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Raising European Night crawlers or Red wigglers is easy.

What you need.

A worm bin, either bought or a wooden box or plastic bin with a top but not air tight.

Bedding, Peat moss works fine. Add the moisened peatmoss to your bin and let it set a day or two.

Obtain your worms from mail order. I like the European night crawlers verses the red wiggler. The Euro worm is bigger, hardyer and a tougher hide. Perfect for bait and reproduce like crazy, there unisex. They tolarate a wide temp range below 90 and above freezing is good. Note, Canadian Night crawlers dont work.

When you add your worms keep a light on the first few nights.

Food, They eat all kinds of scraps. Bannana peals, used coffee grinds, fruits, macaroni, card board, leafy greens, vegtables, apple peals, pretty much anything. Bury the scaps in one corner of the bin and cover it. add more food in a week on a differnt corner.

Your worms should lay eggs withing a fews weeks and you should see babys within no time. You can cull out the big ones and use them for bait or for fish food etc.

After your bedding looks like dark rich soil (castings) you can change out half of it with new peat and the rest is great soil to grow plants etc.

I added a picture of a few differnt stages of the European Night crawlers. I added a penny so you can see the size. There is one adult, a few adolescent and 2 babys.

Here is a link to Bobs worm farm. http://mypeoplepc.com/members/arbra/trinity/ I layed out the basics but if your gonna do it, call Bob and get yourself some European night crawlers there not expensive. Tell him Joey from NC sent you...!



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Joey, I think it would be great if you can select some of your home grown worms and post a photograph of them with a ruler in the picture. This will show readers what they look like and their relative size. aMaybe include in the photo background the box you are raising the worms in.


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I will post a picture of the adults, tomarrow or thursday. There size is about 3 - 4 inches and some get as thick as a pencel. Euro worms are about twice as big as Red wigglers.


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Joey, someone posted that they drill 1/2 inch holes in the bottom of the tub so that the water doesn't sit and to aerate the soil. Is this true and if so, how do you keep the worms from climbing out?


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I would say 1/2 inch holes on the bottom is to big. On one of my bins I cut a rectagle out and put screen but on my plastic bin I didnt put any holes. You get a feel for how much water is right and dont saturate it to bad. As far as air I move my soil once in a while and it seems to work fine. If you look on that web link he has a bin that could be made easy, you see PVC threw the bin. I dont have anything like that and my worms are doing fine.


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Joey - thanks for getting this thread started. I have been trying to reduce my YP population some but am sometimes frustrated by lack of good bait. I thought about raising worms and you have shown me the way!
I was thinking of putting the peat moss into a used 5-gallon plastic (drywall mud) pail. Drill some 1/2" holes in the lid for aeration. What d'ya think?
I see yer buddy in MO sells as little as 1 lb. for $27 including the shipping. Should be enough to start my worm farm, yes?

Also - another newbie question. I went out for an hour yesterday using some admittidly small worms. Caught only 3 yellow perch and 2 BG. I am not very experienced at fishing and am not familiar with changes as the water gets colder. The water was 44 F yesterday. Do the fish bite less/not at all as the water gets colder and their metabolism slows down?

Will I have trouble removing more of the YP yet this fall? I am thinking it will be many weeks before my worm farm starts to produce the bait I need. FWIW finding bait store that is open when I can get there has been increasingly difficult - mostly due to long hours at work.


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Scott:

Metabolism drops with water temp, and appetite with it to a degree. IIRC for LMB metabolism is cut in half for each 8 degree drop in temp; assuming a similar drop for BG (a fellow Centrarchid), metabolism is (theoretically) 1/32 as much at 44 deg compared to 84 deg in Summer.

Biting rates don't drop that much, IMO, but vary considerably depending on the weather. You can still get some decent fishing periods in late Fall, like when you have a couple warm, sunny days after a cold spell.

YP being a cool water species stay more active in Fall/Winter temperatures. Some of the YP experts can probably provide tips for fishing them successfully in cold, or even hard, water.


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A pail might work but the worms like to go down, at least mine do. The peatmoss is light but after its soaked and the worms start to make there castings its tough to dig down in a pail. I have 2 bins I use, I made a wooden box about the size of a small draw, and a rubbermaid plastic one. You have to soak the peat good because it dont take water very well at first. the pound of worms will be good but ask if he has any specials. I got a pound and a half of the breeding size. It was good because I started using some right away. It takes a good 2 to 3 months before you prob could start using the worms regularly. ya call Bob he knows his worms. I didnt know nothing until he hooked me up its pretty easy once you know how. What I wrote is enough but he will really learn ya. He told me the first worms will wander a little because its new but the offspring wont because its the only thing they know, its home so to speak.


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Why not place a worm box, with a 1/4" wire floor, on a pier that has spacing 'tween the boards? Monitor and adjust so that an occassional worm would drop down/thru to the water attracting and supplementing fish with a natural food.


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SoSauty, I can't think of one reason why that wouldn't work. I think it would work better with the bottom wire laid over some expanded metal; then a couple of braces for bottom support.

Once worms get started, you sure don't have to worry about a couple escaping or inadvertently supplemementing the fish feeding.


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If anyone started to raise the euro worms. Something I want to add. A few weeks ago I put a lot of apple peals in the soil for the worms to eat. The other day I wanted to dump the worms and see how they were doing. They love to lay eggs all over the apple peals. This is the most eggs I saw yet, litterly thousands upon thousands all on the apple peals.


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i just go out on our 1/4 mile drive way paved with asphault after a rain and can pick up at least 1/2 a pound i am gonna start my year round production of night crawlers as soon as it rains and the worms come out. now that i will have a pond and not have to walk a mile to the creek. my question is can i raise them year round in a barn or do i have to keep them in my basement. the barn does get below freezing but with 4 large horses it usually doesnt get to much below freezing mabey down to 20.


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When I was a kid my Granddad always raised worms for us to fish with in a old chest freezer out in the backyard. He just kept the door propped open just a little for air circulation. With the freezer full of dirt I don't know if you'd be breaking the law or not without the door removed. Any thoughts?


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Iwouldnt think it would be a problem but I would definatly take the hinges off for safety's sake.
Is anyone raiing eroupean worms in cen tex? I would like to try it but am concerned about the heat in summertime.We get plenty of above 90* for extented periods.Any thoughts if they would survive 100 plus?


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bureau creek master,

I am not sure the worms you seeing are euopean night crawlers. If your seeing canadian night crawlers I dont think they will breed, that is what I was told. Regular garden worms might?. These euro worms are differnt and really tolerate temp very well in summer and winter. G/l with your worms.


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Tom, I have asked Bob about high heat. My place has got real hot to. All you do is keep them in the shade and keep the bedding a little more wet and they are fine. My worms or should I say bedding got frozen this year and I thought well start over but to my surprize they are fine. If you got questions you can ask Bob at the worm farm I posted in the original post he is the guy to ask.


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Joey,
Thaanks much.I already called but got his machine. Am patiently(ha ha ha)waiting for him to call me back.Thanks again

P.S. Pat on the back to all who make this website and to all who contribute,although Im sure everyone feels the same I just felt the need to put it into writing
Tom


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For anyone interested I just got off the phone with Bob and he said the heat would be no problem.Make the box/bedding abuot 12" deep and theyll do just fine.I ordered a pound and he said hed get them out sat as the weather will be better for shipping.Going out to build my wormbox now.
Joey,thanks for starting this thread.I bought peat 3-4 weeks ago to start a worm bed but been procrastinating because I dont know what Im doing.Come to think of it I dont know what Im doing in my pond either but its lots of fun.
Also as a side note...its valentines,plant yer taters guys!!!


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Tom,
I thought it was tough but its a peice of cake. Bob knows his worms..dont he? Make your worm bin know and let it set for a few days after you moisten the peat. The peat takes a long time to moisten. You could also bury some food in one corner now. The reason is when you first bury the food it will heat up and the worms might want to escape it. Then after you put them in if they can get out keep a low wattage light on top of them at night, like one of those super saver florescents because the worms Bob sends you will wander. This is the one mistake I made thinking they would stay but they crawled out all over my garage. The babys wont since they only know your bin as there home. Mine nevr crawl out anymore. I just dumped one of my bins to check on them.. holy cr_p there are a billion of them in there and some are huge. Post after you get them and put them in. G/L


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Guys take a look at this thread by Lou on raising worms. A lot of info there.

http://www.pondboss.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=18;t=000068;p=1
















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I forgot to ask Bob about the light.Do you put the lid on or leave it off for the first few days?I have a florecsent bulb in a small clamp bulb fixture which is very portable and can put it anywhere.Does the light chase them away from the surface keeping the worms from wandering?I took a pallet apart and ripped the lumber down to size to make my bin thinking lots of cracks would make for good ventilation,good,bad idea?Sure is a lot of little questions to ask getting started.Its amazing just how much you have to learn to do such a LITTLE thing,huh!!!Thanks to all for your help.

pallett...free
screws...2.00
sawblade...16.00
time...aprox 3 hrs
1/8 drrill bit for pilot holes...1.79
3 yr old grandson with dewalt cordless
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(wanted to put big smile gremlins in but cant figure out how they work)
\:D \:D


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O K,how did I do that?????


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Tom, no idea how you did it.

One thing to think about is ants. I put a bunch of earthworms in the half barrels that I use for my dwarf banana trees. Ants moved in and killed the worms. Then my wife nixed the idea of moving the plants in for the winter. I had to cut them down.


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Tom,

My first bin I cut a 1 by 12 into pieces and screwed it into a box. It worked and still is holding worms but when I culled out my worms I needed a new container. I used a regular rubbermaid bin. Its about 2ft by 3ft I did not even drill holes in the bottom and the worms love this bin the best. I leave the top off since these worms are 2 and 3rd generation so they dont climb out. The other questions you had is about the cracks, I think they will come out but you never know, also the light goes on at night to keep them away from the top of the bin so they dont crawl out. The rubbermaid bin is perfect try to keep the moisture right, not to wet and not dry.


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Does anyone know how to keep the ants out?
Thanks Dave,I forgot to ask about that too.BTW,I have banana trees too and I cut em down every winter and cover with hay/straw and they come back every year but I dont know what kind they are.I should get bananas on them this year I think,but I understand that theyll be little ones not big like the store.
Tom


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