Do you love big bluegill?
Dick is a master worm rancher now. He has quite a bit of knowledge on worm raising. Now, here's my input as well:
1. DO NOT have more than 400 red wigglies per 2ft long x2ft wide x1ft depth. Why? The population explosion will over crow the worm. 400 red wigglies will bundle up into a ball about the size of your two palms placed together.
2. DO NOT have more than 100 crawlers or jumpers in the 2ft long x2ft wide x1ft depth. Same reason as #1.
3. Do not use round bucket for crawlers and jumpers. They hate it. They are lateral burrowers. They need horizontal length. The red wigglers don't care. They just need food and room to grow.
4. You need at least 6 inches of bedding for wigglies. You need about 1ft of bedding for the crawlers. You will need 1ft of bedding, and 0.5ft of packed clay/ultra fine soil layer at the bottom for their burrowing. Bedding can be compacted-airy compost, compacted wood shaving mixed with compost/soil, or mixed of fine shredded newspapper with compost/wood shaving.
5. Once you get the worm from the ground you're at, or from the worm farm, fatten up right away using the local feed store's chicken starter. The fatter and plumbed they are, the quicker they will want to reproduce.
David, you only need chicken starter to fatten them up for reproduction, push them to be fat as possible, or to get them going from a lethargic state after they got out of the cold season and into the warmer days, or after a long trip from the worm farm to the worm bin/factory. A few pounds will last you months.
Otherwise, just give them chicken starter once in a while as treat to maintain their health and vitality. My tote for the incoming jumpers is ready, and primed. Can't wait to see the influence between the orange saddle-wiggly hybrid interact the jumpers.
Thank you Leo but by no means am I an expert but am managing to keep the worms happy and laying egg and having more babies. That's the circle I was after and I sure there are better ways to raise them. This week I plan on getting 1000 crickets and see where I can go with them. I'm not as confident on the crickets as I am the worms.
When a worm rancher reach 2nd and 3rd generations of baby, you are one golden experienced worm daddy, grand-daddy, great-grand daddy, worm god..LOL
Cricket is one nasty thing to master. They will stink to high heaven. You think compost bin smell (earthy), it will stink like there's no tomorrow. Good luck. Document all processes to let all of us know your progression.
The thing I hate the most about worm farming?.............................Having to fool with that itty-bitty branding iron. I tried miniature ear tags for identification purposes, but couldn't find the worms' ears.......
Your right Tony and them worm babies are the hardest. I was thinking about electric collars or even a chip to find out where they are hiding in the farm but as usual nothing small enough. So I have to do it by hand and believe me having them all named I have many many Jr's. I have the original Fred then Fred Junior then Fred the 2nd and the 3rd and so on now I'm up to Fred the 1001st. Wow my memories not what it us to be what was I saying.
LOL!! Oh man..my wife mad the same statement when she saw my tote-o-explosive jumpers.
Micah, check out this website:
They may have all the info you need. Also, if you decide to order something, you can get a coupon if you look for Uncle Jim's worm farm coupon.