Worms are not eating dog poop. I must have done everything wrong

by SB
(Spokane Washington USA)

I never could get the compost worms to eat the dog poop. I had a hungry bin composter, used shredded cardboard for bedding and added dog poop slowly, to avoid overfeeding. Even so, there were always dozens of worms on the ceiling whenever I opened it. The dog poop got moldier but never seemed to get eaten. They never really produced any castings. I figure it was too acidic, but none of the pH meters I tried (and I bought several) seemed accurate; they never said anything other than 'neutral.' Or maybe the moisture was off? Clearly, something was terribly wrong because even when I switched to kitchen scraps, the worms still didn't perk up. A Mango peel sat unattended for weeks, growing mold, never saw a single worm on it (of course but then I didn't see that many worms at all). Then a cold snap happened while I was on vacation, so now they're all gone and I've just got a bin of dog poop and shredded cardboard. It's probably very anaerobic at the bottom by now. I don't know if I even want to try again. I'm sure I did multiple things wrong but I don't know what. Does the dog poop need to be aged first maybe? How do you check if the moisture content is too high or low (because I'm definitely not checking by hand)? A pH meter stuck into the shredded cardboard bedding didn't work, so what's the right way to make sure it's not too acidic for them? I don't know if this blog actively answers questions, but the experience has been so discouraging. If anyone's around giving advice, I'd be grateful.

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Feb 03, 2023
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Re: Worms are not eating dog poop. I must have done everything wrong
by: Stephan

Dear SB,

I am sorry to hear that you had such a disappointing experience with your worm farming project. Without some more details (pictures) it will be quite difficult to figure out what exactly went wrong. Although compost worms (Eisenia fetida) are pretty hardy creatures and generally easy to satisfy they still can surprise us with their behavior from time to time.

In general, you will hardly see many worms as they are working most of the time below the surface of their worm bedding. However, if you see plenty of worms close to the lid of a worm bin that is usually a sign of worms not feeling happy inside their bin. So there must have been something inside your worm bin that your worms didn't like.

If you want to try again to set up your worm bin in spring or early summer I suggest you prepare once more by reading through some of the articles on worm-composting-help.com. I will mention a few articles that you could begin with below.

Should all this still not help please send us some updates and we as well as the community might be able to assist you.

The articles that might help are as follows:

https://www.worm-composting-help.com/FAQ-about-worm-farming.html

https://www.worm-composting-help.com/why-dont-my-worms-eat-the-dog-poop.html

https://www.worm-composting-help.com/will-compost-worms-eat-dog-poop.html

https://www.worm-composting-help.com/how-much-dog-poo-can-i-feed-to-worms-on-a-daily-basis.html

https://www.worm-composting-help.com/what-kind-of-worms-do-eat-feces.html

https://www.worm-composting-help.com/worm-farm.html

I hope these articles will help you to get your dog poop worm bin up and running. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.

Kind regards and God's blessings to you and your family.

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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