fishin worms

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by comfortablynumb, May 24, 2004.

  1. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,808
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    Since its been raining for weeks i bet we collected 1000 fishing worms. As usual we keep em in compost in some foam coolers, and we always have fishing worms on demand all summer.

    but we never got this many so fast.

    what do ya feed your common everyday run of the mill nightcrawlers while they are being detained?

    when I have a few handfulls I toss a scoop of half rotted straw in and that seems to keep them happy for a week or so till we feed them to the fish.

    We got so many now we wont be able to do that much fishin, so we will be keeping these wigglers for a long time.
    I need to feed em to keep em healthy...
    what do you feed em?
    do you just toss it on the top of the dirt?

    no worms ever made it past a week in the coolers, but now.... we have long term bait care problems.
     
  2. Ozarkguy

    Ozarkguy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    196
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Location:
    Right HERE, of course!
    .

    Kitchen and garden scraps, and any compost materials.

    Include greenery tops off the celery, lettuce, potato peels, and that kind of stuff. Any bread and grains, cereal, fruit.

    NO! Dairy, fats, meat, or oils. Some say animal droppings, but I would only suggest horse or cow manure after a bit of composting.

    They love vegetables, damp newspaper (no color printed papers), coffee grounds with the filter, tea bags. They also like cardboard and I also use it as a damp cover to keep in moisture, and as it decays they like to eat it.

    Compost materials and shredded newspapers seem to work better than plain dirt which seems to just mud up. I dig the food in and mix it around so I can see if they've eaten it, then next time mix a little on the other side. That way you know how much to feed them and if it's gone or not. Important to remember to keep them moist/damp but NOT wet.

    Good luck,

    Ozarkguy
     

  3. C.....numb, I can have the same problem as you. I can spend a day walking up and down the creek here by my house and fill a 5 gallon bucket at least half full but I have never been able to keep them alive for very long. Especially when our summer temps finally hit the 90's. If I had a deep cold cellar then maybe I could keep them throughout the summer but instead if I collect that many I need to go set out trotlines and limblines and use as many hooks and lines as I legally can use (and maybe more).

    I've tried placeing them in the cooler section of the frigerater and they still freeze to death. I've tried keeping them in a large container outside in the shade and they still get too hot and die. So if you find a way to keep them alive for a long period of time please let me know.
     
  4. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,152
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2002
    Location:
    North Alabama
    I feed a fattener / hardener of 50% non-medicated layer hen mash, 10% powdered milk, 20 % bran flake (old rasin bran is fine), wheat bread machine flour 10% and 10% agricltural lime powder.

    If you use tap water to water them , use hot water that has cooled to eliminate chlorine.
     
  5. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    Messages:
    7,102
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    For tempature control I bury plastic tubs with about 2 inches remaining above ground, the earth remains about 56 degrees. The tubs are drilled for drainage, window screen is installed over the holes, this is placed in a shaded area.
     
  6. Donovan K

    Donovan K Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    145
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Location:
    Florida
    I raised nightcrawlers as a youth and sold them to fund my summer adventures. Our house was right on the way to the lake in town so I hung and shingle and people bought from me all summer.

    I found the best way to keep them is strictly in shredded damp newspaper. No soil at all. I went through all kinds of tother ways before and the worms never lived or thrived until I used only newspaper and they loved it. They were the healthiest and most active nightcrawlers you ever saw. You just have to make sure the paper doesnt dry yout and is not ever sopping wet. They live in it and they eat it, I only added the occasional outside food source, kitchen scraps, lawn clippings and changed the paper out every week to keep them from getting too dirty. I know it sounds strange for an earthworm to be dirty but it happens. Plus, it prevents you from having to deal with rank smells.

    Keeping them in the shade, with paper dampened daily, someplace with a breeze is helpful. Put wet rags around the cooler to help cool it down on the outside. Make sure when you go in to dampen the paper every day, you look inside for worms that have died or look like they are about to and get them out of there. There is a limit on just how many worms you can have maximum in your cooler and their health levels will tell you when you have too many. You will find the overpopulation on the bottom of the cooler all tangled together and seemingly lifeless. Take all of these guys and put in them in their own cooler full of damp shredded paper and you will hopefully see most of them spring back to health.

    Good luck.

    Donovan
     
  7. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,808
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    good advice... I hate to go give wal mart good federal reserve IOU's for shreded newspaper... any ideas how to shred newspaper for em?

    My first thinking is run over the sunday press with a bagger mower.... lol
     
  8. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,808
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    Ok, I just went out and tried the bagger mower thing, for the record it doesnt work, it ripps the paper up in big shreds.\

    it will make a 70 yr old woman yell at you from next door real well....

    "what the &%#@ are you doing?"

    old folks are cute when they are riled up.
     
  9. OUVickie

    OUVickie Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,179
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2003
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    OTFL!!! :haha:

    I can just see that woman thinking you'd lost it!
     
  10. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    434
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Paper shredder from office supply store works perfect.
     
  11. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,808
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    the old woman was my mom, she kinda expects me to do things like that.

    I had the blender idea, I need to trip to the flea market.

    Dont it need to be finer than a paper shredder will shred it?
     
  12. Balancedmom2003

    Balancedmom2003 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    168
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    I use a paper shredder for mine. Got mine for $9 at I forget where? :confused: It works well. Don't forget to wet them and if they are too wet ring them out.

    Michele
     
  13. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,152
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2002
    Location:
    North Alabama
    Paper shredded paper and leaves has been my best bedding mix.