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Title: Effect of Various Culture Media on the Growth and Productivity of Earthworms (Eisenia Foetida)
Authors: Ndlovu, Constance
Keywords: Earthworms
waste management
protein food
Issue Date: Jun-2018
Publisher: Lupane State University
Abstract: For over a million years earthworms have been used in waste management and environmental management. They have been used as protein food supplements as well as bait for fisherman. To explore their productivity and growth rate in certain hardwood wastes the earthworm (E. foetida) were cultured. An experiment was done at Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) Ehlekwini Vocational Institute. The main objective of the study was to identify the best earthworm culture media that will enable growth and reproductive capacity in earthworms. The specific objectives of the research study were to determine the effect of different culture media on growth and reproductive capacity of Eisenia foetida cultured in sawdust, pine bark, leaf litter, farmyard manure and coco peat culture media. In the study 300 adult Earthworms were used for the experiment. The earthworms were cultured for 12 weeks. Earthworm were cultured in five media (farmyard manure (Control), sawdust, coco peat, pine bark and leaf litter) and assessed using six replicates per basin. The experiment was laid under controlled conditions under a shade house following completely randomized design (CRD) with five treatments each replicated six times. Data on weight in grams and their numbers were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) in GenStat version 14 at 5% level of significance. Based on the results of this study, farmyard proved to be the best for earthworm culture media and had the highest relative growth rate, number of worms harvested and net reproductive rate of 0%, 14 and 0.12 juveniles/fortnight respectively. The utilization of farmyard manure media is recommended for the culturing of earthworm as it enabled growth and reproductive capacity. It is recommended that the experiments to be further repeated in different conditions where the earthworms are fed and the culture media mixed with different substrates to notice the difference for growth and productivity.
Appears in Collections:Department of Crop and Soil Science

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