Meal worms the easy to breed food for your chickens, lizards, and fish.

jenneverett

Chirping
6 Years
Oct 21, 2013
116
16
78
NW ARKANSAS
Hello, I have 6 chicks that are at about 8 weeks old and was looking for ways to feed them on the cheap. I was looking at the forums and found that the chickens and other animals love meal worms live or dead but live is generally preferred. so I then looked into how to "farm them" there are several good videos on the Internet telling you all about the different ways to farm them.
what I did, was to watch a days worth of video showing the 3 drawer system in many different sizes, then multi container set ups, and people that don't separate the beetles from the worms or the pupa from the rest and the baby worms that are probably being eaten by the beetles.
Regardless of the method, everyone agrees breeding them is a snap and the benefit to the eggs is worth it.
My chicks will be of laying age in about 12 to 14 weeks and in that time my starter worm farm should triple in size. I started with 5000 large meal worms at a cost of $34.98 shipped standard mail from Muddy creek supply on Amazon Marketplace. they had the best price per quantity and delivery.
I then thought about how what method I would use to "farm them" . I decided to purchase large under bed storage totes and modify one to have a screen in the bottom as shown in many 3 tier systems. my decision was based on the quantity of worms I felt would be needed to boost the protein of the chickens diet and a low cost way to do it.
when the worms arrived I put them in a tote and covered them with oats, corn meal, bread crumbs and as an after thought I added some whey protein powder I was not using. for moisture I put some lettuce that was on the verge of going bad. I will get carrots and some more food for them in a few days as I will expect to find pupa within the week.
temperature is important for quick growth and development. at about 78 degrees to 85 degrees they will flourish as long as you keep feeding them and placing a carrot or other source of moisture in with them.
when I find pupa I will move them to the beetle bin with the screen on the bottom. then as the beetles emerge from the pupa stage I will lay some small squares of cloth inside for the beetles to lay eggs on. any eggs that get laid in the food will fall through the screen or the baby worms will when they hatch. I will place the cloth in the hatching tray when I see lots of eggs on them and hopefully before any beetles eat some of them.
then when the worms are larger I can remove them to storage containers in the fridge with a small amount to oats, the cold will make them mostly dormant and you just pour some in a dish to warm up before feeding to the chickens.
All in all I plan to let them multiply until the chickens are laying, unless I am just loaded with them and then I will feel ok to feed a few to the chicks daily.
on a side bar I have not read anything about a smell coming from them, in my personal experience all I smell is the oats and corn meal.












the beetle bin with screen in the base.


the baby box with supports for the beetle bin....lol

vents in the lid for air


this one is only one day after giving them the lettuce....all gone!


gave them potatoes this time


after only a few minutes.


I am seeing several hundred shed skins so they are molting and growing fine. :)
 
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jenneverett

Chirping
6 Years
Oct 21, 2013
116
16
78
NW ARKANSAS
at day 4 in my home


they are really breaking down the potatoes



found 8 pupae to be put in the beetle bin

again there is no smell from the worms or the potatoes, all i really smell is the oats and whey protein mix
 
Last edited:

jenneverett

Chirping
6 Years
Oct 21, 2013
116
16
78
NW ARKANSAS










I have separated Pupae as i found them and now i go a few days in between but my goal is to move all the critters over before they become beetles and lay in the current bin, then i can use the old frass to put in the garden.
 
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