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African Nightcrawlers

Making Peat Moss Free Red Composting Worms Breeder Bedding

I get at least an email per week asking me how to make bedding for breeding worms.  Then I get more about how to make bedding without peat moss.  We do not use peat moss because it is nonrenewable, so we opt for creating our own "Worm-Safe" bedding, which can be used for breeding Red Worms, African Night Crawlers and European Nightcrawlers, also known as "Euro Worms".  All red composting worms can use our Worm-Safe worm bedding recipe.

I have made a long video explaining the process.  I apologize for the length of the video but I wanted to get all of the information in.  You can also see a cameo of my son's pig, Spamela.

Making the worm breeder bedding is a two part process.  The first part is mixing about 40% fresh horse, rabbit or cow manure, or aged fowl manure, with 60% straw or other brown material like dried grass clippings.  That mixture is moistened and allowed to heat for a couple of weeks.

Then, once past the compost heating stage, we mix that with 50/50 with shredded cardboard and newspaper that has been wet down, mixed and also allowed to age about a week or so.

We mix those two parts together, 50-50 and let it age again for week to ensure that it will not heat again.  We take daily temperature readings with a composting thermometer.

Then we add the bedding to our composting or bait worm breeder bins.  We only use about 3 inches of that mixture and we put in our breeders.  They stay in that worm bin for 21 days at around 75 degrees and then they are moved to fresh bins.  The egg capsules and babies, which are now in the bin with our original mixture, are placed in an incubator, bin and all, and hatch out.  We keep them in that bin until we can see them easily.  At that point we put them into a growout worm bed and feed them to get them to mature size as quickly as possible.

I will be posting some diagrams and pictures of our system soon.  Please ask your questions below or in our forum.

Thank you.

Ken
Worm Man's Worm Farm.  Wormman.com

Cool Stuff

Garden Snail Eggs

Wormman.com does not sell garden snails or escargot snails, but we do have some growing here on the farm for fun.  We do not eat them either...YUCK!

They are pretty cool to watch and we like to feed them our extra garden greens.  We have a group of Helix aspersa that laid eggs which are about to hatch.  I will post a follow-up when they hatch.

We also have Roman Snails or Helix Pomatia growing here.  They are much bigger and very interesting.  The Romans used to carry the snails with them as they conquered so that they had a source of rich meat.

I have pictures of Roman snails (Helix Pomatia) breeding below.  This video of the eggs is from Helix Aspersa.

Both our Roman Snails and our Helix Aspersa have had babies in the past but this is the largest egg clutch yet.

I was cleaning out mealworm bins and sorting worms for shipping when I took a peek into the snail enclosure, which is in my office, and noticed the eggs.  I later caught the Roman snails breeding and videotaped that on my phone and took pictures. Those are posted here also.   Is that wrong?  🙂

Check out the videos and pictures.

Helix Aspersa