1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

How to grow your own mealworms instructions

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by stilwellchick, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. stilwellchick

    stilwellchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    290
    6
    141
    Jun 16, 2007
    Stilwell, KS
    Very cheap and lots of nutition for your chicks and chickens.

    Raising Your Own Mealworms
    1. Find a clear plastic container with approximately six-inch high sides. It may be the size of one to three square feet. For ventilation, drill about forty 1/4 inch holes in the lid. If condensation occurs, drill even more holes, or cover the container with a screen.
    2. Put about three inches of one part chick starter (or laying mash) and one part wheat bran (optional) in the container. Mix well and level it. This is food for your newly hatched mealworms.
    3. Cut an apple in half. Turn the round side down and push it down into the feed until flush with the feed and bran mixture. This is to give them moisture. If the skin of the apple is removed, the moisture in it will get into your feed and will spoil it. For this reason, do not peel your apples. Check your cultures every week to make sure they aren't out of apples.
    4. Add thirty to forty mealworms per square foot of container. Get them from your friends, or you can find them in a farmer's feed building, usually under his feed bags. They can also be bought. Add four layers of unprinted paper such as the regular brown grocery bags. Put paper on top of the feed mixture, apple halves, and mealworms. Mealworms love to hide between the layers of paper. I record the date I start each culture on the top layer of paper.
    5. Store such a started culture at room temperature, or warmer. These mealworms will each turn into a pupa, then the pupa will turn into a beetle. These beetles will mate, then lay their eggs between the paper and feed. After this, the beetles die. This is their complete life cycle. Soon, you'll see many tiny mealworms when you run your fingers through the top of the feed. They will produce up to 3,000 worms per square foot of container. This complete cycle will take only two to three months, if your culture is stored at, or slightly above, room temperature. Temperature plays a big role in the length of the beetle's life cycle. I start a new culture every month. This strategy keeps me in plenty of worms.
    6. Replace the apples whenever they are completely eaten or half spoiled. After the young mealworms are seen, keep two halves, rather than only one half apple, per square foot of container. Keeping plenty of moisture (apples) available keeps the worms growing faster. Potatoes also work, but apples work better because they supply more moisture for the worms.
    7. Put fully grown worms into another well-vented container with only some feed and a bit of apple. Store these in a cool place, or even in the refrigerator. This delays them from turning into pupae for up to six months. Set container out to room temperature for one day every week to allow the worms to feed.
     
    5 people like this.
  2. AussieSharon

    AussieSharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2007
    Virginia
    wow great info, will have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. Crazy4Chicks

    Crazy4Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2007
    Glendale, AZ
    ewwww worms - but that is great info if I can handle having that many little worms around I will give it a try

    thanks
    julie
     
  4. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    11,973
    12
    313
    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    Very cool - thank you!!!

    What is considered "room temp"? I have meal worms in the kitchen (LOVELY) in a plastic bug catcher thingie.... they're all just laying around, not moving much at all - I'm thinking perhaps its too COLD in our house?
     
  5. stilwellchick

    stilwellchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    290
    6
    141
    Jun 16, 2007
    Stilwell, KS
    I keep my house at 64 in the day and 60 at night. Try to give your container a little shake and see if that wakes them up. They will only die if they are kept below 40 degrees.
     
  6. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    846
    3
    161
    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    What is the difference between a meal worm and a moggot?
    I fish a lot and always have maggots left over. Could I feed maggots to chickens? John
     
  7. stilwellchick

    stilwellchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    290
    6
    141
    Jun 16, 2007
    Stilwell, KS
    Yes you can feed maggots to chickens. Maggots are baby flies. Some old-timers put road kill in a container with holes in the bottom and hang it up where the chickens can't get it. Flies make maggots and the maggots fall from the holes in the container to the ground and the chickens eat them. Cycle of life or reclycled food for the chickens! I think you would have to do this pretty far from your home because of the smell. Don't keep maggots too long, they become flies very quickly. I guess the old saying, "waste not, want not".
     
  8. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    846
    3
    161
    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    I put my left over maggots in the frig in the garage. When I go fishing I forget them and buy more. The ones in the frig turn brown and get hard. Now I will feed them to the chickens and make them happy. John
     
  9. LisaJean

    LisaJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I'm going to go with "want not", Regis. Final answer.

    If I start hanging up dead animals my neighbors will probably think I'm a devil worshipper. They already know I'm not a Christian. LOL!
     
    3 people like this.
  10. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    11,973
    12
    313
    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by