Everything looking pretty well processed in original ’50 Cocoon Challenge’ Bin
We are getting pretty close to the 6 month mark of the original ’50 Cocoon Challenge’ (oh how time flies) so I thought it was as good a time as any to start wrapping things up – well at least as far as ‘phase I’ of the challenges goes. As mentioned in other posts, there are at least a couple of other 50 cocoon systems I want to test out (namely cardboard-only and straw-only).
All in all, it was a really interesting experiment – especially early on. As it turns out, and as per usual, I did very little to maintain the system over time so I definitely have mixed feelings over the significance (if any) of the current population status. My original plan had been to do a full tally of all the worms and cocoons in the system, but in thinking about it some more I realized that this probably wouldn’t be a good use of my time (and believe me, if I thought the results would be valuable I’d be all over that). You see, the system in no way shape or form represents anything close to ‘typical’ (ie the average home worm bin) – like I said, the early findings were very interesting, and in my humble opinion helped to shed some more light on the potential for Red Worms to hatch and grow quite rapidly (as you may recall, within 6 weeks I was finding fully developed adults in the bin). Obviously we can’t make any grand sweeping generalizations here, but clearly it IS possible for these worms to grow to adulthood in a matter of weeks.
If I had continued to feed the bin on a regular basis, I can only imagine how many more worms there would be – and believe me, there are a LOT. There are also many many cocoons in the mix as well. As you can see, one of the other interesting finds in the bin was a VERY determined avocado plant!
On the off chance that I might want to do something further with this material/worms (apart from transferring everything to a new system that is), I decided to dump the contents of the bin out into one of my open tray systems. The material is very wet and gooey so even if I DID want to do some sort of population assessment, I would at least need to let everything dry out quite a bit.
So we shall see – perhaps if I am feeling extra motivated I will start carefully removing material (separating out any cocoons and worms I find) and see if I can effectively and quickly concentrate the remaining worms. If nothing else, it would at least be kind of interesting to see what sort of a ‘gob’ we’ll be left with.
One other semi-related tidbit to throw your way. I also have plans to start-up a second ‘Four Worm Reproduction Experiment‘ which should be a lot of fun! This time I will be using a fairly typical system (although as you shall see, it is a bin I haven’t used before or even made mention of), rather than the stacking flow-through bin that kept drying out on me. I think it will be really interesting to see the difference! (and yes THIS time there will definitely be ongoing maintenance involved – no more slacking!!).
Previous 50 Cocoon Challenge Posts
The 50 Cocoon Challenge
50 Cocoon Challenge – Update #1
50 Cocoon Challenge – Update #2
50 Cocoon Challenge – Update #3
50 Cocoon Challenge – Horse Manure
50 Cocoon Challenge – Update #4
50 Cocoon Challenge – Horse Manure – Update
50 Cocoon Challenge Updates