The Wormy Woodsmith
So you have some worm cocoons...
How in the heck do you get them to hatch?!
  Cocoons can stay unhached for months, and even years if the conditions for them to hatch aren't right.
  But it's not difficult to get them to hatch. Three things need to happen for baby worms to hatch.
 
  1. Moisture.
    Like all bins, a cocoon bin should be moist but not soggy. Most people compare the consistency to a damp sponge. I prefer to compare to a washcloth thats been wrong out. Nevertheless, the point is for there to be 'humidity' for the cocoons to stay hydrated and so the worms can have a pleasant home when they do mature enough to hatch.
     
  2. Temperature.
    In nature, worms lay the most eggs in the fall, when it gets cool, since there is a chance they will die from the cold. Babies mature and hatch once the soil warms up enough to keep their tiny bodies healthy.
    The optimal temperature range varies depending on the type of worm.
    Reds (both Andrae & Fetida) do best in temperatures of 72-78 degrees
    European Nightcrawlers hatch well from 65-78 degrees and best at 70-75
    African nightcrawlers, being tropical prefer temps in the 74-80 degree range
    If you have several types of worms, I've found a temperature range of 73-77 degrees will give you consisting hatching results
    Slightly lower or higher temperatures may mean longer hatch times and less hatchlings.
     
  3. Food.
    Baby worms need smaller particles of food than larger worms. Add a small amount of blended food, maybe a teaspoon to the bin in one spot. I like to cover it with a square of newspaper so I can keep track of wher eit is, that makes it easy to see if its been eaten, and if you have babies, they'll congregate around the food source. You should also make sure there is microbial life in the bin. You can use a commercial product like EM1 or a small bit of native soil mixed thouroughly into the bedding.
     
Then you wait...
We try to send a mix of cocoons with some that might hatch in as little as a week, but if you've done everything right, you should see a significant number of babies in 30-45 days. Don't overfeed, but also, don't let them run out of food. Every time they are almost done with the last feeding, give the next one just a little larger.
In no time at all you'll have a thriving colony.
 
 
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