Re: NANFA-- Mean worms....
Mon, 29 Jan 2001 22:37:03 EST

I have red worms since about august 1, 2000. I have them in 5 plastic
containers. each is 122 quarts Sterlite containers from WalMart. I put
about 5 inches of canadian peat moss on the bottom and the worms on the top.
then I put the food on the top down along the center of the container. I use
rabbit pellets plus scraps. all ground up in a food blender. then I pour it
onto the top of the peat moss. at first I kept the container sealed as the
worms originally came from manure stock and they will try to leave the
container. but after a while they settle down. I purchased 2 pounds of
worms but it seemed more like a half a pound of worms. and I purchased a
book. a good one on worms for about $10.

I started with all the worms in one container and slowly expanded them to 5
containers. they seemed to be doing great until the winter. then it got
colder and they seem less active and deeper in the peat. but that could be
also because the peat may be more dry. but they travel when too wet also.
the worms basically also put waste into the soil and this can foul the soil
and it then needs to be replaced or they will all die. I think if one moves
the worms then the old soil has to have eggs etc and so it can be saved and
new worms should appear in the old soil. so far I have not thrown out any
soil. the original peat is still in the first container.

I think it takes about 9 months to get a real good batch of worms so one can
harvest them pretty much. My feeling is that I could use a lot of worms.
like over a pound per week and maybe a couple of pounds per week. so I need
a good supply of worms before trying to harvest. a couple of things. they
need some grit ot grind the food. they need bacteria to digest the food. do
NOT get the soil acid. keep it on the basic side of neutral. but close to
neutral. keep the peat moss soft and airy.

when the food runs out I dump more down the middle of the row on top again.

I keep them inside my house but there is NO smell. They are in the basement.
it is cold now. about 54 F. I think they like it about 60 or my guess is 65
F. but that is the temperature down in the soil not in the room. the soil
is colder than the room. I have gotten a few small bugs and I think that is
more from the scraps. I think the rabbit pellets are cleaner. However, it
is advised to use Chicken mash as the lowest cost. I use rabbit pellets
because I like to feed the wild rabbits in the winter to help them stay
alive. they love the rabbit pellets.

If anyone is reading go out and buy 50 pounds of rabbit pellets for about $8
and keep all the wild rabbits alive in the deep snow. back to worms. if the
worms are real wet then they are full of water and look bigger but are soft.
they need protein like everything else to grow good and strong and fast. the
manure has a lot of protein and so does the grain. I read that the animals
only remove a small percent of the protein from the feed and so almost all
the protein is left in the manure for the worms. but the manure needs to be
composted first to cool it off. the composting pile will heat up and kill
the worms. worms like it cool. probably 70 F or below is best.

I say bring the worms into the house. My wife. haha. she hates me. hehe.
I am the cause of all her unhappiness from before she met me to the last 25
years since she last saw me. hehe. for some reason she blames me for
everything even though she has not seen me in 25 years. hehe. I Love her
though. she hates me. hahaha. I think the worms in peat moss are fine in
the house especially if you use grain to feed them. keep them in the dark.
so a closet is a good place. the dark basement is fine.

Oh yes NO animal matter. No fat. NO meat. NO oak leaves they are acid.
careful that the peat is NOT acid. I use a tiny amount of arm and hammer
baking soda to combat a bit of the acid. if the worms get too crowded they
will not multiply so well. so I try to keep them in extra containers. I
like the ones with covers. it keeps them from escaping. but be careful if
they are trying to escape then it could be there is something wrong in the
container. Mine were too wet for a long time and I started to allow them to
dry out a bit. the food is all ground up with water in the blender so I was
adding water all the time with the food. If you want the name of the book I
have then let me know, and I will look it up.

George Arndt
Harvard, MA

In a message dated 1/29/01 2:15:43 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

<< Subj: NANFA-- Mean worms....
Date: 1/29/01 2:15:43 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: (Gary Rollwage)

Anybody out there raise red worms to feed their fish?
What do you keep them in and what do you feed them?
Do you keep them inside your house(and what does your
wife think)?

Gary Rollwage
Arlington, Tx. >>

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