Where will they be fruitful and multiply?

JamesMarconnet(7)October 29, 2011

Do they mate on the surface of the bedding and then leave their coccoons there?

Related, but possibly unrelated:

I have 2 shallow bins. One for Red Worms. Another for Canadian Night Crawlers. I've read that the red worms will be fruitful and multipy, but that I'll most likely fail to raise more Canadian Night Crawlers in captivity, especially in shallow bins.

After several months, I've yet to see any coccoons in either bin. Bummer!

I've started feeding once a week and leaving the worms totally alone in-between. I feed two different frozen then thawed foods in 1/3 of the bin each time, rotating till the entire surface has had food added. Today when I fed them, the Night Crawlers were distributed more or less evenly throughout. The red worms, on the other hand, were not to be found in certain squares, and they were concentrated in other squares. I felt like they are moving around in the bin to where the food is, till it's all gone there. Then moving on.

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PeterK2

I find they do it 'in' the bedding, but not on top. Basically where they all hang out is where it usually happens.

Worm mating is odd really, all I can say is keep them happy, maybe some crushed eggshells mixed with your food if you're not already doing that and patience. Also have pockets of nice damp bedding just by itself (two fists size). FYI breeder worms are ones with a developed clitellum, that small part about a 1/3rd way down that's thicker/smoother than the rest. All the rest are juvies that can't breed yet.

When I started I saw cocoons when I dug down deep. Then it seemed to stop for months (or just somewhere I couldn't see). Now recently it's going gangbusters and I'm seeing them an inch below the bedding. But for all I know that's because of the population just naturally building up.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 4:06PM
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Worms4Tracy

Have you tried a little candlelight and some Barry White?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 9:56PM
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11otis

Ever heard of Purina Earth Worm Chow? Some people say it will promote cocoons production. This worm chow comes in a 50 lb bag so if it's too much for you, try corn meal &/or rolled oats. Sprikle it VERY light on the top. Don't give more than they can consume in a day because it will make the bin sour. And you might end up with protein poisoning and the SOP.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 1:02PM
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JamesMarconnet(7)

I moved my two bins of worms into new identical bins of new bedding.

I kept the old bins of bedding, and I've dug through them looking for tiny worms once a week or so.

I keep finding red worms, but I have yet to find even one nightcrawler!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:55PM
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equinoxequinox

"I've dug through them looking for tiny worms once a week or so."

The way I do that is to dump a half gallon of vermicompost onto a square of cardboard. The cardboard is set on top of an old round sided diaper bin. I push the cardboard over so there is a moon shape of space. Then as the worms dissapear into the center of the pile I push the edges of the pile off the cliff into the bin.

When I have maybe a cup of wormy vermicompost left I dump it into a second bin, rinse and repeat. This bin I sort a second time or until I feel there is not too much vermicompost left in the worms. Then the worms are dumped into the top of the flow through.

I find this method effective, easy, peacefull, fun and zen.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 11:39AM
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JamesMarconnet(7)

Thanks equinoxequinox for sharing that.

I see you rinse. I've not been doing that. I'll try it.

Jim

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 1:28PM
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11otis

equinoxequinox,
""rinse and repeat."" Sorry for being dense but what did you rinse? The bin? The worms? Why?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 8:49PM
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equinoxequinox

"Lather, rinse, repeat is a phrase that is a common part of the instructions on shampoo bottles. It is sometimes also used as a humorous way of saying that a certain set of instructions should be repeated until an explicit or implicit goal is reached." such as there is no more vermicompost left to be sorted.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 12:59AM
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11otis

equinoxequinox:
Thank you for the enlightenment, hehe.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 3:32AM
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JamesMarconnet(7)

My red worms are still multiplying. I've not yet found a single night crawler coccoon, much less any young ones.

I moved my indoor bins on top of my computer, where it gets up into the 80s, at least when the computer is running. Perhaps that will help. But logically it will take months to tell.

Jim

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 9:08AM
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