I started putting some dog poop in one of the beds, you know, thinking I was not feeding the worms enough, and brushed aside the straw and found a half dozen adult worms along the edge of one of the poops! Folk-lore here is that one can always find a bunch of nightcrawers under a cow pie, or where coffee grounds have been dumped on the ground.
Offered by Nancy.
Actually you find worms only where organic material has the right bacteria count and yes you are right, mostly they are not fed and are struggling to survive any way when they are living in cast. Cast as far as bacteria is concerned is worked out material, if the bacteria is not there the worms can not eat a thing. The rule for feeding is only use the freshest of manure and organic waste, feed again when approx two thirds of the last feed has been converted to vermi-compost (the stage just prior to the darker and finer vermi-cast). Also if you are using other than manures, then everything should be ground to the smalles particle size to allow the bacteria to access all the material. A good way to understand this is if you take a whole pumpkin and put it in a worm pit, chances are you could pull it out in a weeks time and it would be as good as when you put it in. Take the same pumpkin and cut it into four pieces and in a weeks time the cut faces will have some worm activity. Take the same pumpkin and mill or grind it and in a weeks time it will have been consumed. This is because of one reason only, the bacteria will have got at all the material, remember you create a bacteria "farm" first to have a worm farm. There is no role for fresh soil in Vermiculture, the beds should always be 100% organic, with about 25% max in worked out material (cast) as a bed on the bottom to act as a safe haven. Definately no soil.
Offered by Darryl.