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There's Pleasure and Profit in Raising Domesticated Earthworms

    Whether you plan to raise earthworms on a small scale for personal use (such as soil improvement or fishing) or whether you are concerned with a part-time or full-time money-making-project, you'll find it a fascinating as well as a profitable enterprise.

    It costs so little to start, requires so little time and effort, and pays so well, once you've developed it to the selling stage, that it is really one of the best home-money-making projects of which we know. A part-time earthworm business may be built to imposing proportions within the limits of a basement, garage or city lot ... or it may be expanded into a profitable full time business, if properly managed and promoted.

    Almost anyone can raise earthworms successfully ... men, women and youngsters, or even handicapped persons. It's an excellent retirement project for elderly persons who want to keep busy and supplement Social Security, pension or other income. Many of the most successful earthworm hatcheries are owned and operated by women.

    Earthworms are amazingly prolific breeders. A thousand mature breeders, properly cared for and allowed to multiply may give you half a million or more breeders, growing earthworms and egg capsules within a year.

    So that you may begin to sell in volume during the season following your start, it is advisable to begin with as many breeders as you can conveniently handle. The development of your project will seem slow for the first two or three months, but don't be impatient. Soon thereafter it will begin to pyramid rapidly. Don't begin selling too soon, because you won't want to sell too many of your breeders at this stage, but after six to nine months your pits should be well-stocked and you will be able within a short time to realize many times your initial investment.

    You may, if you choose, adopt two stages in getting your earthworm project underway. The first is the "propagation box" stage in which you plant your initial stock of breeders in small boxes, such as ammunition boxes, canned fruit crates or vegetable lug boxes for easy handling, each box capable of supporting some 500 breeders.

    The second stage, which may begin any time from three to six months later, (or whenever the propagation set-up becomes unwieldy) involves the transfer of breeders, young worms and capsules to indoor or outdoor culture beds, each large enough to support 50,000 or more mature breeders or bait-size worms.

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