Euros vs Reds-2-09-12

Quick update on the Euros vs Reds Head to Head Challenge front! I decided to check on my two bins yesterday. For one thing, I wanted to determine the number of worms in each bin – plus I wanted to feed them for the first time (not including the food that was mixed in when setting up).

As you may recall from my last update, I added six medium-sized Euros along with two cocoons to their system, and just left the Red Worm bin as-is. I could only find three of the Reds at the time, but I figured that – worse case scenario – they might simply end up being at more of a disadvantage out of the starting gates.

As it turns out, there was nothing to worry about at all! Yesterday I found all six of the Red Worms that had been originally added to the bin when I first started. They were very young when added, and not all that much time has elapsed, so there’s no way they’ve had time to mature, reproduce, lay cocoons, AND have young hatching out! There DO seem to be some mature ones in there now, though – well, at least two or three of them. I found two that were clearly mature (well-developed clitellum, like the one in the photo below), and one that was borderline (very close, if not already mature).

I was very pleased to find ALL six Euros (those added last time – obviously NOT the originals! lol) as well – PLUS there was a very small juvenile! So, at least one worm has hatched out from those two cocoons I added. I’ll keep my eyes open for any others over the next couple of weeks.

As for feeding…

I had cut some carrot peelings, tossed them in the freezer, then allowed them to thaw out and age prior to my feeding session yesterday. I wanted to have a uniform material, and one that the worms could readily feed on soon after it was added. Since these bins are very small, and there is only a handful of worms in each, I settled on 100g (0.22 lb) as the amount of food to add.

Once the peelings were added, I added a layer of dry, shredded cardboard over top.

I am definitely feeling better about the experiment now that the ball is rolling, and the worms seem to be doing well! I look forward to seeing how things go from here.

Stay tuned

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    • Barbara Powell Harris
    • February 9, 2012

    We have our own experiment going on at Orange Blossom Community Garden, but it is not very scientific. We started with 10 lbs of Europeans and 10 pounds of reds. The reds are in a 200 gallon nursery container. The Euros are in 2 (100 gallon) containers. Reds appear to be winning at this time.

    • Scott
    • February 16, 2012

    We’re doing an experiment for my 7 yr old’s science fair project. We started with 25 RW cocoons in one container and 25 in another. One container has ground egg shells mixed in the bedding and the other does not. Hypothesis is that the one with egg shells will do better, either because it adds grit for gullet, or because calcium will aid in making more cocoons. At the end will count/weigh worms to see which does better.

    • bob costello
    • February 23, 2012

    bentley since I have a compliment of two small bins during the winter so I can “seed” my outdoor bins when it gets warm, I don’t know if you’ve talked about it or not, but is it possible to keep euros in the same bins as the reds? Also, I feel you arwe a great informer. Even though I’ve been composting with worms for twelve yrs, I’m still learning a lot from your writings. Keep up the very good work you are doing!

  1. Based on my experience, I predict that the reds are going to win big time over the long haul. I have been disappointed with using Euros for composting.

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