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Bokashi or worm composting and pet poo

 
Sheri Russell
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Rose, Looking forward to reading about all you've gleaned about pet poo. I've been thinking about using bokashi with pet poo - fermented pet poo anyone? I know worms are fond of some animal poo. Can dog and cat poo be given to the worms?
 
nancy sutton
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Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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I ditto this question re: using bokashi to make 'pickled' odorless (?) poo compost material, presuming doggie.

And, how to handle the possible taxo... problem with cats... can it be buried deep... how deep is safe?. And how to utilize the excellent bentonite clay cat litter... after being used.. i.e., is peed stuff safe, after poop carefully removed? Or? The clay is an excellent soil additive (per E Coleman, for one :), especially to hold water. How about using wood pellets used as litter? and the other wheat and stuff?

An idea... can cat tootsie rolls be submerged in water for a period of time to kill the taxo... thingies? I'm assuming that burning would work :)

Thanks, Rose
 
Rose Seemann
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Location: Aurora, Colorado
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Hello Sheri and Nancy! Bokashi does work with pet poo. Heck, EM will devour just about anything. There are so many ways to go about doing it from bokashi soup (immersion) to bokashi lasagna (layering in soil) that I think the trick is learning how to do it and simply adapting it to a system that works best for you. I've come to think of bokashi as a supplement to biodigestion, composting and vermiculture. Bokashi can jump-start degradation that will speed up the next step. It significantly holds down odor in any system.

I have a friend who degrades cat and dog poo via composting/biodigesting before feeding it to worms. If you want to read a funny and thoroughly scientific cat poop vermicomposting study, check out http://www.amnh.org/learn-teach/young-naturalist-awards/winning-essays2/2005-winning-essays/got-cats-get-worms. It was done by Eric, a 17-year-old who won an American Museum of Natural History Young Naturalist Awards for his project. Skip the metrics if you want and check out how he got worms to clean litter boxes . Kind of labor-intensive for people, but charming! He found that the worms reduced the coliform count drastically. No mention of toxo since his cats were all tested and found to be pathogen-free from the get-go.

Speaking of taxo, the CDC estimates that in the United States 22.5% of the population 12 years and older has been infected with Toxoplasma (it is also acquired by eating undercooked, contaminated meat), though adults with a healthy immune system who become infected often do not have symptoms. The key to controlling toxo is keeping it away from water sources where it thrives. Don't flush or biodigest cat waste or bury it in run-off areas. You can destroy toxo it you compost cat waste at high temperatures and cure it sufficiently to produce finished compost.

Bentonite clay cat litter as an excellent soil additive is a new one on me! I'll have to read up on Coleman's thoughts. From what I've gathered, clay litter is strip mined, which is not an environmentally cool process. And clay doesn't compost. Pee is almost always a plus for composting, however, which is why animal bedding works well with manure. A great, cheap litter is small animal bedding (pine pellets) available at feed supply stores. Takes a bit more finesse to clean the litter box. But cats seem to like it and the pine cuts odors. Of course, you might have the world's most persnickety cat!

 
nancy sutton
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Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Thanks, Rose for the info. Re: benefits of soil amendment with clay, see 'The New Organic Grower' by E. Coleman, pg 116 and 117. He goes to some lengths, citing university studies, his experience, etc., using montmorillonite/bentonite clays. Needless to say, I have sandy loam, and our climate is dry in summer, and getting drier ;) and see a 'stacking function' in utilizing the clay for litter and soil (after removing the poopers).

And the non-clumping and clumping clay cat litters are sodium and calcium types of bentonite - I think the sodium bent. is the clumping which absorbs more water than the calcium form... used to seal drilling casings, among other uses... (but double check... I get these confused :).

Btw, I seen people using alfalfa pellets successfully as cat litter... a little bentonite seems to be what forms the pellets. And doesn't hurt the rabbits :)

Also, BTW, I have found this website where, yes, indeed, lacto... bacteria are EM. I'm wondering if some kind of 'spraying' on the 'compostables', in an anaerobic situation, would be beneficial in the disposal process.... or not ;).
https://newspaperbokashi.wordpress.com/category/newspaper-bokashi/
 
Rose Seemann
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Location: Aurora, Colorado
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Nancy - You just got me started on two new ideas! I wonder how alfalfa pellets stack up to wood pellets cost-wise. I've also heard of people using peat moss for litter, but that might not be wise due to peat depletion. Some dispute that. Still need a definitive call on advisability of using peat for anything.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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