Questions about breeding earthworms

by Carina
(United States)

Comment: Hi,


I recently purchased Stephan Kloppert's book "How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget" and am ready to give it a try and start my first breeder bin. Although the book is very explanatory, I still have some questions.
I have a 11.4liter plastic bin to use (about 40lx26wx18h) and 500 mature worms to start.

1. How much bedding and food should I add to this bin? Is there an ideal ratio?

2. The bin has a lid so I am assuming I would have to drill holes on the top half and lid for ventilation, Is that correct? Is there ratio for holes per area that is ideal?

3. During the breeding period (21-25 days), Do I need to add food to the bin or just check for moist?

Thank you

Carina


Answers:


Hello Carina,

I thank you for investing in my book and your desire to start a worm business.

Let me quickly respond to your questions.

Q1. How much bedding and food should I add to this bin? Is there an ideal ratio?

A1. Add about 10 cm / 4 inches of bedding and about the same amount of food on top. (See pages 16 and 17 of my book). These amounts are a good guide to go by. They give the worms some space and protection from the elements, enough food and ensure as well that the worms can meet and mate on a regular basis. Adding more food would as well increase the possibility of their food heating up which could endanger the worms.


Q2. The bin has a lid so I am assuming I would have to drill holes on the top half and lid for ventilation, Is that correct? Is there ratio for holes per area that is ideal?

A2. 3 to 5 small holes of about 3 to 5mm in diameter close to the top of your bin on opposite ends of your bin will be sufficient for ventilation. Don't drill holes in the top as this can allow rainwater to enter your bin and potentially drown them.



Q3. During the breeding period (21-25 days), Do I need to add food to the bin or just check the moisture level?

A3. If the bedding and food is moist enough when you add it to your bin (visualise the moisture content of a squeezed out sponge. If you take a hand full of bedding and squeeze it and a few drops of water come out the bedding will be wet enough) and you cover the surface of the worm food with an old plastic bag to keep the moisture longer inside the bin your worms should be fine and there will be no need to disturb them until you want to harvest the cocoons after 21-25 days.


Dear Carina I hope these answers will help you to get your worm breeding operation of the ground. I wish you lots of success and a booming worm business in the near future.

Kind regards and blessings


Stephan Kloppert
Author of
"How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget"

Editor of
www.worm-composting-help.com

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