Saturday, August 30, 2014

Worm Farming Mistakes To Avoid

Discover other worm farming tips and how-to's: Worm Farming Manual

Worm Farming Mistake No. 2

O.K. So now your worms have your undivided attention.  You're lavishing constant care on your earthworms to the point your neighbors are talking and your wife and kids have left you.  Well....hopefully you haven't gone that far.

But, you've got them going and you're selling worms right and left.  The phone is ringing off the hook and the orders of coming in.  Your worms are flying off the shelves, so to speak.  And you just got a huge wholesale order with the potential for repeat business.

Stop.  Take a deep breath. Read the second point in the Common Worm Farming Mistakes bullet list below:
  1. Not paying attention to your worms
  2. Over selling your worms
  3. Under selling (not expanding your market)
  4. Expanding too fast
  5. Poor customer service
  6. Poor marketing
  7. Not delegating

Over Selling Your Worms

As you've learned here on the blog and in more depth in my Worm Farm Manual, worm reproduction takes a certain amount of time.  And you need to keep a certain amount of worms on hand, in you worm beds, who are busy laying eggs for your future worm sales.

If you deplete your worm beds too much with overzealous selling, you'll find yourself with such a reduced worm population you want be able to replace the worms you're selling.  Then, when your good customers need to reorder, you'll have to turn them down.  And that could cost you a customer and affect your reputation.  
Keep track of how many worms you have in your beds, how much you're selling and don't take on more customers than you can service.  If you're getting more customers than you can handle, maybe it's time to think about expanding the number of worm beds and taking on extra help.  

But don't forget to thank your lucky stars.  Too many customers is a problem most businesses would die for. And, quite frankly, most worm farmers often find themselves in this enviable position.

More Worm Farming How-To's


There's a way to get around this worm inventory problem and fulfill all those orders detailed in my Worm Farm Manual: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Earthworms for Fun and Profit.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Worm Farming Problems That Affect Success

The single biggest mistake made by worm farmers

How To Worm Farm - a Worm Farming Manual

As we promised in our post on worm farming pitfalls, let's examine in detail the common mistakes and problems of worm farming. These mistakes, if not address,  can affect your profit and put you out of the worm farming business faster than a buzzard on a gut wagon:
  1. Not paying attention to your worms
  2. Over selling your worms
  3. Under selling (not expanding your market)
  4. Expanding too fast
  5. Poor customer service
  6. Poor marketing
  7. Not delegating

Worm Farming Mistake No. 1

Perhaps the biggest, most common, most frequent , most easily avoidable mistake made by the novice and established worm farmer alike is:
Not Paying Attention!
Not paying attention to the worm bedding, it's moisture content and it's condition (i.e. you can make mud pies from your worm bedding.)
Not paying attention to pests (i.e. raccoons are setting up shop near your worm house, ready for a juicy worm feast.)
Not paying attention to the ambient atmosphere of your worm beds (i.e. someone is operating a chain saw, jack hammer, and saw mill 2 feet away from your worm bed.) 
Not paying attention to the worms' health (i.e. worms are packing their bags for a mass worm crawl as soon as it gets dark.) 
Not paying attention to the weather (i.e. there's a F5 tornado with a forecast-ed path directly over your worm farm.)
Not paying attention to EVERYTHING.
 Next..... more worm farming mistakes that affect you business success.

Worm Farm Business Help


Get in business and stay in business.  And make some money while you're at it!  Find answers, tips and how-to's in my Worm Farm Manual.
Here's a preview of what's in it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

How To Make Fish Like Your Worms


Worm Feeding Question

Time for a worm food question.  Just received an email question this morning, so we might as well post it here in case you're wondering the same thing.

Ken asked if there was a particular food that makes worms taste better to fish.  He also commented that it might be a stupid question.

First of all, as I told Ken, no question is too stupid to ask about worms.  The more you know, the more success you'll have growing worms.

Worm Food For Beautiful Worms

As to his question about a worm food that makes worms taste better, quite frankly, I haven't heard of any. Common sense would dictate that a well fed worm, hence a more nutritious worm, will be more attractive to a fish, since all life forms seek out the most nutritious food they can find.

Given the choice between a sparse meal or a fat juicy, protein packed European night crawler, which do you think a fish goes for first?

One food that many think makes worms, in particular European nightcrawlers, more attractive to fish is rabbit poop.  It turns the crawlers a nice shade of pink and it seems the fish are enticed by the color.

At any rate, rabbit poop is an excellent worm food. Rabbits digest their food with microbes, just like  horses. Worms need microbes  present to digest food, and the more microbes the better.

If you have a source of rabbit droppings, serve it up to your night crawlers for a highly nutritious, color enhancing worm food.

Chow!

Worm Farming Resources:

It turns out, VermaPlex®, a liquid fertilizer made from worm castings, is an excellent worm bedding enhancer.  It's loaded with beneficial microbes. Add microbes every time you feed or change bedding by spritzing with a weak solution of VermaPlex® mixed with water.




1 Quart VermaPlex® Mix 1 part to 80 parts water in spray bottle.
European Night Crawlers and VermaPlex® Combo More economical.


Find other worm feeding tips in my Worm Farm Manual: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Earthworms.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How To Make A Worm Farm Business Profitable

List of top worm farming mistakes and problems

Find solutions in "Worm Farm Manual"

Heard  enough about earthworm facts of life for a while?  Wanna talk about the real reason for worm farming?  (Hint: $$$$$$).

Let's face it. Most of us go into the worm farming business to make money.  Right?  So, what does it take to make your worm farm a successful, profitable business?  How can you avoid the many pitfalls that put most beginning worm farmers out of business.

Worm Farming Pitfalls


Here is a list of some of the most common mistakes and problems that can lead to worm farming failure.  These issues can either kill your enthusiam, kill your profits, and/or kill your worms:

Take heart.  All these problems are completely under your control. Planning and studying your markets, prevention and addressing problems early  are the keys to avoiding these worm farming pitfalls that take so many worm farmers to the poor house.

Stay tuned.  I'll expand on each of these worm farming business problems next.  Feel free to post in the comments your thoughts or questions you may have about worm farming.

Help For Worm Farmers


Find more worm farming problems and their solutions in my Worm Farm Manual.

Novice and established worm farmers alike can benefit from this step-by-step guide to successful worm farming.  Click now to discover just exactly what's in it.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

How To Raise More Worms

Worm Egg Capsules
Discover other worm production tricks - Worm Farm Manual.

Worm Eggs

Shall we continuing our discussion on "the birds and the bees" of worms? The process by which worms fertilize their eggs and deposit them is not only fascinating, it also leads us to today's tip on how to get more eggs per capsule.  And more eggs means your worm population builds quicker.   So, all this extra knowledge on earthworm reproduction really is going to pay off.

If you'd rather just cut to the chase and get right to the Worm Tip, scroll on down to the bottom of the post. But, if you want an understanding as to why the tip works, keep reading.  You'll get to the tip eventually.

Worm Egg Production For Dummies

For such a seemingly simple creature as the earthworm, their breeding and fertilization process is a little complicated.  We've already discussed the fact that worms are hermaphrodite, each possessing both male and female "equipment".  The sperm and ova are located in separate segments at the top, or anterior, end of the worm.

During mating, each worm receives the sperm of the other through the connected clitellum (described in the last post).  This transferred sperm is then carried away by muscular contractions and stored in each worms' "seminal receptacles", where it awaits the maturation of the ova.   The fact that the ova mature at a slower rate than the sperm is why fertilization takes place at a later time, not at the actual "magic moment".

(Keep going, we're almost done.)

Once the ova begin to ripen, the egg laying process begins.  The clitellum forms a mucus ring that moves forward, passing over the segments where the ova are stored, picking up ripe ones.  The ring then moves over the seminal receptacles where the sperm is stored and picks up the sperm deposited by the worm's mate.  Fertilization now occurs in this mucus ring.

The mucus ring, filled with fertilized eggs, continues to move over the worm's head.  As it leaves the worm, each end of the ring pinches off, forming the egg capsule or cocoon.  This capsule, filled with a nutritious fluid, is then left in the bedding, usually near the top.

Increase Worm Production

These egg capsules are a greenish-yellow after being laid and turn darker as time goes by.  At time of hatching in 14-20 days, the worm capsules will appear dark brown or purple.

The size of the capsule  depends largely on the size and maturity of the worm doing the laying.  The number of eggs per capsule, however,  depends on the amount of time the ring takes to move over the worms body.

Hence: A worm that is well-fed and in loose soil is a slower, more sedate worm. The mucus ring will move slower and pick up more eggs and sperm. Which leads us to our tip of the day:

"To get more worms per worm capsule, keep your worms well-fed and in loose bedding."
How? You may be asking:

  • Have all the (nutritious) food your worms can eat, available to them all the time.  
  • "Turn" your beds (i.e. toss and stir it up) once or twice a week to keep the bedding from becoming packed down.  Change out the bedding when it gets too dense and refuses to stay loose between turnings.

Now, that wasn't so bad, was it?

Worm Production Resources




Discover more tips and how-to's in my Worm Farm Manual: A Step-by-Step Guide To Raising Earthworms For Fun and Profit.