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The 50 Cocoon Challenge

Red Worm Cocoons

In my recent ‘Worm Bin Aging‘ post I mentioned that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the bin I’ve left to sit for well over a month. I had a couple ideas for possible fun projects, but based on the reader responses (and my own preferences), I’d say that the cocoon project was a clear winner.

While I was doing some worm harvesting yesterday, I noticed quite a few cocoons in the material, and decided it was as good a time as any to collect a bunch for the experiment. I wasn’t really sure how many I should use, and just kinda ended up settling on 50. I want enough to make things interesting, but not so many that it would have taken me 5 hours to harvest them all, or lead to having the bin completely overrun with baby worms.

The basic idea here is that we are (hopefully) going to get some idea of how long it takes a worm to reach maturity from the cocoon stage. Of course, this is only going to provide a rough estimate for my given set-up, temperature etc – certainly not a set-in-stone value for all situations.

As mentioned in the aging post, the bin I’m using is certainly full of life. There are lots of fungi (including little fruiting bodies like the ones pictured here), slime moulds, mites and gnats. It will be interesting to see how quickly the cocoons start hatching (although I suspect this will be pretty tough to monitor, given the small size of the hatchling worms).

This will be the perfect experiment for me, since it can basically be left to sit!

That being said, I will certainly check in on it periodically, and will provide updates here.

Written by Bentley on May 26th, 2009 with 5 comments.
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Get your own gravatar by visiting Nathan
#1. May 28th, 2009, at 7:55 PM.

What type of worm will you use? The post did not say, or if it did i didn’t see it.

Get your own gravatar by visiting Rich A.
#2. May 28th, 2009, at 8:28 PM.

Those look like red wiggler cocoons, although I don’t know if I have ever seen a Euro cocoon.

Get your own gravatar by visiting Devin
#3. June 1st, 2009, at 11:07 PM.

I would be curious of the results as well, including how many worms hatch. What kind of environment did you place the worms in for your experiment?

Also, remember not to touch the eggs with your hands/fingers. Human oils can be toxic to them.

Get your own gravatar by visiting Ray
#4. June 8th, 2009, at 6:57 PM.

how did it go??/ on the hatching,did any hatch?

Get your own gravatar by visiting Beryl Saunders
#5. February 11th, 2012, at 3:26 AM.

On 29th November 2011 we harvested 650 cocoons from our worms bins. It took about 2 hours +.I don’t know how old the cocoons were but by mid- Dec 2011 some had hatched. Today 11th Febuary 2012 many of the hatchlings are now mature and are producing cocoons of their own.
This was done as an experiment only.Some are now back in the various farms they came from others have been transfered into larger farms to carry on repeating the cycle.
Some breeders remove the cocoons from worm farms before selling. I don’t. I think it’s unfair. I sell everything.Cocoons, young worms as well as mature worms.
This is from South Africa. We hardly ever get comments from this part of the world.

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