Farming mealworms in plastics

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChocolateMouse, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/30/us/styrofoam-eating-mealworms-plastic-waste/index.html

    So this is a neat article that might allow us to turn plastic bags into wax worms and Styrofoam into mealworms.

    For the tl;dr in us, mealworms have special gut bacteria that break down the plastics in Styrofoam into biodegradable worm waste product. The worms show no adverse effects from eating Styrofoam compared to those fed typical bran. It also mentions a different study that says waxworms can eat the plastics that go into grocery store bags.

    Has anyone tried anything like this? This could be incredible... Not only for our potential for raising high protein feeds for our birds, but also for cleaning up the planet and keeping trash out of landfills.

    I might want to try this experiment myself. I would like to see how it works out in a non-lab setting, in individual households. How about you?
     
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Overrun With Chickens

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    well it sounds cool. let me know how it goes
     
  3. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My mealworms are eating styrofoam. They tunnel all through it. If this keeps up, I may replace bran with it.
     
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  4. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's nice to hear from someone who has tried it! I keep meaning to, just haven't yet. If it could be a complete bran replacement it'd make mealworm farming MUCH cheaper!
     
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  5. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Super cool. I may just give this a try sometime. Finding a good, inexpensive protein source for chickens is tough sometimes and bugs are a great way to do it, but they're surprisingly expensive to raise for the benefit. (I mean, it beats buying mealworms, but it's still pricier than other protein sources.) It's exciting to see someone doing it!
    I'm sure I'll have access to some cheap styrafoam over the holidays. :p And I have a plastic drawer bin I might be able to use as well!
     
  7. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's a pic of a piece of styrofoam that is being devoured by mealworms/beetles. Hard to see in the picture, but there's not a lot left to it. Has been hollowed out pretty well.

    2018-01-30_152019.jpg
     
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