View Full Version : What are some good foods for worms?

11-27-2011, 03:04 AM
Okay so I'm starting a small worm farm to sell as fish bait. I have two questions. What are some good places to dig and search for worms? I know under wet leaves and cardboard is good. House shingles are good to find baby worms. Where else? Also what are some good foods to feed them. Is coffee, paper, pieces of meat, leaves, and rice good?

11-27-2011, 10:01 AM
I feed my worms "Thieves" and child abusers.

11-27-2011, 10:06 AM
What SD, said.

11-27-2011, 10:13 AM
Always had the best luck digging in the mountain of cow manure after the barn was cleaned out,right before said manure was distributed evenly on the garden.

11-27-2011, 10:20 AM
This info is from Worm City. http://www.wormcity.co.uk/wormfaq.htm

wormery wormery
Feeding Your Worms

What Can I Feed Them ?
Anything you eat, The best results our obtained from soft organic waste such as left over vegetable scraps, fruit and vegetable peelings, tea leaves/bags and coffee grounds, vacuum dust and hair (including animal) shredded newspaper, egg box type cardboard (pre-soaked), newspaper, crushed egg shells and stale bread. The greater the variety of organic wastes the better the resultant worm castings will be.
Worms cannot eat material such as glass metal or plastics. You should also avoid some organic material such as animal manure (the animal may have been 'wormed' and the residue can kill your worms) highly acidic fruit such as citrus fruits and onions should be avoided. Also avoid meat and bones - products covered in fat, vinegar, garlic and spicy foods, eggs (egg shells are excellent) and dairy product

YES PLEASE FOODS (foods that should be fed in moderation are in italics)
Vegetable Peelings (Potato Skins Take Ages to Rot Down)
Citrus Fruits
Fruit / Peel
Coffee / Tea Bags
Flowers (if shop bought - ensure no insecticides are present)
Crushed Egg Shells
Cakes/ Biscuits
Cardboard / Paper
Pet Human Hair (this takes ages to rot down)
Hoover Contents
Baked Beans
Pet Faeces (Rabbit / Gerbil Etc)

Pet Faeces (Dog/ Cat See Below)

Meat (can attract rats - and could smell rancid if too much added)

NO THANK YOU foods are
Spicy Foods (Curry etc)
Dairy Products (milk, yogurt, butter)
Poisonous Plants
Insecticides / Pesticides
Non- Biodegradable's
Soaps / Cosmetics
Grass / Lawn Cuttings (If Larger Than a Couple of Handfuls)
Chicken Manure (Too High In Ammonia)

Can A Wormery Compost Organic Nappies
Yes It Can - but....
A baby can use around 10 nappies a day so a wormery would never cope with the amount of waste produced, (you would need a huge wormery (or lots of small ones)
A compost bin is far better suited to the job

Can I Feed Animal Waste ?

Rabbit / Gerbil / Hamster / Mice etc

If your animal has a vegetarian diet, then you can safely add the straw / woodchip / paper bedding to your wormery

Dog / Cat Poo

Dog and cat waste can be put into a wormery.

However we do recommend the following guidelines are adhered to.

Dog and Cat poo can contain many dangerous pathogens mainly Toxocariasis.

1) Do not put dog poo in a wormery from a dog that has been recently wormed

2) Once the poo has been converted into vermicompost (worm poo) please do not place it anywhere where children play, and please do not put it in your vegetable patch - or where you grow food.

Chicken/ Bird Poo

Most bird poo is very high in nitrogen and ammonia, which could potentially kill your worms.

You can put bird poo into a wormery, but you must pre-compost it first - chicken poo will get very hot when composting, but when well aged it will be safe to add to a wormery

Horse Manure

Must be pre-composted to take the heat out before putting in a wormery.

Worms love horse manure

Always remember to wash your hands after handling animal mess

11-27-2011, 12:42 PM
Manure worms? Never had any luck fishing with ring tails. That's what we called em.
Night crawlers, found on a wet summer night, that's fish food. Or plain worms dug out of the compost heap. Nearly finished compost....

11-27-2011, 01:03 PM
LOL manure WAS the compost back then,and yes,I picked up many night crawlers,and we always caught enough fish to feed our family (mom,dad,gramma,grampa,8 kids at the time,plus put a few in the freezer each time we went fishing.

11-27-2011, 05:50 PM
Hey arctichowl, would you be kind enough to give me an approximate age? Your questions lead me to believe that you are pretty young. That's fine, we were all young once, and we had to learn. It would sure help in answering you if we knew about how old you are. Based on my assumptions,

Winter is just around the corner so you probably aren't going to be selling too many worms. You aren't going to be finding many worms this time of year either. Depending on the type of worm, they either freeze or they spend the winter deep in their burrows in a slime ball to keep from drying out.

11-28-2011, 10:45 AM
What Rick said, espically in New England.

Worm farming used to be one of the things the BSA recommended as a side business for boys. That was back in the days of the mom and pop bait shops and now many people buy their bait at Wallmart or some convinience store on the way to the lake.

You also need to check local Wildlife Management Agency regulations. Some areas and some states do not allow importation of worms and all must be raised locally. That might hurt you or help you.

Worm farming is a good idea, espically if you are a fisherman, you simply need to time it right and start after last frost in the spring.

The best place to get starter worms is from an existing bait shop. Buy a carton and dump them into your new worm bed. That way you know you are starting with quality stock.

In the absence of table waste we used corn meal as worm food.

I would also appriciate knowing how old you are. Youth is not a bad thing, it simply takes a different approach when answering your querries. :detective:

11-28-2011, 11:31 AM
The ground is starting to get chilly. It might help to dig around a basement or a pile of rocks, anything with a southern exposure. There’s lots about raising nightcrawlers on the net. The ice fishing guys will clean you out. Good luck!

11-29-2011, 08:35 AM
Hi there .. just putting in my two cents worth .. Rabbit poop is what worms love ,.. they thrive in it .. and the results of the worms livinf in it produce the best fertilizer known other than bat guano .. i have sold untold millions of worms ... get some rabbits OR find a rabbit farm !

11-30-2011, 04:41 PM
Wow thank you all for all the suggestions! I didn't expect so much info. I already have over a hundred worms and I'm putting them in my basement with a blanket to keep them warmer.
Hi Rick I'm 14 and turning 15 in a few days.

11-30-2011, 10:10 PM
Hello artichowl, I was about your age when I joined the forum. Lots of info here to learn if your willing to listen. Best of luck, may your worms be plump and healthy!

12-01-2011, 09:29 AM
Just keep them warm over winter and don't let the dirt dry out. You don't want to keep it so wet that water stands in the bottom of your container but you don't want it to dry out either.

04-22-2012, 12:33 PM
I have never 'kept' worms, :) , but as I appreciate all they do for the land and garden I do all i can to encourage them to stay here. :)

I did read somewhere that they like corn meal....so one day I decided to see if they really do. I have a piece of old carpet on the ground as mulch and the worms gather under it, so I lifted it up and sprinkled corn meal and then covered it again..........a few days later i pulled it up to check and WOW, the worms had definitely come up to feed on the cornmeal...they were everywhere!

04-22-2012, 08:30 PM
And that little kiddies is how welfare works.

04-23-2012, 08:54 AM
They love coffee grounds, so dump all of you coffee grounds into the worm bed. Do it in the morning so it doesn't keep them awake at night:smartass: