One week down!

demilloApril 24, 2014

First week with my European Nightcrawler worms has passed. I decided to dig around in the bin a little bit and see what is going on. Here are my observations:

They gathered in the two locations where the food was placed (some Friday, some Monday).....but everywhere else too! Seeing as the bedding is also food, I suppose this makes sense.

Some worms are VERY lively, some not so much. If I take out the lethargic ones, however, they start to wriggle a bit more.

When digging in my bin I had my first couple try to escape. I suppose they didn't like me in there too much!

Didn't see any cocoons--but then again, not sure what they would look like...and there's SO much bedding (I think I went a little too deep) that I think it would be hard to find.

Bin doesn't smell, despite the various food (some pieces of bell pepper, banana peel, two slices of tomato, crushed egg shell, and some apple slices)

Also found my first and only (that I noticed) dead worm. It was at the top of the bin in the first inch or so of bedding.

Going to leave them alone for another week or two at least. Don't want to mess with them too much. Some of the food is gone, some is still breaking down. I think I'm going to wait until next week to feed again.

Are any of these observations consistent with your own when you began your first bin? Also--when should I expect to start seeing cocoons. Based on my observations, and from what I have read, I have a "healthy" bin....but I keep worrying I'm going to screw something up!

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If you are going to leave them alone for another week or two at least, then you have a lot more discipline than the rest of us. It sounds like you are off to a good start. Cocoons can show up any time. You may have a lot of cocoons that you will never find. From your description, I would guess you are underfeeding them.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:37PM
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I didn't want to add more food as there were still some pieces left....and I only have 250 worms. Maybe I'll add a little bit more this weekend instead of next week

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 5:54AM
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Sounds to me that you are doing extremely well. Keep it up. If there is still food available to them don't be in too much of a hurry to add more. Once the food has mostly been consumed, add a little more and don't forget the bedding. You will soon get a feel for it.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 6:28AM
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Thanks! Whenever I check my bin there are a couple of worms up top (more in the corners where I placed the food)...and they go into hiding because of the light. The only thing I'm not sure about is I think I made my bedding way too deep. I'm going to prepare another bin and possibly sift through the current bin in 2-3 weeks after the other one has time to get ready, and move the worms

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 12:54PM
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How deep is the bedding? Moving the worms may not be a good idea. Especially since the best way to move worms is to move them bedding and all, which would make the bedding in the new bin even deeper.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 2:22PM
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Close to a foot. Its a mixture of cardboard, newspaper, and top soil (ingredients of which are peat, peat moss, and composted pine bark).....the majority of it is the top soil portion

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 2:33PM
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I wouldn't take away any of the bedding, lots of bedding is good. It will break down in no time. I'm always amazed at how quickly my bedding disappears and shrinks.

When I start a bin, I fill it right up with bedding. That way I'm always able to bury the food, and cover it with bedding.

Here's a picture of a cocoon. The newly laid ones are bright yellow and turn to brown before they hatch.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 5:44PM
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The problem with moving the worms is that you will need to pick each of them out of the bedding, They will not be happy about that. They will do much better in the existing bin, even if the bedding is a little deeper than we usually like to start with. Keep them where they are. In about 3 months, dig down to the bottom of the bin and make sure the bedding at the bottom has not compacted. If it has, turn the while thing over. After that, you will be fine.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 6:06PM
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Nice Picture.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 7:19PM
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