Got my meal worms ready to make my farm--questions

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Jenlyn9483, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Jenlyn9483

    Jenlyn9483 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    Will they crawl out of the bucket or stay in? Do i have to put a lid on em? And whats the best bedding for them? Will th ey live in dirt? I know they will eat quail food and veggies for water. Any tips?
     
  2. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    Bedding usually is wheat bran. They are mealworms -- meaning they need to eat some type of "grain meal" like: wheat bran, oat bran, cornmeal, etc. Wheat bran is usually the cheapest. The "meal" that you choose also serves as their bedding for laying eggs, and to keep them warm.

    Use a straight sided container, which can't be chewed (no cardboard). It needs to be tall enough that 3-5" of bedding won't be at the top rim. And it needs to be wide enough for the size of the colony you want to grow.

    I use a 10 gal. rubbermaid tub, with the lid sitting sideways on top, covering 2/3 of the opening and leaving a nice big gap for fresh air. Air is important, don't seal the top with a lid. To start, fill your container with 3" inches of wheat bran, add the mealworms, add several whole carrots on top, for moisture. Then put a flat piece of cardboard or heavy brown paper over the top of the bedding, leaving at least a 2-3 inch gap all the way around - especially if you live in a high-humidity area. You want to make sure your bran can "breathe" and not get moldy. Replace carrots per week, as they are consumed. As they grow they will shed their skins, and poop brown little bead-like things (frass), which will gradually take up the space that was bran bedding. When it gets low, add more bran so they always have good food and bedding with which to grow.

    For additional nutrition (depending upon their size) I add a small scoop per week of layer pellets, or calf manna, or dry cat food, or a little brewer yeast, or powdered milk, etc.
     
  3. Valley quail breeder

    Valley quail breeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    366
    4
    123
    Jan 13, 2010
    Greensboro, NC
    I use a lid and I attached screen and glued it to the top of the lid so they don't crawl out. And I use Oates and potatoes here's a video that might help you.

     
  4. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

    4,493
    15
    236
    Dec 15, 2009
    Central NY
    I use wheat bran (fill about 3 inches on the bottom of the tub) and throw in some baby carrots. The potatoes get smelly fast. I put in a cardboard tube for them to crawl into/under.

    Here is a pic. I keep a lid on them. The beatles CAN fly, but aren't likely to do so. I've caught a few in my house that escaped when my DS left the lid off. The left side I started with oats...they didn't eat them so I now just use wheat bran.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jenlyn9483

    Jenlyn9483 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    ok how quickly will they start reproducing?
     
  6. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    They mate when they are adults. So, if you've got mealworms (the larvae stage) they have to become pupa, then adult beetles, then mate, and lay eggs. Hatchlings are tiny tiny mealworms. They grow until you can see them, then they still grow until big enough to feed them to your birds.

    Mine grow faster, all stages, with warmth and plenty of wheat bran plus moisture. The colder it is, the slower they grow. Best temp is around 75-80 F.
     
  7. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    I think I am going to join the mealworm grow out. Warmer the better, so that means they get to stay in the house, hum extra bathroom or on top of the dryer in the utility room. Probably a better place for them. Shake those babies out when the dryer runs.

    So does anyone use the 3 tray setup? Top tray with the screen to let the bitty hatches fall through. I think that makes sense, but probably not necessary.
    Need to go to Petco and get some worms and Big Lots to get a dedicated sifter and a tray setup. Actually, I may have one, have to check and see it its in use.

    So next year - later in the year my birdies can snack on worms in their sandbox, once I get the colony built up. Cool. GD can flake some oats for them Saturday. She likes using the grain mill.
     
  8. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    2,199
    26
    189
    Sep 24, 2010
    I just use plain old corn cob bedding in my 5 gallon tank. When they turned into beetles I made the bedding thinner. They can't climb glass at all.
     
  9. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    23,381
    37
    351
    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    They won't climb out if the sides are smooth, if there is anything for them to grip they'd be able to climb.

    The bedding (aka substrate) should be something edible. Some people use wheat bran, I just put some of the chickens feed in it. They eat the 'bedding'.

    You need to put something in there for water, I use quartered potatoes and apple cores.

    Supposedly they can fly, but so far I've not had any escapees without a lid on.
     
  10. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    23,381
    37
    351
    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Quote:Just make sure that they have plenty of air circulation in their box or whatever you keep them in, you don't want it to develop condensation and create mold in the worm beds. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by