Thursday, July 3, 2014

Okey's Loo; How to make a dog poo worm farm

Okey is settling in really well. He is such a snuggle pot! The reality of having a new pet is sinking in though. Its so crucial to make time to walk him or he gets all upset at night. We also have to purchase meat for him which may become challenging during Plastic Free July. And then there is the poo factor. But this is something I know how to deal with. I'm a professional! The solution is a dog poo worm farm! Easy.

All you need is:
an old builders bucket with lid - often you can find them discarded around building sites
a saw
an icecream container full of worms and castings.

First step is to saw off the bottom of the bucket like this

Find a shady spot away from food crops then dig a hole in the ground and slot the bucket in it so there is only an inch or so of the top exposed, like this

then chuck in a couple of litres of worms and castings, yum!

and that's it.

So all you do now is scoop up the poo and drop it in the worm farm. The worms will yum it up! There are a few precautionary points to this system:

  • You should never use the worm castings. The idea is if it ever gets full, pop some gardening gloves on and just shimmy up the bucket, cover over the remaining poo and worms and leave it there. Dig a new hole and start again elsewhere. 
  • Don't put it near food that is grown close to the ground just in case of contamination. I put ours under fruit trees though. Once the worms and the bacteria have had a good go at breaking down the poo it may as well leach through your soil near a productive tree.
  • Once your dog has been wormed, the residue chemicals in the poo will also kill your composting worms. So after you worm your dog, you need to stockpile the poo somewhere else (or bin it) for a couple of weeks. I have killed all my worms this way once. But just for interest I'm going to keep using my dog poo worm farm after worming Okey because I've just read so much about the amazing power of bacteria - so maybe the bacteria present in the castings will still breakdown the poo. I think it will - but I may have to keep adding worms and castings. I have a wonderful big fridge worm farm and so have a good supply of worms. I'll let you know how we go.
  • Don't feed your worms anything other than poo or they will eat that first!
  • If it looks soggy, add dry stuff like straw or shredded paper. If it looks too dry add some water.
  • Of course, wash your hands after scooping the poo.

I used this system before with our old dog Porridge. I only had to move it once every year or so and it worked really well I can testify! Most people wouldn't do this, but I had a dig around our dog poo worm farm to see what was going on in there and the worms were really thriving, there were eggs and everything! The system is so much nicer than chucking poo in your wheelie bin because there is no smell, you get to turn something disgusting into something useful and its just all together cleaner.