Worm Composting Dog Waste through an Iowa Winter???

by Lisa
(Mason City, IA)


I would like to start a worm composting bin for our three huge dogs' waste. But we live in Iowa and winter will soon be upon us. Will the worms in a compost bin survive an Iowa winter? Will they compost the poop through the winter? And how many worms would I need to keep up with the waste of 3 dogs, who's combined weight totals 300lbs?
Thank you!!!

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Oct 17, 2016
Re: Worm composting dog waste through an Iowa winter.
by: Stephan

Hello Lisa,

compost worms (Eisenia fetida) are generally pretty hardy creatures that can withstand really warm and cold weather, but they can not survive if their worm bin bedding freezes. There are however quite a few ways you can prevent your worms from freezing to death. Firstly you can choose a location for your worm compost bin/s that protects the worms from extreme hot or cold temperatures. As long as the climate in their worm farm is tolerable for them the worms will continue to feed on the waste they are presented with all year round. For some more information about worm protection in Winter have a look at my article about this subject. The Url. for this page is


You should find some useful advise there. Three big dogs will produce a lot of dog poo and you will need either one quite big bin or depending on your available space alternatively a few smaller ones. To work out how many worms you will need to compost all the dog poo your pets produce you would have to work out how much they produce on average on a daily basis. Once you got that figure you can work on 4000 worms for every 500 gram of produced dog poop per day. Thats about the amount the worms would be able to consume. As I don't know the exact amounts of waste you are dealing with I would estimate that you would need at least 20 to 30 thousand worms to process all the dog waste that your 3 large dogs can produce.

If you want to start with a smaller amount of worms keep in mind that worms multiply rapidly and your worm herd could double in numbers every 2 to 3 month if the conditions are right.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me.

Kind regards and happy worming

Stephan Kloppert

Author of "How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget"

Editor of www.worm-composting-help.com

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