Earthworms, Mealworms, Black Soldier Fly Larvae, Crickets...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tulie13, May 9, 2009.

  1. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OH MY!!! So many possible bugs to raise for chicken food! Anyone have any feedback/comments on the most efficient/easiest choice? The Black Fly Larvae seem intriguing, but I'm not sure how to build them a house where they "self harvest" like in that Biopod thingie...[​IMG]

    I have a bin with redworms in it, and another smaller one with some earthworms, but the black fly larvae and the mealworms sound like they would be easier/drier. We live in the south, so we could keep a bin in our garage and it would stay above 70 degrees all summer, no problem. In the winter we'd have to bring it inside or let the bugs go dormant - it would probably not even get to freezing in the garage, even in the dead of winter around here!

    Opinions please - what's the best "bug" for me to raise to feed my chickens? And can you give me some hints on how to raise them, or a link to instructions? I read the post about raising Mealworms, and I found something online about Crickets, but the Black Soldier Fly Larvae sound good... [​IMG]
     
  2. vermontgal

    vermontgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mealworms don't have as much potential of escaping all over the place like crickets. The mealworm beetles don't even try to climb up the side of the plastic shoebox I have them in.
     
  3. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

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  4. geedub

    geedub Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tulie13, I don't know much about worms and mealworms, but I have some experience raising black soldier fly grubs. You can raise them without much more than a bucket, especially since you're in the south. I want to come up with a simple cheap DIY black soldier fly unit design and if I do I'll share it with you.

    Btw, 70º is a bit cool for BSF. They don't start getting very active until it get's into the upper 70's and they're do the best in the 80's and 90's, you just can't let the temp inside the colony get over 100º or so.
     
  5. espressola

    espressola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am raising mealworms now and it's a snap. I do buy crickets every few weeks from the pet store and might try raising them in the future, but they are more likely to escape and they do smell after a bit. My mealworms (well, the oldest ones) have been turning to beetles in the past few weeks and none have gotten close to escaping. I'm curious to see how many mealworm babies hatch from the eggs the beetles lay and mature into edible adults..

    Patty N. ; -)
     
  6. HenPen

    HenPen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I need to follow this thread,this is something I have been wanting to look into..
     
  7. sillybirds

    sillybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started a mealworm colony two months ago. Almost all the "worms" have progressed through the pupa phase and are now beetles. I'm patiently waiting for the eggs that the beetles have presumably laid to hatch and grow into visible "worms".
     
  8. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    LOT of danger from feeding EARTHWORMS.
     
  9. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

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    When I find an earthworm I always throw it to the chickens. What is the danger of feeding the earthworms?
     
  10. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    Earthworms are host for Parasitic worms.

    1. Capillary
    2. Gapeworm
    3.Tapeworm


    One good reason to worm your birds, as we know they will eat a few earthworms, But no reason to help them get parasites.
     

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