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How piggery worm farms work

Piggery worm farms use worms and microorganisms to process pig manure and turn it into nutrient-rich worm compost.

Piggery worm farming is an affordable and environmentally friendly method of disposing of pig manure.

A piggery worm farm is made up of:

  • suitable worm species
  • bedding (newspaper or cardboard, soil, mature compost, grass etc.)
  • microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and tiny, single-celled organisms called protozoa)
  • pig manure.

Worms feed on the decomposing manure and on the microorganisms, which also help to break down the manure.

After passing through a worm's digestive system, the manure is excreted as worm castings. These castings (or 'worm compost') can be used on-farm or sold commercially.

Worm breeding cycle

Under ideal conditions for a worm farm, worms breed rapidly. This rapid breeding cycle allows you to start a worm farm with a relatively small number of worms and quickly expand its capacity to process manure from your piggery.

Worms mature in 6 weeks and can then reproduce up to 3 times a week throughout their life span, which is usually around 1 year.

In good conditions, 8 worms can produce 1,500 offspring within 6 months. When a worm bed reaches the maximum population it can support, the worms will stop breeding.