ducks, chickens and worms

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by songbird, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    good article in the main page:

    https://permaculturenews.org/2013/11/13/worm-farm-duck-coop-alaska/

    the author says a few things worth exploring further:

    one is that worms do not do well if the bed is too wet. false. composting worms may not do particularly well, but other species do just fine. i have bins of worms here that have been just short of puddles and the worms will be throughout the entire bucket even down to the bottom where it is anaerobic. as long as their tunnels do not flood they can get air and will be ok.

    the other is that his worms have not done well enough to breed. it may take a while for the worms to get to the proper size. some take 3 to 6 months, other species may take longer.

    deep bedding, yes, must keep them from freezing or getting too hot.

    letting chickens scratch in the early morning. not a good idea. that might be where you would lose a fair proportion of your breeding population as they will surface at night to feed and breed. also species dependent... might be much better to let the chickens in later in the morning after the worms have gone back under.

    fruit flies and indoor worm bins. keep them covered with a fine mesh. keeps the flies in or out. if they are in, then when uncovering take the bin outside to let them go free. when i first bring garden soil in to be recharged by my mixed species worm farm residents it will often have companion bugs like fungus gnats and fruit flies. depending upon how often i open the bin to feed the worms it may take some time for the population to peak and then crash as the worms break down their food sources. after a while they will be gone and i no longer have to take the bins outside to open them up. this may be an idea for those who run fruit farms and wish to naturally deal with fruit fly problems. i.e. dig a shallow trench and bury any remaining fruits and top with a good layer of mulch to keep the area moist and temperature within reasonable range for worms. if you don't have a mix of worm species, add them. covering with a layer of cardboard would likely also help if you have a lot of worm predators about.
     

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