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My worms only want sawdust!

 
pollinator
Posts: 270
Location: Haiti
26
forest garden rabbit greening the desert
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I acquired some nice Californians and was feeding them regular food scraps. Only problem was black soldier flies came in so I had to deal with that. I started cutting down on the scraps and in the meantime put some sawdust/shavings in to absorb moisture (I don't use drainage holes). When I put in some mango and avocado pieces, they completely ignored it. Instead they we're congregating around the sawdust and have been reproducing like crazy. It took 3 weeks or so for them to eat the little food I put in there.

Anyone else used wood shavings? I've started adding some goat manure too just to make sure they have what they need, and still throw in leaves and some scraps, but they still take a long time to work through them.
 
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Worms eat bacteria, when they are eating food stuffs it is because there are bacteria decomposing those food stuffs.
When you introduced the sawdust/wood shavings, they went to the bacteria that were already going strong on the sawdust, that would also trigger reproduction, plenty of their preferred food = plenty of new worms.

Redwigglers are the composting worms that actually do go for food bits, they generally carry their bacteria in their gut system so they can digest items other than bacteria.
 
Priscilla Stilwell
pollinator
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Worms eat bacteria, when they are eating food stuffs it is because there are bacteria decomposing those food stuffs.
When you introduced the sawdust/wood shavings, they went to the bacteria that were already going strong on the sawdust, that would also trigger reproduction, plenty of their preferred food = plenty of new worms.

Redwigglers are the composting worms that actually do go for food bits, they generally carry their bacteria in their gut system so they can digest items other than bacteria.



Interesting that they would prefer rather fresh shavings then.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Bacteria live everywhere, and since you put the woody stuff in with food stuffs, they probably got a good bath of the juices which also would have lots of bacteria growing.

If you put just chipped wood chips on the ground and wait about 2 hours then pull the chips back, you would probably find worms already responding to them, fungi are also a preferred worm food and fungi love wood as much as they love bacteria.
It is part of the great circle of life, everything is food for something else, even top predators are food it's just that they usually are food for fungi and bacteria instead of other animals but not always, grizzly bears will kill and eat black bears and even their own kind.
 
Priscilla Stilwell
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forest garden rabbit greening the desert
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Bacteria live everywhere, and since you put the woody stuff in with food stuffs, they probably got a good bath of the juices which also would have lots of bacteria growing.

If you put just chipped wood chips on the ground and wait about 2 hours then pull the chips back, you would probably find worms already responding to them, fungi are also a preferred worm food and fungi love wood as much as they love bacteria.
It is part of the great circle of life, everything is food for something else, even top predators are food it's just that they usually are food for fungi and bacteria instead of other animals but not always, grizzly bears will kill and eat black bears and even their own kind.



Where we are, it's not worms, but ants that break things down, and these other little football shaped bugs that I haven't identified yet. And cockroaches. Ha. It's so dry and the soil is so hard with no organic material, so worms can't survive. Hopefully that will change in the next year or so. I'll be estatic when I see my first worm living in the soil! That will be a sign that I'm making progress!
 
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