Calling all biologists - need to make a worm farm (or something)

Our frogs are ravenous and they will eat us out of our home with the amount of bait worms we have to get. So I was thinking we should raise our own!

We have a small shady secluded area in back corner of our yard and am wondering if I could somehow do some kind of small worm farm to raise many hundreds or even thousands of red wigglers. But they’d need to be easily accessible so we can grab them and feed.

Worm factory is too much and I think maybe I could make a small raised bed with a liner and just add all the things worms like to eat, then seed it with this?

Crickets? Those are cheap and you can keep like a fish tank/terrarium full of them right?

Haha, we have a pet store here called chowhound.

Well I thought about crickets but they are very hard to get to the frogs. With worms we can drop them on lily pads, or hand feed them. We got like 50 crickets a few weeks ago and were only able to get 10 into the frogs bellies.

Make sure your liner is porous, and you’ll have to weed it because making it good for worms also tends to make it good for plants. On top of the liner, put a layer of shredded newspaper, soaked in water. You should cover the bed to keep the plants down and keep your worms near the top. Mulch compost into the soil to feed the worms and promote reproduction. Make sure you’re not just throwing chunks in there because it takes them too long to break it down and the population will stagnate. I maintained a worm bin for a couple of years and got best results by using a blender to mulch. Every once in awhile, once you notice that the top layer of soil is mostly worm castings (rich, black and slightly sticky soil), you need to refresh the soil: open the lid so that the sunlight drives the worms deeper, then scrape off the top layer of castings and put a new layer of newspaper and soil in. Use the scraped off castings as fertilizer.

Mealworns then?

How much does a frog eat, just out of curiosity?

They can nearly eat their body weight every couple days if you feed them enough. I once had to pull a slightly smaller frog out of another frogs mouth. Just the back feet were hanging out (still alive).

But right now we feed everyone who’s out, 2 worms every 3 days. (there’s usually find ~25 frogs who aren’t too scared to be fed). Even with this schedule and the insects/worms they catch on their own, many are getting too skinny during this extremely active time (mating season).

A canister of 30 bait worms doesn’t go far at all. I’d planned on trying to do this worm farming thing much earlier but being sick this spring screwed up my schedule. So I’m just now trying to get this going.

Frogs won’t touch anything unless it’s moving (a lot), hence alive. Mealworms like that would have been awesome though.

What kind of climate are you in? I’m in Michigan so if I just do a large sterilite tub, maybe I can move it into the garage in winter so they’ll survive? So like, shady corner of yard out of sight during spring/summer/fall, then when the freeze is getting close move it. Our garage is detached, not insulated nor heated so maybe it would get too cold even there.

I’d bring it inside in the basement in winter but I can’t risk any fungal or mold spores floating around as my immune system is pretty compromised from my CF.

Uh, San Diego. Yeah, I suspect you’ll want to pull them indoors during the winter. They’ll probably get sluggish when it’s cold too.

Totally wouldn’t risk it. You do get mold in the container (and other weird stuff–we found giant beetle grubs at one point.) I had a friend with CF. Stay healthy.