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Give me a 101 class on meal worm "farming"

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bryan99705, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    I bought a couple containers of meal worms as treats for my wife's new chicks. They went nuts [​IMG] over them! I've heard people mention raising them for their birds but I want some info as to what's involved. Thanks

  2. littlenell1

    littlenell1 Chirping

    May 25, 2011
    I started a colony a while back, some good info on youtube. Be aware though that it can be up to a year before you get mealworms big enough to feed to your critters. Mine are only just the size of small ants and I have been "growing" them for almost 7 months!
    It is simple to keep them, all they need is some fruit pieces/wet items for moisture, and some oat flakes. Oh and of course a container!
  3. GeoKan

    GeoKan Cackleberry Curator

    Mar 9, 2011
    Troy, Kansas
    Quote:Hey Bryan, here's a great write-up from a fellow BYCer who raises mealworms. You can find it here. I'm also planning on raising them as well. Good luck.
  4. VelvettFog

    VelvettFog Songster

    Apr 7, 2011
    Yakima, WA
  5. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    Thanks for the leads..... I'll let you know how bad the beating was when the wife finds out what I'm up to now [​IMG]
  6. Hwlchickmama

    Hwlchickmama In the Brooder

    Jun 12, 2011
    On the topic of meal worms n worms.... should I be giving the chicks (just ovear 2weeks) grit w/ them or is that just for veggie kinda foods?!?!?
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Yep. They don't need grit for chick starter or layer crumbles but they do for everything else. I could list a few foods that they wouldn't need grit to eat, but it's a whole lot easier to just let them eat some sand or something than it is to pick and choose which treats to give them.

  8. kilby

    kilby Songster

    I am sort of glad to hear the worms are not expected to be food for maybe a year. I am not sure I even have one worm. I have about one hundred beetles though from the 300 worms I bought. Worms were around for a little while but all turned to pupae so I could start raising them. Pupae were every where for months too. I thought I would feed just pupae but now they are gone anyway. Anyone know if this sounds right? No hint of worms, no pupae, just 100 or more beetles. Wierd!

    3 comet adults, 2 chicks, dogs, cats, lovebirds and a quaker parrot
  9. frostbite

    frostbite Songster

    Sep 27, 2011
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Patience, Kilby. The beetles are spending their time having mad passionate sex and laying eggs. It will take months before the eggs hatch and the resulting "baby worms" grow large enough for you to be able to find them. They're very tiny. I started last fall with leftover mealworms from my daughter's science experiment, they turned into pupae, took them weeks to turn into beetles, and months before I finally found new little larvae.

    The life cycle clearly can take up to a year, and if you raise them at room temperature (68 degrees at my house) it goes slower. They like it warmer than that, but if I keep my house that hot I won't be able to sleep!

    Remember, eggs hatch into mealworms, mealworms take a while to grow bigger, then turn into pupae, the pupae eventually turn into beetles, (but in the process they look dead). Then the beetles have sex and lay eggs and we start over.

    Also remember, the eggs don't always hatch on the same day. Eggs get laid as long as the beetles live, which can be several months, so every day is hatch day, and you won't be able to enjoy it without a dissecting microscope and a lot of patience.

    I have fewer beetles now, my chicks have been playing beetle tag!
  10. kilby

    kilby Songster

    That's great frostbite.
    I am inexperienced true. Also, I would just like to add that I put planks down on met muddy at times backyard. Dogs play and get mucky. I have found every week I can turn them over and my three go nuts after the worms that surface. So one year or one week you pick. I know what my Honey, Red, and Lucy would say.

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