One of the things that held be back is that it comes in a 50 lb. bag. That’s a lot of worm chow! And since it’s a grain based food source, it must be used sparingly, or it could sour the bin.
Well, I came across some online in smaller bags. And the seller was kind enough to post the ingredients.
Okay, starts out with a bunch of grain, like many a chow product. Then a few ingredients jumped out at me: porcine meat meal and porcine fat preserved with BHA. So pork meat and pork fat with preservatives. Then there are a bunch of other additives including corn gluten meal, and weird stuff that I have no idea what it is like pyridoxine hydrochloride.
It just didn’t sit right with me.
Firstly, I’m really into feeding the worms would be waste products, so buying food doesn’t fit in. But I would consider buying food to fill in when food stocks run low or if it provided something to improve the compost quality that was produced.
Secondly, I’m not into disposing of someone else’s waste by feeding it to my animals. Now maybe that’s not what’s going on here, but our industrialized food system is guilty of it at times.
Thirdly, I’m not convinced that worms need these extra additives that are in the chow.
Can I Feed Chicken Feed to Worms? Is it Better Than Worm Chow?
So, I decided to visit the feed store and see what kinds of chicken feed they had. Maybe chicken feed might be suitable as worm food.
I found a few different types of chicken feed. Some was for laying hens, some was just for poultry in general, and there was one for game birds.
The ingredients looked very similar to the worm chow. One difference is that the fat was from soybean oils or a vegetable oil. That’s an improvement over preserved pork fat.
But the chicken feeds also had a lot of other ingredients. A lot were vitamins, like vitamin B, but I don’t think my worms need vitamin B. So I didn’t buy chicken feed because I didn’t want to pay for a bunch of ingredients I didn’t need.
So I think I’ll stick with feeding cornmeal or oatmeal from time to time. Actually, I’ve rarely done this. The only benefit I’m aware of is fattening up the worms, which could be a benefit.
In closing, I’d like to emphasize that it’s up to you what you feed and bed your worms with. Some might criticize me for using newspaper as bedding because of the chemicals used to produce the paper. Yes, chemicals are used to produce paper and most likely are still present in newspaper and cardboard.
So it’s up to you where you draw the line. What is acceptable? What is sustainable? What is acceptable for the end product?
Any thoughts on worm chow or anything else that might go into a worm bin? Shout out in the comments below.