poo/urine,etc. go into the worm bin)??? Also with chickens in there, they scratch the poo around so fast, you can't even see it piled up, so I wouldn't be able to shovel it into a bin.

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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#59  Unread postby WildWolf » Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:10 pm


palmettogirl wrote:The concept of this design is the multilayer bins. You start your worms in the bottom bin and once established you only place food scraps/newspaper, etc. in the next bin. Holes are in the bottom and the bin basically sits on the one under it. When the worms run out of food in the bottom bin, they migrate up through the holes to the next bin and so on. You remove the bottom bin and harvest the castings and then place on top. It also has another bottom part that worm tea drains into which is also good liquid fertilizer(you have to dilute it). I've taken 3 black plastic 5G bins(to start). The bottom bin will be just a drainage bin for compost tea and I'm putting a spigot in the bottom for easy collecting. The middle bin will be the starter bin. I may add more if it proves to work. 5g maybe too small but this is just an experiment and they were super cheap. You have to drill some ventilation holes in the top sides of the worm bins, etc. Anyway, I just started working on my bins so I'll have to see how things come out. :bunnyhop:

I love that idea. But- what if you started the worms at the bottom? Then you could put the bins underneath the rabbits so that the droppings will fall into the "new food" bin. You could still have a bin on the very bottom for catching the compost tea... what is the compost tea you are talking about?
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Re: vermicomposting (worm beds) using RabbitPoo!

Post Number:#60  Unread postby cowgirl9768 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:24 pm


Okay I have a couple questions now. I'm a rabbit breeder and my sister loves gardening so I thought this would be a great way to spend time with each other. So now for the questions:
1. Would worms from the gas station used for fishing work? This is probably a dumb question...
2. We live in CO and it gets in the negative degrees in the winter. Would the worms make it outside if I make the dirt and poop and newspaper deep enough?
3. Does anyone have a good wed site for set by set direction on how to start?
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