Meal Worms. Urgggghhhh

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by lorrir, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. lorrir

    lorrir Songster

    Jun 19, 2009
    Upstate SC
    Ok, so I have been reading all of the posts on treats for chickens. I'm trying to train some Polish Lace chicks and a couple of peachicks to handfeed from me. What better treat than mealworms. So i read, read, read on mealworms. Everybody is raising them in their garage. I google mealworms and read and read. Sounds easy.

    So I go on ebay and see they cost around 10 bucks. I thinks why pay 10 dollars plus SH when I'm SURE I can get them local. I call my local pet store, they have them in stock, I run right over and buy a small cup. I have my pan and growing medium already to go. I get home, I put them in their pan and they don't move. I nudge them a couple of times and then it hits me. I got them out of a fridge with the blood worms. THEY WERE DEAD WHEN I BOUGHT THEM!

    Gosh, why does life have to be sooooo difficult. Like I couldn't have asked if the pet store sold LIVE mealworms. Ebay here I come.

    Darn chickens, I hope they know how much I like them.
  2. Quillgirl

    Quillgirl Songster

    Aug 2, 2009
    Metro Atlanta
    Try a fishing bait store. That's where I got mine. Remember, when they are cold they don't move, but as they warm up they become more animated...
  3. Metanoia

    Metanoia Chirping

    Aug 4, 2009
    South Australia
    meal worms are a staple food for reptiles and rodents... check your local pet stores or reptile stores. You should be able to buy a container for around $5... at least I can get them here in Australia.

    They go into hibernation when they've been in the fridge and it prevents them from growing and turning into beetles... that is usually the reason they are kept there.
  4. JenEric Farms

    JenEric Farms GOOGLE GENIUS

    Oct 31, 2007
    Are you sure they are dead? It takes several hours for them to "wake up" after being stored in the fridge. I buy mine from pet stores and they have always been live, but dormant at the time of purchase.
  5. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Yea are you sure they are dead? If they've been in the fridge they'll be rather inactive. They are kept cold to slow their metabolism and pretty much stop their growth. Otherwise they'd turn into mealworm beetles while sitting in the petstore. I always try to feed them fast when getting them from the fridge so they don't warm up and start moving on me before I'm done.

    Usually when you get a bad container from the petstore there will be lots of dried up hard brown ones. They dry up quick after they die.
  6. edb

    edb Songster

    I'm in upstate S.C. too. The best thing I've found to feed mine is crickets. I have loads of them in my grass clippings. There are many bait shops that have meal worms and you can buy cricket for about $4-$5/ 100. That should be plenty to start hand feeding. Also try sitting by the feeder as they feed for a few days, they will start associating you with food.
  7. PatS

    PatS Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    The dead ones will be dark brown and hard. If yours are tan and stiff, they're just cold.

    Metanoia is right. The cold slows down their life cycle. The pet store doesn't want them to pupate or turn into beetles, so they keep them in the fridge. We keep them at room temperature. It's fine with me if they pupate and turn into beetles, because the beetles will mate and lay lots of eggs, which means more mealworms.
  8. lorrir

    lorrir Songster

    Jun 19, 2009
    Upstate SC
    Figured out the problem. I left them in my car for a couple of hours after I bought them (95 outside, couldn't imgaine what it would be inside.). I'm gonna try again.
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Mine love bread.
  10. Tweeza

    Tweeza Songster

    Aug 17, 2008
    New England
    Mine love Black Soldier Fly Larvae. I don't have to purchase food for them. They eat the stuff that gets pushed to the back of the frig that you wouldn't feed to anything. They also love coffee grounds.

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