Red Californian worm – Nutrition
The Red Californian Worm is quite interesting organism in terms of their ability to eat. It is almost omnivorous, consuming everything that can be called “organic waste”. It is enough that waste had a fermentation process and are degraded.
Here’s what could serve as food for worms: manure, faeces, food waste from the kitchen organic waste from the food industry, straw, hay, leaves, paper, various types of cardboard waste and waste drains. All this is a potential food, but for this type of worm the most appropriate type of food is manure (mainly cattle). Manure is appropriate and the other – the cheapest is the most easy to transport and storage. For your future farm you will need a steady supply of manure, as well as space for storage.
The most favorable regime for growing red Californian worm is twelve hours light and twelve hours light darkness, this is their natural mode.
California red worms are particularly sensitive to acidity of the environment in which they live and the food they eat. Therefore, it is best to feed them with manure, as it has the lowest values ??of pH. The most favorable environment for the worms ranges are 6,5 – 7,5 pH. It is recommended to monitor the acidity with pH-meter and also with a litmus indicator. If the environment is too acidic, you can reduce by adding calcium carbonate or chalk.
Another important thing about nutrition is the moisture content of the food. Most favorable for worms humidity is between 70% – 80%, respectively, watering is depending on the climatic conditions in order to maintain the necessary humidity. You mustn’t over water the beds because this suffocate worms and they die. To avoid swamping the material from which the bed is made off, the bottom of it must be hygroscopic (best used tat). Check the humidity often in the beds by using humidity meter.
Unlike other types of worm RCW doesn’t go into hibernation during the winter. They remain active, they continue to eat and breed. The worms are most active at temperatures of 15-20 °C, and can handle temperature by 1 ° C. At normal temperatures for the RCW is necessary to put 10 -15 cm layer of each feed for 10 days. In winter, when temperatures fall below 1 °C, worms need to be protected by thick layer of food – somewhere around 40 to 50 centimeters. The maximum temperature tolerated is about 35 °C. When the temperature is higher, it is necessary to pour some water.
Another problem for RCW are the feed gases are. If you feed them with fresh manure which has no straw – this will generate high ammonia amount in the soil. If it is too wet in the beds – methane gas will be released. The beds should be aerated regularly, every 45 days, otherwise the worms will die. They require oxygen, which is obtained in the aerating process: performed by digging up the top layer of the manure and the drainage of the lower layer. Of course, you should comply with the parameters out of 10 – 15 cm thick.