Alabama Jumpers have been recorded living as far north as Chattanooga, TN while originating from the tropics, making them a great choice for warm water fishing. They fair well but become a little sluggish once the temperatures reach into the mid fifties inside a compost pile.
Starting with raising Alabama Jumpers outside for yard and garden composting as well as for fishing, you will need a compost pile basically consisting of carbon based products such as shredded newspaper and cardboard or hay. As this decomposes it will generate some warmth for your worms to assist in keeping them warm.
Alabama Jumpers also enjoy a diet of vegetable scraps similar to that of red wiggler worms, hence rounding off their needed nutrients as well as creating additional warmth during the colder months, paying special attention to not over heating your compost pile. To avoid this, place your food scraps into one corner of the pile, under the shredded material or hay, and move clockwise or counter clockwise as you continue to add more material over time, permitting areas to heat up and cool down enough for the Alabama Jumpers to survive in.
Raising Alabama Jumpers inside in a worm bin differs from that of a compost pile. There are two types of bedding materials that I have used successfully, each requiring holes in both top and bottom of the worm bin for oxygen to penetrate.
One of the bedding materials can be comprised of hardwood sawdust and wood shavings that have been decomposed for the most part. There are many woods for as many reasons to avoid, such as oak, pine and cedar to name a few. The bedding material should have a depth of about one foot. Add about one-half cup of sand per five gallons of bedding material. Again you may add vegetable scraps the same way you would raise red wigglers, by placing in one corner at a time and covering it up with some damp shredded newspaper or cardboard to avoid odors coming from the worm bin.
The other bedding material that is actually easier to obtain as well as comes ready to use is Michigan black peat moss. Do not use Sphagnum peat moss, as it is not as decomposed as the black peat, hence retains moisture differently and will cause you to lose your worms.
Here you will want to fill your worm bin with about one foot of Michigan black peat. You will not want to prep any vegetable scraps for this type of bedding, which I will get into in a moment. Usually the black peat comes at the right moisture level and is presoaked so there is no need to work it any further. Normally when raising worms, one would become concerned when the bedding material becomes compacted; however, this is actually a favorable condition for the Alabama Jumpers. These worms are able to burrow through hard-packed clay in the real world, hence do not become stressed when you notice in a week or two how packed the black peat has become.
Adding vegetable scraps to this type of bedding material will sour your worm bin very easily and quickly, hence the reason to avoid when raising Alabama Jumpers in this fashion. The best food to use is Purina Worm Chow fed daily to your worms. The Worm Chow also makes an excellent supplement to feeding your worms whether in an outside compost pile or raising them in a worm bin.
Alabama Jumpers can lay cocoons that hatch rather quickly in either compost piles or worm bins as long as you maintain an eco friendly environment for them.
To learn more on this subject, be sure to drop by the Alabama Jumpers web site and sign up for the free newsletter. Bruce Galle, the author of this article has been raising worms for over thirty years and continues educating the public on raising both composting and fishing worms. Even though many web sites claim Alabama Jumpers cannot be raised in captivity, Bruce defies the rumors with additional tips from http://AlabamaJumpers.com.
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