In ideal conditions mature Red Composting Worms can lay an egg sack every 6-8 weeks. Each sack will contain between 2-4 tiny baby worms, not the 6-12 commonly spoken of. In our experience we have never seen more that 5 at a time. Many people ask us why they can’t find any eggs in their bins, here a few reasons your worms may not be procreating.
When we say ideal conditions we mean just that, this includes temperature, moisture, food availability and ph levels. The worms we keep outside generally lay eggs in the warmth of late spring. They like a steady temperature of at least 75 F or 22 C to mate. Moisture should be consistent, don’t let bins get to dry or wet, use bedding and food content to maintain a constant balance. Red worms will tolerate a slightly acidic environment but try to keep them as close to neutral as you can. Food should be present in reasonable quantities, if over fed, bins can become anaerobic.
Make sure you are familiar with what eggs sacks look like. Above is a great photo that shows the size and colour of some eggs. Take note of the colour, the brighter yellow one are viable eggs that remain unhatched. The darker brownish ones are older and have already hatched.
Check that your worms are mature enough to breed. These worms can live 2-3 years and make take up to 9 months to reach adulthood. If you study the worms, you will note a saddle or collar nearer to one end. These are the reproductive organs in a worm. Matures worms will exhibit a well-defined noticeable saddle and be between 3-4 inches long.
There are methods to jumpstart egg laying, some people starve worms for a bit then introduce a steady food supply to stimulate mating. Another burgeoning idea is that red worms require more protein than a strictly vegan diet can provide. Try adding some higher protein food like dry dog or cat crunchies to induce reproduction.