Keeping Worms

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MaggotDrowner
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Keeping Worms

Post by MaggotDrowner » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:08 pm

I've been using freshly dug earth worms with some success in recent weeks. I don't know if their success can be attributed to the rainy weather or the time of year but they seem to be doing the trick.

I have been keeping them in a maggot tub and half filling the tub with garden soil. Every so often, when digging over the allotment, I will take out all the worms from the tub and discard any dead / unhealthy looking worms and remove all the soil. I'll then refill with fresh garden soil, return the worms and dig out a few more to be added to the tub.

I have kept them in moss before but the soil seems to work best. I guess that makes sense because, after all, soil is what they live in!

How do you guys keep your worms?

:fish:
"I'd rather be fishing!"

MD

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Olly
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Re: Keeping Worms

Post by Olly » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:21 pm

I have some worms purchased over a month ago and still alive when I looked yesterday.

I have a large beer container/bucket kept in the cool garage - wet newspapers on the base with soil & leaves mixed in plus some old veggies - about 8-10 in deep.

So far so good!

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Banksy
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Re: Keeping Worms

Post by Banksy » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:57 pm

You are doing well to keep them in a plastic bait tub for for any length of time, but then it also depends on the type of worm.

I can usually keep dendrobenas for a month or two, in one of those plastic woven bags on the concrete garage floor, but I recently lost a full kilo of them overnight - £18 worth, turned to stinking mush!
It was not a warm night, so there was no apparent rhyme nor reason for the worms' demise.
So now I am hesitant to buy them in bulk.

Lob worms are the hardest to keep, but many moons ago I perfected a method.
A wooden butter churn, a barrel on a wooden pivot, in a farm outbuilding, filled with grass turfs about 4" thick.
About 500 big lob worms were collected from the lawns and orchards around the farmhouse, and added to the butter churn.
Just by spinning the churn, I could easily remove a few sods of grass and go fishing.
And a sod of lob-loaded grass provided a perfect groundbait on the rivers.

I kept that butter churn of lobs going for a couple of years, adding to it every rainy night when the worms were up.

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Harry H
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Re: Keeping Worms

Post by Harry H » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:24 pm

I've had some Canadian night crawlers for about 5 weeks pretty much as Olly says but just feeding them on cucumber and tea leaves but I keep them in a fridge.
Having just started doing this they have kept well but I've since found out the local commercial fishery stocks them so I don't think I'll be doing it anymore.
There are three things that improve with age: wine, friendship and water sense, and there's no short cut.
Anthony Shepherdson

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Olly
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Re: Keeping Worms

Post by Olly » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:38 pm

Mine are lobs - bought by the 50. Kept in a fridge by the shop at 3-5C.

Dendros seem to be very susceptible to cold and heat. I have kept them in an aquarium before now with air holes in the lid but only in smallish numbers - a tenners worth.

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Dave Burr
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Re: Keeping Worms

Post by Dave Burr » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:48 pm

Shredded and soaked newspaper will keep worms happy for a good while but check regularly for dead or lethargic worms that don't move when you open the lid. One single dead worm left in the container will spoil the rest. The smell of dead worms is something you really don't want to experience.

Jack - rather than digging them, collecting worms by red torchlight is a great way to fill your store. Short grass on a damp evening works best, I used to get loads on some verges outside a college. Mind you, prepare to get asked some interesting questions.

If you've never done it, you'll be amazed at the speed of a lob worm and the ease with which you can break them. Hold, pause, wait for the worm to relax and pull smoothly. It's back breaking but fun.

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Olly
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Re: Keeping Worms

Post by Olly » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:27 pm

And thrice I say!

I was almost arrested for doing just that - head-torch and bucket! He wondered what I was doing - by the time he found me and asked I was almost permanently hunched over so looked sideways and up at him like a poison dwarf or Quasimodo. So it took a short while after showing my ill-gotten gains to prove that I was just an angler collecting worms for bait!

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MaggotDrowner
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Re: Keeping Worms

Post by MaggotDrowner » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:36 pm

Thanks everyone for their advice. Especially Dave, who must think his is very important, as he posted it not one, not twice, but three times!!!

To those that have mentioned the small, yes it is bad! I had a tub of shop bought ones turn on me when they were forgotten about. It isn't pleasant!

I have collected a few from wet grass before, and found it to be quite productive.

Dave, collecting by torchlight during a wet night might be easier but the allotment will still need to be dug over at some point.

They seem to be keeping well enough in the tub for now. Perhaps because the garage is cold at this time of year. I think I'll add some leaves and moss into the tub and see if that makes a difference.
"I'd rather be fishing!"

MD

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Snape
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Re: Keeping Worms

Post by Snape » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:39 pm

The other night I had 100s on my lawn. I think they had all come up for mating so I spoiled their enjoyment!
I keep them in a large bait box with lots of damp moss in a fridge at about 5 degrees.
I find that as long as any dead ones are removed they last for ages (several weeks) and the moss toughens them up.
I will make you Fishers of Men said Fish to Fishes
For Fish is Fisher of Man who Fishes
~ Steve Hillage

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Snape
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Re: Keeping Worms

Post by Snape » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:41 pm

MaggotDrowner wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:36 pm
Thanks everyone for their advice. Especially Dave, who must think his is very important, as he posted it not one, not twice, but three times!!!
Duplicate posts by Dave removed.
I will make you Fishers of Men said Fish to Fishes
For Fish is Fisher of Man who Fishes
~ Steve Hillage

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