Fattening The Herd

Fattening the Herd:

When your worms are well established and there are thousands of them in your farm, you might notice that the worms are getting a little smaller. This is can be due to overcrowding, excessive young worms and cocoons!

Worms won’t grow to their full potential if crowded and are mixed in with all different size worms. They also regulate and slow their breeding if too crowded. This may not be a problem when you just want composting worms.

If you want fat worms which can consume more scraps or larger Africans Night Crawlers for fishing, then you need to grow them out to full size.

To achieve this, every now and then put your worm farm through a ¼ “screen”. This will remove castings and cocoons. 28 days later do it again. This will achieve two things:

  • Reduce the number of cocoons in the farm for a short time thus reducing the number of young worms. This allows the remaining worms to spread and grow bigger. The worms will soon replace them, hence the need to re screen in 28 days.
  • You can use the castings for fertiliser on your gardens, pots and lawns.

This is a much better option than pouring water into your farm to get the juice out.

When you have screened the contents of the farm, return the worms and larger particles to the farm. You can take some worms out and put in your garden, compost bin for animal waste or into another farm. Then add more bedding material. This will allow the remaining worms space to grow bigger.

Now – the castings and cocoons you screened before.

You can just add them to your garden with the cocoons as this will enhance your soil by adding nutrients, micro organisms and more worms. Alternatively, put the castings and cocoons in another container and allow to sit for about 5 weeks. After this time screen again to remove any worms that have hatched. Then use the castings on your garden etc.

These new worms recently hatched will all be around the same age and of a similar size. Keep them together to grow and as they get bigger split them into two lots giving each group more space to grow. If they are Red Wrigglers, every 28 days put them through a screen to remove cocoons. Put these in your garden or compost bin etc.

Africans grow slower and start breeding at about 5 months old, so after about 4 months start screening every 14 days to remove castings and cocoons. Once again add fresh bedding. This will ensure they grow out to their full size and a much better size for fishing.

The alternative to screening and much simpler is to put a layer of horse or cow manure over the surface of the farm about 50mm deep. Leave this to sit for a few days to a week then remove this layer and put it to one side till needed. Repeat this process another 1 or 2 times.

What will have happened is the worms will move into the manure thus making them easy to remove. Once you have most of the worms out just clean out the farm and fill it with manure and put the worms back and you will just start the cycle all over again.

If you’re looking for worms, woodies, or even just some friendly advice, don’t put it off – please contact me here or give me a call on 0423 380 482.



One Response to Fattening The Herd

  • John Cipolla says:

    I find your site very interesting, I would be interested in buying a quantity of african crowlers, can you, please, let me know when they are ready and the price including shipping, I live in Melton, Victoria, 3337.

February 2018
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