After thirty days, my experiment with raising Alabama Jumpers in Michigan peat moss has proven fruitful. The Alabama Jumpers are doing well and keep producing little jumpers.
I checked on the worms this afternoon and noticed I had newly hatched Alabama Jumpers and some up to two inches long in the breeder bin already. It appears they lay cocoons that hatch and grow rapidly to this point thus far.
The bedding material is packed tight again as I already loosened it up with a garden claw two weeks ago. My concern is the amount of oxygen able to penetrate towards the bottom since the deeper I go the more packed the bedding material is. I did not loosen the bedding this time as I plan to screen the worm bin one evening this week.
The Alabama Jumpers are thoroughly enjoying the Purina Worm Chow I have been feeding them daily.
Not only are there little ones in the breeder worm bin, however the adolescent Alabama Jumpers are in great shape, thick and healthy.
Going back to the original experiment with bedding consisting of hardwood sawdust and shavings, the material is over 50% composted now into worm castings. This bedding material does not pack hard as the Michigan black peat moss does hence the oxygen levels appear to be doing well since the Alabama Jumpers congregate throughout the bedding material. In this bin I still continue to feed them the Purina Worm Chow as well as some food scraps every few weeks. I noticed the other evening that this bin was covered with literally a hundred or more new juvenile Alabama Jumpers as I was adding some more feed.
This brings me to another point. I am still noticing that the areas with food scraps contain the larger mature worms and newly hatched juveniles. I am not seeing any of the two inch or so juveniles in the food scrap area as I am only finding them in the surrounding areas.
Contrary to what most web sites state, that one cannot breed Alabama Jumpers in captivity, when it comes to raising them in an environment favorable for reproduction to occur, these two experiments prove otherwise. In fact both experiments have proven to be an effective means by which anyone can raise prolific Alabama Jumpers in a worm bin. The only concern is the Michigan black peat compacting so hard over a two week period which can be eliminated by stirring up the worm bin bedding thoroughly every two weeks.
This is good sign since not only can Alabama Jumpers be raised for composting but they make an awesome live fishing worm. I have fished with them as bait myself in the past and was quite impressed. They remain on the hook apparently due to the tougher skin they have which enables them to borrow through hard packed clay and survive in course sandy soils. The Alabama Jumper lives up to its name as super live bait worm by wiggling more in the water than its relatives.