Worm Farm Advice - no mature worms in an established farm

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by richsaralex, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. richsaralex

    richsaralex New Member

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    Help please!

    I have an established worm farm (it's a stackable type - a 'Can-o-Worms' if that makes a difference). We have been running it for about five years, but since we moved house (a couple years back) it hasn't operated properly.
    At first we couldn't find the right spot for it (too hot/too dry/too cold) and now we just can't get any worms to grow to maturity. There are a good number of immature worms, but no mature worms that we can see, and we havent seen any mature worms for a long, long time.
    They do not get through much food at all (I try very hard not to over-feed them). I keep them covered with an old, damp hessian sack, which also ends up being food for them in the long-run. I give them old cardboard egg cartons soaked in water occasionally, and crushed egg shells sometimes (on the rare occasions when they need food).
    I have had infestations of various other insects recently too - big fat slug-like creatures, a few spiders sometimes take up residence, and some white mould grows on and off.

    I hope somebody can give me some suggestions for fixing our problems :think:

    Thank you in advance
     
  2. JustEcila

    JustEcila Junior Member

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    I have same type of worm farm running for at least 8 years. I started with 1000 worms, took a year or so to properly establish and now I do not worry about ovefeeding. I just tip bags of kitchen green onto it every week or so (sometimes up to say 2 inch thick). Now every time I open the worm farm I can literally see bunch of worms munching thru their favorite food type. I notice they like bread/cooked vege/anything soft. Regarding your worm farm - was it not established bf your move, ie has it not have plenty of mature worms to start with?? Get this step first; nurture it with easy to chomp food, cover food with thick clothes or moist stuff, feed moderately at this stage say 1/2inch, wait 6-12 months and once establish you need not worry about overfeeding. I just tip all kitchen wastes onto it every week or so after I collected say 3-5 bags from daily waste. (oh, I have 3 can-o-worms now any all super established). 90% of my kitchen waste goes in ie garlic/onion peel, etc. So, yes get it establish first with easy to digest food/cover it to keep it moist & dark. oh, if u see slugs pick it off the farm; other insects are all good for the diversity. See if this help. Good luck
     
  3. richsaralex

    richsaralex New Member

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    Hi,
    Thanks for your reply. Yes it was established before our move (it was established for a couple years before it started playing up).
    I've had no problems doing all of that - right now I just want to figure out why my worms aren't growing to maturity.
     
  4. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    Your problem is your bedding. Get some horse manure but not from stables as it contains sawdust and urine. On my phone right now so will reply better tonight. Check my website / Information / Stackable Worm Farms if you read this before I get back on.
     
  5. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    Back on but still on my phone. Take the bottom tray out and empty it. Fill it with horse or cow manue then wet it really well and put it on top of your farm. After a week take the now bottom tray out and do the same. Use old manure so it won't heat up.
    What will happen is the worms will move up into the manure and they will soon come on heat and start laying eggs. They will also increase in size. They are small now because they are just living in their own poo.
    Worms need bedding, food and moisture and not just food and moisture. A farm shouldn't' take a year to establish. If people buy a worm farm like Can of Worms throw the instructions out as you will almost surely fail. Never buy the worm farm conditioner as it is expensive and is most likely just dolomite anyway. These farms are more gimmick than practical
     
  6. JustEcila

    JustEcila Junior Member

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    If it was establish bf where are all the worms now?? If there are still there but new ones are not establishing/maturing it can only means not enough feed or worms not feeding cos eg too acidic? top of farm not covered properly hence they all go down? not enough feed worms likes?. I reckon if you put loads easy to digest food(mash, cooked soft vege, bread, etc); cover it with a moist cloth to keep it dark, after awhile the worms will establish. I would also give the worm farm a stir to aerate it bf doing this. Good luck and hope it works
     
  7. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    If you put in more food than the worms can handle the bed will sour. Worms not reaching full potential size has several causes.
    1 Lack of bedding.ie they are living just in their own poo.

    2 Worms of all sizes mixed in the bed. They regulate their breeding to suit the conditions they are living in and as a response to the size of the population to available space. Lots of small young worms in the bed will slow the breeding process.

    3 Over crowding will also stunt the growth. Say you have a Can of Worms style farm and each tray has 12,000 or more worms ( 3kg of pure worm) Stocking levels this high wont happen naturally so this wont be the cause. Only worm breeders will have extremely high stocking levels as part of their management plan.

    4 Survival mode. This means worms shrink down in size to conserve food and oxygen if conditions are extremely poor. To survive they eat their own poo over and over. They eat the bacteria on the food and their poo. Bacteria causes odour and worms eat bacteria so your farm doesn't smell.

    I will stand by my claim the bedding needs to be changed.
     
  8. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Brian is right.

    Towards the end of my casting cycles, my worm size and numbers drop, and then to get them going again I replace the castings with new horse manure bedding. And then you get a worm explosion.
     

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