I just wiped out my whole mealworm colony

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by foweler, May 11, 2009.

  1. foweler

    foweler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Chico, CA
    I had been getting excessive moisture in my mealworm tub so yesterday morning I removed a few potato halves, replaced the paper bags with paper towels and put the tub outside in the sun.

    Then I forgot all about it. Last night about 10PM I remembered it and got out of bed and brought it in.

    I just looked inside and everything is dead. My beetles, my pupas, my larvae--- everything!
    I'm guessing I roasted them in the sun. Doh! Poor little guys [​IMG]

    Back to the drawing board as soon as I order up another couple thousand online.


    I had been collecting worms as they grew for a few weeks so I probably still came out ahead of what pet shop prices would have set me back for that many. I'm just bummed because they were probably just ready to start hatching eggs.


    Can I feed the dead to the chickens?
     
  2. toletiquesbysam

    toletiquesbysam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2008
    Nebraska
    I'd give it to them, chances are they'll eat them and if not then dispose of them!
     
  3. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    The chickens will take care of the burial for you. [​IMG]

    How hard are those little buggers to raise? I kinda want to start raising em again, but my first attempt didn't go very well.
     
  4. foweler

    foweler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Chico, CA
    Well my first try ended in tragedy too [​IMG] I don't think I actually raised any, just harvested large worms that were small when they arrived. I believe that I had eggs just about to hatch before I botched the operation.

    Everything seemed to be going great for the first couple of weeks but then I noticed a lot of condensation building up on the walls and the lid. And in the paper bags too.
    I think I had too many potatoes and not enough air holes and the excess moisture was being absorbed by the bran until it couldn't hold anymore.

    I'm going to try carrots (not too many) and a mix of oats and wheat bran this time. And more air holes and no direct sunlight.
     
  5. sillybirds

    sillybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's sad to hear you lost your mealworm colony. [​IMG]

    I started a colony in March with 2000 worms (probably too many). Now I have scads of beetles, and am waiting for the new larvae to show up soon. I suspect I'll be overrun with worms in a couple months.

    I wonder if by any chance you could still have some viable eggs in your mealworm tub? I don't know if the eggs are any more heat resistant that the other forms... If I were you, I might store it for awhile and see if any worms appear.

    Good luck!
     
  6. sillybirds

    sillybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another thing, which you probably already know, is don't put your veggies (I use carrots) directly on the bran/oats, as you'll get mold. I had started out putting the carrots on a piece of paper, but over time, the moisture soaked through and mold developed under the paper above where the carrots had been. Now I'm placing the carrots on pieces of wax paper, which seems to working well so far.
     
  7. digginchicks

    digginchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I lost my mealworm colony also but I'm not sure what really happened I might have just overfed my chickens and lizard [​IMG]
     
  8. digginchicks

    digginchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2009
    Sullivan, Indiana
    I lost my mealworm colony also but I'm not sure what really happened I might have just overfed my chickens and lizard [​IMG]
     
  9. foweler

    foweler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Chico, CA
    I thought about maybe still having some eggs that might hatch but the bran was so clotted and mold was growing so I just scrapped the lot and washed the container.

    Oddly enough, today my wife discovered that somebody had escaped from the tub at some point where it was being stored, under my stepson's bed, and that I had a small colony forming in the carpet under the bed.

    Boy was she mad!

    I was in a hurry to get somewhere so I had to vacuum them up and assure her they were gone.

    What were they eating in the carpet?

    I'm going to order another starter batch soon but I can't keep them inside. My wife won't believe me when I say "don't worry dear, they can't get out of the tub"
     
  10. foweler

    foweler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Chico, CA
    Oh and I'm going to try the waxed paper. Thanks.
     

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