Nightcrawler Farming???

C

Chief Jim

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Jun 2, 2009
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29
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Lincoln Beach, Oregon (2 miles north of Depoe Bay
Worm Farming

Worm Farming

I want to breed nightcrawlers. I have a bunch of 12 inchers in the yard. How do I keep them. Gimmie some advice!

I have an old refrige laying on its back that I use as a worm farm. Here on The Coast, nightcrawlers are hard to come by naturally, so I bought some online. Then I tossed in a whole bunch of shredded paper, household garbage and veggie trimmings from the local grocery store. Then I sat back and began contemplating what I was going to do with all the money I was going to be hauling in from these little critters that have nothing better to do all day but eat garbage and make babies!
So A week later I open up the box and discover that the rotting organic material is hot enough to be giving off steam vapors and almost all of the worms have crawled out for cooler climes! Out of 400 worms, there weren't more than a dozen still to be seen!
Once the bed had cooled, I threw in some red wigglers from the garden, in the hopes that they would, at least, eat the garbage. Well, after just over a year, there are probably 5,000 red wigglers, in various stages of growth, we have almost no wet garbage going to the landfill, and I have all the rich worm compost I need for the yard and garden. Red wigglers aren't as tough or as large as night crawlers, but the larger ones are big enough to bait a hook for trout and panfish.
Let me know if I can be of more assistance.
Chief Jim
 
Troutski

Troutski

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Small scale...

Small scale...

I have raised my own night crawlers for a number of years, tried different foods,additives along with different temps for the best reproduction given the type of environment I am using.
I use the Frabil bedding and add my own concoction of Shrimp oil,vitamins and good soil. I found that using just kitchen scraps and what ever was handy, they didn't grow as well as I wanted. The soil is very important due to the minerals that are there naturally, if one uses only paper and food scraps then this is what the bait will smell like. With real soil these crawlers give off a scent that the fish key on and aren't shy of at all.
Now I have a very healthy population of garden hackle in a small easy to handle container...these fellas are fat and will grip your hand and fingers when you try to pull one out of the boat container...some guest in my boat are a bit startled by the size and attitude of these Crawlers.
The reason I chose the Shrimp oil as an additive was the lightly stained water of the fall, even if the fish can't see my bait; they can smell it.
A very important step is to start out with a healthy group of crawlers, I picked my from a Filbert orchard near my house...I guess you could say I began with Native stock and now have a strain that are good for Bass and Trout...I know the plastics companies state that their soft plastic baits will out fish live bait; well I accept that challenge - it sounds like you want to raise a base to draw from for income...I keep mine in the fridge and in the dark....keeps them cool and moving around, worm aerobics you might say.
Good luck ...

Chuck
 
T

troutmasta

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Joined
Jan 15, 2009
Messages
2,438
Location
in a van down by the river....
I have raised my own night crawlers for a number of years, tried different foods,additives along with different temps for the best reproduction given the type of environment I am using.
I use the Frabil bedding and add my own concoction of Shrimp oil,vitamins and good soil. I found that using just kitchen scraps and what ever was handy, they didn't grow as well as I wanted. The soil is very important due to the minerals that are there naturally, if one uses only paper and food scraps then this is what the bait will smell like. With real soil these crawlers give off a scent that the fish key on and aren't shy of at all.
Now I have a very healthy population of garden hackle in a small easy to handle container...these fellas are fat and will grip your hand and fingers when you try to pull one out of the boat container...some guest in my boat are a bit startled by the size and attitude of these Crawlers.
The reason I chose the Shrimp oil as an additive was the lightly stained water of the fall, even if the fish can't see my bait; they can smell it.
A very important step is to start out with a healthy group of crawlers, I picked my from a Filbert orchard near my house...I guess you could say I began with Native stock and now have a strain that are good for Bass and Trout...I know the plastics companies state that their soft plastic baits will out fish live bait; well I accept that challenge - it sounds like you want to raise a base to draw from for income...I keep mine in the fridge and in the dark....keeps them cool and moving around, worm aerobics you might say.
Good luck ...

Chuck

What conncoction of vitamins do you use and do you use any food scraps???
 
F

FishSchooler

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Oregon
My farm isn't going too well either... I had at least 50 worms in there I think and I only found 5 or so when I was getting the good soil out and putting in more stuff. Maybe I wasn't feeding them that much because I didn't put that much in fearing it would overflow. I use regular soil, because it's turning hard and bad soil into good. I dont know where they went.
 
Troutski

Troutski

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Location
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Natural creatures...`

Natural creatures...`

Keep in mind that there are as many ways to raise bait as there is curing eggs, I spent some serious time figuring out what would work and what would kill the slimy little critters. They are natural creatures and with that in mind try to keep the container and its contents as natural as possible, these crawlers have been around for a long time; if one can keep there home as close to the natural dirt they thrive in - then you will be successful.
As for my vitamin concoction I use to get mine very aggressive and almost a predator mentality, well if I told you I would have to - you get the point. I will give you a hint though...all fish started in salt water originally. Some stayed in the sea and others migrated and evolved into fresh water species. Others can come and go as they please, from salt to fresh and vice verse. Some are born in fresh water and migrate to salt and return to fresh and then die. One thing that they all have in common is ____________! Any one, well any one???


Chuck
 
F

FishSchooler

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They both are natural?
What kind of container do you use? It may be that mine is too small/too shallow for NCs. The first time I changed bedding, they were really good. The second, they weren't so good. I didn't change anything either.
I don't get it! :rolleyes:
 
F

FishSlayer420

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Messages
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Springfield Oregon
When I used to have a worm box I had peet moss and coffee grounds and they seemed to work really good.
 
T

troutmasta

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Messages
2,438
Location
in a van down by the river....
Keep in mind that there are as many ways to raise bait as there is curing eggs, I spent some serious time figuring out what would work and what would kill the slimy little critters. They are natural creatures and with that in mind try to keep the container and its contents as natural as possible, these crawlers have been around for a long time; if one can keep there home as close to the natural dirt they thrive in - then you will be successful.
As for my vitamin concoction I use to get mine very aggressive and almost a predator mentality, well if I told you I would have to - you get the point. I will give you a hint though...all fish started in salt water originally. Some stayed in the sea and others migrated and evolved into fresh water species. Others can come and go as they please, from salt to fresh and vice verse. Some are born in fresh water and migrate to salt and return to fresh and then die. One thing that they all have in common is ____________! Any one, well any one???



Chuck

Salt water???? really add sea salt????
 
T

troutmasta

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Messages
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in a van down by the river....
Thought so

Thought so

I figured that was the case so I didn't do it. So w
whats the vitamin combo I should use.
 
Last edited:
D

Drew9870

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North Salem, Oregon
Keep in mind that there are as many ways to raise bait as there is curing eggs, I spent some serious time figuring out what would work and what would kill the slimy little critters. They are natural creatures and with that in mind try to keep the container and its contents as natural as possible, these crawlers have been around for a long time; if one can keep there home as close to the natural dirt they thrive in - then you will be successful.
As for my vitamin concoction I use to get mine very aggressive and almost a predator mentality, well if I told you I would have to - you get the point. I will give you a hint though...all fish started in salt water originally. Some stayed in the sea and others migrated and evolved into fresh water species. Others can come and go as they please, from salt to fresh and vice verse. Some are born in fresh water and migrate to salt and return to fresh and then die. One thing that they all have in common is ____________! Any one, well any one???


Chuck



There are sooooooo many things I could think of to fill in that blank, my best guess is that you are saying all fish have vitamins, which leads to me guessing you use fishmeal?..... Which I doubt, because mold would grow easily.

Maybe another hint :D
 
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Troutski

Troutski

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Sea salt...

Sea salt...

I figured that was the case so I didn't do it. So w
whats the vitamin combo I should use.

You were right troutmasta, now you have to be careful on the ratio but it makes a real difference in my humble opinion. Everyone has there own special formula on successful farming of the mighty Night crawler, mine is just that. It did take me a while to find the right mix of minerals and vitamins but I did come up with what I consider the best possible living arrangement for my little beauties. Now as far as what vitamins and minerals I use and in what ratio, well I am not a chemist so I found a Prof. from OSU and picked her brain. Maybe some day we can fish together and discus this in more detail. I really don't want to plaster it on the web for the world to read. Some things are still guarded close to the heart. One point to remember is try to keep your bedding as close to the earth as possible and you can't go wrong..I do use the same formula on my corn for Kokes...it does work.

Chuck
 
F

FishSchooler

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You farm kernels of corn?! :lol:;)

What type of container do you use? I just bought 2 lbs of worm bedding and I dont want to mess it up... again... Please share it, at least with a PM...
 

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