Feeding the wormies..something different

BluButterfly323(8)July 21, 2014

I have been mama to my little "Freds" (can't forget since they all have the same name) for almost a year now. What a great experience. Once I learned the specifics on tried and true successful "worming" (as my little friend Estelle calls it) I had to step out and see what the "Freds" would like from time to time. I can't get worm food locally and refuse to pay what the sharks want to charge online. I found my boys/girls hate spaghetti, love waffles with syrup and go crazy when I give them "chick starter". The chick starter (or mash) comes from a local feed store and is hormone and chemical free. That last part is critical, since those additives can wipe out your worm family. It is important to be mindful of protein levels. Too much protein is toxic to the worms. So, with that said, here is my recipe: Once or twice a week I mix 50:50 oatmeal and chick starter with water. (and they do love the oatmeal). Once everything has absorbed the water I run it through my Nutri-Bullet. It comes out soupy and smooth. Into the bins goes the "soup", and then I get out of the way because the worms come crawling....FAST! I noted my worms were getting plumper, more active and making baby worms like crazy. Every time I turned around BAM...a new batch of babies. Chick starter is cheap, like .49 a pound here for me. I would love to hear if anyone else has tried something like this.

Happy "Worming"

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BluButterfly323(8)

A brief note for those who may be starting out small and wanting to increase their herd....this sure ramped up my population in a hurry.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:37AM
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Niivek

Last year, I collected spend brew grains from some homebrewers and a microbrewery to feed the little guys. They seemed to like it alright, but the stuff was way too wet. Never figured out a way to dry it fast enough to keep it from stinking.
Where do you get your chick feed from? Do you get small bags? .49 a pound seems a little spendy. My ducklings are going through chick feed like mad right now and I get 50 lb bags for about $12-15 for starter/grower. Finisher feed is cheaper still.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 8:49AM
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Norm24

The Worm Chow by Purina (Mizuri) has about the same contents at the same amounts as the Chick Starter, and does a great job, but is costly, $25/60 lbs vs $13 for 2-40 lb bags. Feeding the grains full time is what the fishing worm and reptile feeder suppliers use but as BlueButterfly323 said, it's great for a bin pick-me-up, spring 'Tonic, or when you're recovering a population or starting a new pile.
Also, if you can find some grain (corn/barley/etc) that has spilled from a silo/grain truck/rail car, that has started to sprout or go bad, the worms love it and you're getting it before any treatment the grains might go thru

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:22PM
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CarlosDanger(13)

Wow! Buying food for worms! That puts a whole new image of vermicomposting in my head.

My wife drinking bottled water freaks me out, but THIS!

CarlosDanger

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 6:01PM
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Mooshy

That's one thing I have never tried, chicken mash. We have chickens so no probs there, but wondering do you soak it for a while or just throw in?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 6:47PM
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crazyforworms

I don't use chick starter, but I do add oatmeal to the veggie matter. It takes up a lot of the fluid left from blending and makes the slurry more manageable. I had a box of of oats that had been pushed to the back of the pantry. The box was so old that I decided to use it for worm food. Adding the oats worked so well I now share our oats with the herd. My worms are European Nightcrawlers and I use them for fishing as well as composting. I find that the addition of oats plumps them up better than veggies alone.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:34PM
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BluButterfly323(8)

Crazyforworms, I soak any grain or mash in distilled water and then run everything through my Nutri Bullet. I puree all the worm food that way. It is just sooo much easier for the wormies. YUP...it does plump the kids up. I have even used guinea pig "mega" for them every month or so.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 2:25PM
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pskvorc(3)

I like this thread.

Paul

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:57PM
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BluButterfly323(8)

Well I can see the wormographics are in. Everybody gives their wormies something besides veggie and fruit scraps. Now let's take a look at what grains can create in your worm bin. .......POTWORMS!!!! Yes those little "white threads" that you see wiggling around and multiplying faster than Grant went through Richmond. POTWORMS like damp fermenting grain. Don't be fooled by their size. A herd of POTWORMS can compete for all the food and leave little "Fred" going hungry. 2 ways to get rid of POTWORMS : Soak a piece of bread in milk and lay it in the bin. The little boogers will race to the bread and you can just trash them. But, that takes time. Take out all the compost from your bin and spread it out on plastic in the sun. They beat feet to the bottom because sun dries them out. Now lift your plastic so the compost moves to the middle. You will find all the POTWORMS stuck on the plastic. Let the sun take care of them. Unlike our little red wiggles who will wiggle back to the darkness of your soil or compost, POTWORMS can't travel on plastic. You also have to be concerned about your little red mites. You can only see them if they hop on something white. They love the milk bread. Red mites hang around the edges of the bin. They to can populate and compete for food. Hope this helps. Have fun!!! It's great to be a worm farmer.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:48AM
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pskvorc(3)

Interesting solutions for extracting potworms. I will give the "milk toast" as try as I am not interested in "deleting" them because they are useful for fish food.

Mites on the other hand: Death to all mites!

Paul

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:21PM
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jasdip

Hear, hear Paul!!!
I hate, hate mites. Knock on wood, I haven't had any for a couple of years.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:29PM
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