Cutting up worms

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dawn

Guest
Hi,
I read the caudata article about how to feed a large worm to small newt. Still,I have such a hard time cutting up worms. It is so gross. I tried with a razor blade and then lately I've been using an extremely sharp scissor. But I can't get myself to cut them as small as I'd really like to have them. The worms might not be squealing, but I am. And they bleed! Red blood! Has someone invented a worm chopper I can get, where you just put the worm in a box, close the box, open it, and it's all chopped up?
But really, does anyone have some tips to make it easier and faster?
 
J

jennifer

Guest
I have heard of stuffing the worm into a small container (like the plastic containers that 35mm camera film comes in) and using a kitchen scissors to quickly cut the worm into many pieces of various sizes.

I use the razor blade method, but try to minimize pain for the worm by doing the chopping quickly - the first cut chops the worm into 3-4 pieces. The worm goes from one piece into many pieces in just a couple of seconds. Once you have a smallish piece, it's not any worse to cut that piece into smaller and smaller pieces, down to the size the specific newts need.
 
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dawn

Guest
Oh! that gives me a wonderful idea!Those things that they use to slice tomatoes and cooked eggs. They make a lot of slices all at once. That almost IS like a magic worm cutting box. If they're sharp enough. I'm going to see about getting these slicers today. When I go to the store, I wonder if I should ask "Where do you keep your magic worm slicing devices?" or if I should be boring and just ask for their tomato slicers?
But if anyone has any more hints, I'd like to hear them!
 
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joseph

Guest
The blades will have to be really sharp. I know people have tried vegetable cutters for stuff like celery and those fail miserably. I bought a pizza cutter, but the blade also wasn't very sharp so it did poorly(if you can find a really sharp pizzacutter it would be perfect). Perhaps bring along a nightcrawler and ask if you can try it...
happy.gif


(Message edited by fishkeeper on December 28, 2006)
 
M

mark

Guest
I favour a sharp pair of scissors although I usually have a supply of very small worms so rarely need to chop the worm into tiny pieces.

If it’s any consolation studies have shown that worms do not feel pain (as we know it) when being chopped up. They show a reflex which looks like pain but they do not have the brain size to read pain signals.

I like to think it’s true….
 
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dawn

Guest
It's not the worm's pain I'm so much worried about...heh heh heh...You think being a nurse and having witnessed some of the grossest things imaginable that I could handle it.
Anyway, I tried the "Egg Slicer" as it is officially called. I got the Martha Stewart heavy duty version, thinking the more I spent on it the better it would be. Well, I think it was sharp enough, but the thing is that the worm is so pliant that when the slicers reached the bottom of the device, which also was slotted, the worm just squooshed around it, in a sort of curved zigzag (if you can picture it). If the worm wasn't so flexible it would have worked. Well, there's $7.02 down the drain that I could have spent on crack.
Up until last week it was still so warm here in the northeast (it's been unusually warm) that I could find worms in the garden, small enough that I didn't have to cut them either, or at most just in half. But the nightcrawlers are so big!

For now it's the sharp scissors. But I'm still soliciting ideas...
 
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jazz

Guest
Yuck. I don't particularly LIKE chopping my worms up, but someone has to do it. and it sounds a lot less freakish than sticking the thing in a multiple-blade slicer-dicer. HAHA. I'm really tired. It was worth a shot guys.
 
P

pin-pin

Guest
Hi Dawn,

If it is the blood (and various mucous emissions) which is grossing you out, I tend to chop the worms now on a paper towel. The towel will absorb the blood and mucous. The absorption of the mucous actually prevents the worm from wiggling around.

If your newts are small enough that you have to slice the worm lengthwise, you could try varying the diet with frozen bloodworms, blackworms, etc. to minimize the amount of chopping you have to do per week.
happy.gif


That's good to know, Mark, the worms are not in "pain."
 
D

dawn

Guest
OK, now I have tried all the suggestions. The best idea was Jennifer's, putting a worm in a film canister and cutting quickly. I got smaller pieces than I have ever managed before and it was quick and easy. The second best one is Pin-pin's paper towel. It really does absorb the grossness pretty well. Thank you both for your suggestions.

So I don't cook, and now I have this dumb egg slicer. If this egg slicer were washed and disinfected, I wonder how many of us would or would not go ahead and use it for food in the future? Then I thought, I'm going to put this question at the end of my worm post and see if anyone answers.
 
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joseph

Guest
ROFL! Just wash it real well and pass it to some relative.
hat.gif
What you don't know about can't hurt you.

I'll have to try the film canister idea. Currently I just put the worms on a yogurt container lid and use a pocketknife on them. Problem is that the knife is probably better for many other things than cutting worms and that agitated worms will sometimes get away,
 
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dawn

Guest
Someone at work suggested I just return it to KMart! and just say 'it didn't work as well as I'd hoped' (Everyone at work listens, by choice, to every detail I have to tell them about my zoo).
 
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gord

Guest
Judging by the tone of this thread... you probably wouldn't like my fingernail method!

GE
 
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jonathan

Guest
I have a single knife which I know to be the "worm knife." My housemates however, have no idea what the knife does in its spare time. I wash it thoroughly, but it's still hard to hide the grin when I see them use it.
 
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dawn

Guest
That's pretty cold, though I did decide to give that egg slicer a good wash and just put it in my drawer. If I ever do decide to use it, by then I'll probably have forgotten why I had even purchased it.
 

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I've been trying to think of better options as well, but for now I use sharp scissors and a tweasers with really pointy ends to hold the worm with- it helps me cut smaller peices :sick:
 

bellabelloo

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Having now taken the plunge due to a lost delivery of axolittle grub I have now dished them up sliced worm..it was horrible to do! ( and I am an ex farm girl!) . But now I am plunged into further guilt having read this post.
I sharpened my very best and most expensive kitchen knife , I toodled out and selected my victim and sliced it up in 1/4 cm pieces on my small chopping board and fed the littles. I washed the board and knife as I usually wash up and then proceeded to carry on preparing human food...well the knife and board were still out from washing........Now off to bleach knife and board and hope I've not poisened the human members of the family
 

Jennewt

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Bell, This thread might make you feel better:
http://www.caudata.org/forum/showthread.php?t=39058

Large gray earthworms are non-toxic, so I wouldn't worry about it. I use a plastic yogurt lid as my cutting board (as shown in the article), so I don't have to use kitchenware.
 
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