I've searched already regarding this topic, it seeem that in this question the OP is not using worms.

In this article it states that

Don’t feed the worms pet waste or any “hot” manure. “Hot” manure is uncomposted animal waste and its addition may result in heating the bin too much for the worms.

While in this article it says that it is okay

Earthworms will consume most organic materials, including animal manure, agricultural crop residues, organic byproducts from industries, yard trimmings, food preparation scraps and leftovers, scrap paper, and sewage sludge.

3 Answers 3


There's no conflict between your data. Worms clearly eat animal manure, and the bacteria and fungi that comes with it. But it's recommended that you use aged (horse) manure to avoid heating up the worm bin when the manure starts to compost.


Ask any kid who grew up on a small ranch or dairy who's kicked apart the cow pats. They're mostly grass, the nitrogen has mostly been extracted by the digestive process (Go Ruminants!). And the red worms take over the cow pats pretty quickly after a week or two and go to town. If you're getting cow pen waste, it's a different matter as the urine content rises, it will need some composting with other organic matter. With manure compost piles, there is a kind of bell curve that the red worm population goes through, when it starts to deplete, you have rich black earth, best as a soil amendment.

Horse apples have more nitrogen because well horses don't digest grass well and will need a little composting before worm binnage.

The hot stuff is urine and chicken manure will burn plants and worms equally, mix it with high C stuff like leaves and sawdust and you can take the edge off, not recommended for vermicompost.

Stay away from predator manure, it'll have bacteria in it that you don't want in your food supply.


You should look at Red Worm Composting. I've found a lot of useful information there. I was recently looking into this, because I have 6 horses and they're full of. . . worm food. So I was looking into the use of it in my vermicomposting.

The guy that runs the site was posting about it and he was saying to let it age for a few reasons. One is that animal wastes have a high salt content and aging it helps remove some of that and keeps it from harming your worms. Also, like another poster said, it can heat up your worm bin and harm your worms, where it wouldn't if it had been pre-composted. I believe another issue was the gas that freshly decomposing manure gives off inside of what is usually a closed environment with vermicomposting. If you have an open outdoor pile, it's probably not as big of an issue.

He actually said, that you can sometimes find compost worms on farms in old manure piles and you can also add fresh manure to outdoor composts with out much issue, because there is plenty of air flow and the worms can simply move somewhere else in the pile until the manure is perfect for them to begin working on.

Lastly, I may be misremembering and it may have been another animals waste (I know you aren't supposed to use human, cat, or dog), but you had to let it break down to help destroy any bacteria in the feces that are harmful to people. If it isn't probably decomposed and processed, then when you put it in with your garden plant, the water can hit it and splash the bad stuff up onto what you plan to eat.

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