Worm farms - collecting/harvesting worms?

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To explain things a bit better, I'm harvesting the worms for my brother's chickens, as adding extra protein to their diet makes their eggs taste so much better. Basically, I'm an egg-aholic.
(c:
Everything I've done so far has not cost me one red cent, and I'm going to stick with this. Eventually, I'll probably keep the castings and liquid fertiliser, but this is more of a secondary issue. Taking into account what scraps I've added to the worm box so far (that has holes in the bottom, hopefully for the worms to crawl through), is there anything I can add/do that will "more stongly" attract the worms to the surface? If there's any advice, I'd strongly consider it. I'm hoping to lure the worms into the box a bit faster (if at all?), although I'm guessing it's still a slow process. Any specific pointers?
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I?ve got a worm farm at home that looks sorta like this:
http://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/upload/munchy/munchypics/WormFarmPhoto.jp g
At the moment, I?m strictly in the collecting/harvesting phase, not the actual farming phase. I get one of the upper containers that has lots of little holes in the bottom which I?ve filled with fruit and vegetable scraps. They are mainly lettuce, cauliflower, and cabbage leaves, with some pumpkin, apples, and bananas, but mainly green leafy vegetables. I know not to add citrus, pineapple, or meat ? well understood. I then cover the whole lot with a hessian (burlap?) sack. I?ve placed this worm collecting/harvesting box on the ground just near my old empty compost bin, and I pour a whole watering can through the hessian sack every day or so, which soaks through the food scraps and through the holes in the bottom, then into the soil. I?m figuring the scraps won?t get too water logged because of the adequate drainage. What I want to know is, will the worms in the soil eventually wriggle up through the holes in the bottom of the container, into the worm box? Any advice here? The reason I?m doing it this way is because it doesn?t cost me any money at all, even if it takes longer.
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Okay, here?s what I?ve done to ?modify? my worm-collecting-farm. First up, I?ve used a pitchfork to gently dig and loosen the soil underneath the worm farm (that has the holes in the bottom, which hopefully they will crawl up through) I?ve taken the food scraps out, and spread about 10cm or so of loosely packed soil in the bottom of the box, with lots of leaf litter mixed through to make the soil medium more fibrous. I?ve then put the food scraps on top of this soil medium, with the damp Hessian sack on top, with the plastic lid on top of that. I?ve also taken out a generous proportion of the vegetable scraps (no citrus, meat, or pineapple at all) and put it in a blender with lots of water. I had to fill the blender several times, tipping this ?vegetable juice mix? into a large plastic watering can. I then poured this blended mix (plus some coffee grounds) through the food scraps, through the soil layer, then through the holes in the bottom, and into the loosened soil below. Am I on the right track here?
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I’ve got a worm farm at home that looks sorta like this:
http://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/upload/munchy/munchypics/WormFarmPhoto.jpg
At the moment, I’m strictly in the collecting/harvesting phase, not the actual farming phase. I get one of the upper containers that has lots of little holes in the bottom which I’ve filled with fruit and vegetable scraps. They are mainly lettuce, cauliflower, and cabbage leaves, with some pumpkin, apples, and bananas, but mainly green leafy vegetables. I know not to add citrus, pineapple, or meat – well understood. I then cover the whole lot with a hessian (burlap?) sack. I’ve placed this worm collecting/harvesting box on the ground just near my old empty compost bin, and I pour a whole watering can through the hessian sack every day or so, which soaks through the food scraps and through the holes in the bottom, then into the soil. I’m figuring the scraps won’t get too water logged because of the adequate drainage. What I want to know is, will the worms in the soil eventually wriggle up through the holes in the bottom of the container, into the worm box? Any advice here? Anything that will possibly hurry them along? The reason I’m doing it this way is because it doesn’t cost me any money at all, even if it takes longer.
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On Thu, 6 Aug 2009 06:05:22 -0700 (PDT), Gas Bag

I would suggest buying some worms from a fishing tackle shop.
These are different from garden worms and are the ones usually used in wormeries. you can also buy them online - but more expensive.
I do no think you should water them - if anything add some shredded newspaper to keep things from going too soggy.
There are a number of wormery sites where you can read up on advice.
--
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Depends on the type of worm you have. Redworms are the composting worms and live near the top of the soil and work laterally. Earthworms work vertically.
You should have some starter worms to ensure a good supply; with all you are doing, they will multiply fast.
If you have horse manure around, the worms that work in that are redworms, something I found out from Doug (in link below) before I bought some from him.
Go to: http://vancouverfood.net/2009/04/redworms.html
for an article about redworms and some good links to excellent information.
Enjoy.
=============== snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com.au writes:

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g'day gas bag,
keep the worm farm in a darker cool place.
if you have vege' gardens already then like us you could do away without the worm farm, cutout the middle man. have your composting worms in the gardens and tuck your kitchen scraps under the mulch daily, that way the benefits are where they are needed, the castings the wee all in the garden.
no extra cost at all this way except for initial purchase of composting worms, some worms can still be harvested if that is the way you want to go, we used to harvest them for our composting toilet.
On Thu, 6 Aug 2009 06:05:22 -0700 (PDT), Gas Bag
snipped
With peace and brightest of blessings,
len & bev
-- "Be Content With What You Have And May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In A World That You May Not Understand."
http://www.lensgarden.com.au /
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What's with this 'chickens' business? Don't you mean chooks? As someone raised on a poultry farm, I believe it is my duty (as it is for all Ockers) to educate people to make sure thay know the difference between chickens and chooks.

In your earlier post, you didn't mention any real soil in the bin, just a whole lot of scraps. For that box set up, I've found that you really need to have a good fibrous moist soil and then to the top of that soil you then add the scraps. You've got to bed your worms in first before you start feeding them.
If I read your earlier post correctly, you have the box next to your compost bin and are trying to herd the worms into the bin so you don't have to buy any. It's easier to just have a dig around in the bottom of your compost bin and find some worms (use the compost ones, not any earthworms yu may find as common earthworms don't seem to like the richness of those bins) and to then add them to the bin and put it back into it's configuration and then cover the whole lot or stick it in a shady spot.
The red wrigglers is the sort I've used in that exact same style of bin and the only problem I had with them was the occasional stampede.
I've found coffee grounds are very popular with the worms - they seem to love a caffeine fix.
This site tells you what works in Oz and the point the site makes about horse poop is also a good one - my worms seemed to also like horse poop. I naow just breed my worms up in my Geyde bins: http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s1074679.htm
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wrote:

Aye, well, as a non-Ocker, I need some educatin'. Hmmm....chickens are livestock and chooks are like part of the family and valued beyond their production? Just a guess, I guess.
Please, perform your duty. I pray I don't regret this.
Charlie
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<Charlie> wrote in message

Nah, not the case at all Charlie. I like my chooks and have great difficulty in killing them and really get the spews if a fox gets any but they really are all about production rather than pets.

You won't 'cos I'll be both polite and civil (although I couldn't say the same thing about the last discussion I had on this topic with a USian. But then he was an obnoxious drongo and you aren't).
As I mentioned, I was raised on a poultry farm and each year we would get a delivery of chickens. This involved preparing the brooding house for them as chickens are tiny fluff balls that need constant heat and they stay that way till they develop feathers at which stage they become pullets and no longer need heat and then once they start laying they become hens or chooks. You'd call the tiny fluff balls chicks. The only use I've ever heard of chicks here has been as a reference to young female humans.
No ANZAC worth their rural background would ever have called a chook or a hen a 'chicken' until we began to take onboard USian English (too much Yankee TV no doubt). I think this usage started first with ANZACs picking up the marketing lingo of eating 'chicken' which is what the meat is universally advertised as being here now although when I was young it was always 'chook' and the only way you got to eat it was if you killed it yourself or got it from a neighbour or somesuch. I know as a child our butcher never ever had chooks for sale.
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wrote:

Politeness 'preciated, but have your way with me, when needed. :-)
It dismays me that so many of the people living on my part of the planet engender this attitude of disdain with so many that live on other parts. But one must consider that the vast majority are products of a public education system that is a disgrace. I too am a product of that system, but had the sense to, in utter disgust and disillusionment, walk away from university and pursue my own continuing education. Not highly profitable, in a financial sense, but well worth making the choice and I sleep well most nights, at least as well as one fast approaching geezerhood can sleep.
I find that those of you (at least the usenet folk I read) in Oz seem to exhibit a level of literacy and comprehension and curiosity that is not the norm, at least in my limited experience, for many of us here.
For good reading and wonderful understanding of the usian method and working class folk, and those who abuse this class, Joe Bageant is worthwhile. I think he has done a tour in Oz. Lots of essays and reader responses.
http://www.joebageant.com /

Thanks, and I have one further question. I take it that chooks are hens only? What of the roosters, that we always butcher/ed young, what are they called? Does "chook" cover them? It's not clear to me.

Same here, regarding the butcher's shop. Like you said, many had their own and/or friends/relatives that supplied live chooks. Some of my earliest memories are of my tiny grandmother removing the head of a chook, and the smell of frying chicken, er, uh...chook....or boiled chook and noodles. I also remember seeing her strip the undeveloped eggs from the innards and cooking them with noodles. Good eats.
Here we go with the continuing edgycation.....ANZAC...which led to further study and thought and more to come in the near future. I find myself the jack of all and master of none with this learning and cultural stuff. :-)
Charlie
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<Charlie> wrote in message be given>> Thanks, and I have one further question. I take it that chooks are

i think chook is a general, collective term so you could include your rooster, particularly if he is sensitive, reads literature, & wears sandals <g>. i tend to call mine (collectively) my "chickies" although i don't know why. my rooster is not a "chickie" i don't suppose, but tbh i don't really consider him much (he's just an oversexed freeloader, really).
anyway, what i was going to say is that there's a johnny cash song which states "the father hen will call his chickens home" which strikes me as absurd every single time - 1: roosters aren't hens 2: roosters don't care for the wellbeing of their offspring (or even seem to know who they are).
(there's another song about a cowboy who, once on the saddle, used to "go gay", which also cracks me up, but i'm getting increasingly off-topic, as well as revealing to the entire gardening world my new-found infatuation with johnny cash after a lifetime of ignorance ;-) - although i have seen brokeback mountain so... um.... kylie
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Sounds like one of those hippie Californicator roosters ;-) Here in the US, they market something called "Smart Chickens" (a processing trick)....perhaps thats where they end.

Yeah, I've heard that the males of some other species are considered similarly. And "chickie"....hmmmm, wonder what Fran thinks of that?

Roosters, I have found from my chook raising days, are a necessary annoyance and many the foul tempered and aggresive rooster has become "chicken and noodles" or "chicken and dumplin's". I don't know what ya'll call that combo, but never mind the terminology, some real comfort food, IMO. And one derives satisfaction from eating something that spurred him only hours previously.

OT makes the world go round, at least revolve around the garden in a loose sense, imnsho. In other words, who cares. I saw brokeback and found it both a wonderful, and wonderfully produced, story, though disturbing on several levels. Needless to say, the film received a lot of vilification round these hear parts.
AFA Johnny Cash goes, you caused me to recall an incident that Lovey and I have laughed about often over the many years.... and we just had another goodun about it. THanks.
In high school, we took a trip from our rural town of 800 to Kansas City for a day of eating, movie, shopping and general sophomoric posturing. FIrst time many of us had been there.
At the movie, the class clown in my girlfriend's (now wife) class thought he spotted Johnny Cash in the front rows and at the end of the movie dared Lovey to put on his cowboy boots and go get an autograph. My wife is shy, but a dare does something stoopit to her brain. So, she puts on the boots, swishes down the aisle and in this gawdawful Okie accent asks the supposed Mr. Cash for his autograph and when this guy turned around, lo and beshit....it *was* him. The poor girl was mortified and turned and ran. So, we have a kind of fondness for him.
THough not a big country music fan, here is one of my Johnny favorites.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBxhdewpQBI&feature=related

Charlie
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<Charlie> wrote in message

Hmmmm. Human males who get called 'wombat' fit that category of being oversexed freeloaders because a wombat eats roots shoots and leaves.
'Chickies' doesn't phase me at all. I frequently call my chooks the 'Took Tooks'.

I once had a rooster I called Darryl after a chap I worked with. Both were gorgeous but with high opinions of themselves.
I once laid Darryl (the rooster) out flat with a pice of 4x2. The mongrel bastard had come up behind me and laid into me and opened up my calf with his spurs. I just picked up the wood and swung it at full arm's length and got him in the head. He was unconscious for a coupe of minutes but then woke up and came at me again. He ended up in the pot as soon as I could chop off his head and the sod was as tough as an ancient pair of army boots.
He was the worst rooster I ever owned and I think that was because I'd had to hand rear him.
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wrote:

Oh shit......I read this last nite, but it didn't register until now......<snork>

Yeah, the last Darryl I had came up against a metal feed bucket when he laid open my forearm as I was rescuing my toddler. The effer never regained consciousness, as his head was promptly pinned to the ground by the rim of the pail and his legs went skyhigh. Tough eating yeah, but tasty in a perverse way.
Charlie
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<Charlie> wrote in message

Is that slowness of thought an age related thing or is it just too much booze before you read ngs? :-))
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wrote:

Probably! ;-)
Charlie
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<Charlie> wrote in message wrote:
And one derives satisfaction from eating something

there seems to be no "turn the other cheek" where cranky male animals are involved!! (my sons find this hard to accept, but they'll learn ;-)

i wasn't devestated by it, purely because i had such a struggle understanding anyone & hence had little idea of what was going on <g>. when jake gyllenhall (sp??) was killed it was fairly crushing though, as was heath ledgers horrible lonely old age... now you mention it.
since you WILL ask, the only two lines of dialogue i could actually understand were: "ah'm naht queeah!" and "nah'm ah!". christ only knows what else they talked about. (the role of the existentialists in 20th century literary development?)
Needless to say, the film received a

i don't know where you live, but :-)

omg...! i confess that i am rather impressed on several levels.

johnny cash is NOT country!! i don't like country, that is how i know :-) i have a soft spot for ghastly gloomy music about murder, death & hanging... i think that's what it is. or something like that.
here is one of my Johnny

when i grow up & get broadband, i might be able to watch that :-) kylie
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:-)) I saw snippets of the flick on David and Margaret and thought the same thing about the dialogue. Too mumbled and hard to hear to want to actually go out and seek it out even if it had been the best flick ever made.

You must be a Nick Cave fan in that case.

Given where you live, you should be able to get the govt connected broadband. Or have they stopped that subsidy for us people who live in the wilds? Give Mike Kelly's office a ring and ask them if it's still a goer.
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frankly it needed subtitles & that's the end of it.
having said that, it was far from the best flick ever made. it just was nicely photographed & "controversial", otherwise it would just be any old quite-good film. (what is "controversial" about gay cowboys - not that the heath ledger character was even actually gay in most senses of the word - i'm sure i don't know from my own perspective.)

bingo :-)

good lord, i never heard about that. i really must get organised. thanks! (i think i'm supposed to get satellite broadband, but who the hell knows). kylie
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