I have started an experiment to find out which foods, bedding, and worm density combinations produce the highest reproduction rates in red wigglers.
Ten identical plastic bins have been laid out and filled to the same depth with bedding. To see if bedding has a significant roll in reproduction rates I filled some bins with %100 cardboard bedding, some with a cardboard and peat mix, and the other bins with pure peat. The peat is acidic so ground limestone was added to adjust, but the peat beds still have a lower pH than the cardboard. Hopefully they will equal out soon as the experiment goes on.Worms were weighed and then put into the bins using 1/2 pound per square foot for most of the bins, but one was set up with 1 pound per square foot and another only 1/4 pound per square foot. Also the bins will be fed different food stocks. Here is how it is all set up:
- Cardboard bedding fed alfalfa meal
- Cardboard bedding fed with manure on top
- Cardboard bedding fed with produce scraps (this bin does have deeper bedding than the others)
- Peat and cardboard bedding mix fed alfalfa and grain mix
- Peat bedding fed alfalfa meal
- Peat bedding fed alfalfa and grain mix
- Peat bedding fed grain
- Peat bedding fed alfalfa and grain mix with double worm density as normal
- Peat bedding fed alfalfa and grain mix with half worm density as normal
- And just for kicks a bin of euro’s for comparison in peat/cardboard mix fed alfalfa and grain mix
Feeding will be done regularly and at the same time for all bins weighing the feed added and also checking moisture. It will be hard to make sure all the moisture levels stay the same because of the different bedding and feeds, but they will be kept as close as possible to the same. Also checks will be made for pH, worm size, and of course a count of worm egg cocoons will be made every couple of weeks.
It is going to be interesting to compare bedding, feeds, and stocking densities and see how things turn out. Keep looking for an update to find out. I believe I am going to let this run about 2 months and then do a final egg count so the final results should be in by then.