worms

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by okiemom, May 2, 2005.

  1. okiemom

    okiemom Well-Known Member

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    :no: hi,

    i am starting a worm bin :) . I mixed rabbit pellets, sandy loam, straw and chick feed together and added water until moist. i have many drain holes in the bottom. i open the lid today and noticed fur on the top of the soil. Am I doing something wrong? Is fungi a natural thing in a worm bin or did I nuke my worms :waa: ?

    I bought nightcrawler worms from the bait store before I learned that I needed redworms. I didn't want to waste the crawlers so I am using them until I find out what I am doing. Do i need to turn the bin? I only have a doz. worms in the bin so the berries should last awhile.

    Can I put redworms in w/ the crawlers? Should I start over? how can somthing simple like worms make me crazy??? Probably cuz' they cost so much!!!! :D ;) :p Help Katharine
     
  2. slfisher

    slfisher Well-Known Member

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    Night crawlers like to burrow ten feet down, and don't make much compost. It's possible your bin is too moist as well.

    The way I make a worm bin is, I have a Rubbermaid bin, drill a lot of holes in it, put down a couple inches of moist shredded newspaper, a couple of cups of soil, the worms, and fill it up with more moist shredded newspaper. The newspaper on top also helps cut down on mold problems. Then whatever food I give them goes under the top layer of newspaper.

    I've never set one up under a rabbit bin though.
     

  3. Chinclub

    Chinclub Well-Known Member

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    We built a wooden box under our rabbit pens that runs down the entire wall under all rabbits (the rabbit pens are wire bottom and are hooked to the wall about 3 feet above the worm bed). The sides are 10 inches tall. We filled it half way with peat moss and poured the water to it mixing as we went until all of the dirt was wet. You'll be amazed at how much water it took!! Ideally when you grab a handful of dirt you should be able to squeeze out a small drop of water. If you can't its too dry. If you can get more its too wet. Then I just let the rabbits do their thing. I put in 500 red worms and about 30 night crawlers. Each morning I go out and gently rake off any hay that has fallen down into the dirt, because it would cause heat at it composts (worms don't do heat). Then I take a hose and wet down the top of the dirt. Once a week I add a light dusting of peat moss to cover the poop. My worms seem very happy. There is no smell at all.

    You can pull over the dirt under the poop and find piles of worms that have really growns since I put them in, so I must be doing something right. :haha:

    When I get to the top of my box I will dig out the bottom dirt and place it aside for the garden.
     
  4. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

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    How, exactly, do you plan on doing this?
     
  5. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't worry about the white fuzzy stuff- that won't hurt the worms, but slfisher is right, your bin is probably too moist, AND, it is probably too hot. Mixing in the rabbit/chick feed and wetting it causes it to heat up. For now, make sure that there is a spot where the worms can get away from the heat- if not, they will either be killed or escape from your bin. Next time, either bury the feed in holes, using a rotating pattern of holes, different one each feeding, or, just spread the feed on top and cover it with dampened shredded newspaper.

    You might skip the straw next time, too. It is kind of awkward to manage in a small bin, takes awhile to break down too. Shredded paper is one of the best bedding materials. Peat moss is also good, but has to be soaked to leach out tannins before using, and it is expensive. Speaking of expensive- would you like to adopt me? You must be rich, lol, feeding boughten feed to your worms. You don't need to do that. Just feed them kitchen scraps- it is a great way to recycle anything that your chickens don't eat (except meat, oil, or dairy). They LOVE apple peelings/cores, potato peelings, banana peels, coffee grounds, tea bags, ground eggshells, etc. Just be careful not to overfeed at first. A dozen worms won't eat much, and it will take about 60-90 days for them to double their population once they get going, so you won't see a huge increase for awhile.

    As a rule of thumb, redworms will consume their own weight in food every day. It takes about 1000 worms, or maybe 2000, Jay, help me out here, I can't remember! to make a pound, just to give you an idea, so you don't need too much feed right now.

    Good luck with your worms, hope your bin works out.
     
  6. slfisher

    slfisher Well-Known Member

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    I thought it was half their weight, and I was told they didn't like banana peels. They *love* melon, though.
     
  7. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

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    I read about worms, but just didn't understand some things. So I went out and got a dozen night crawlers to learn with. I had a plastic bin and put in the holes in the bottom. Then put in a couple inches of potting soil. Then shreded up a bunch of newspaper. Soaked the newspaper and then put it in the bin; making sure the newspaper wasn't bunched up and that the worms could crawl through the layers. I put a slice of bread between the soil and paper for their food. Then tossed the worms on top. The wiggled their way to the bottom of the bid. Eacdh day I use a sparay bottle to wet down their paper and keep the soil moist. The worms had one day migrated to under the bread. Other days they are in other areas. They seem happy; but I haven't actually seen them smiling! They haven't tried to escape so I hope I am doing something right.
    So, I'd recommend you keep track of what you do and what works and what doesn't. Maybe switch somethings that are recommended on this thread and see how it goes.