Mealworm farming

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by hannakat, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. giggleboxfarm

    giggleboxfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 6 yr old son is creeped out by them. lol. as long as they don't wiggle he's ok. Everybody else has been digging through them with me and picking out the pupae. They love getting some to feed to the chicks. They sure tickle your hand.
     
  2. TedJan92_in_Idaho

    TedJan92_in_Idaho Chillin' With My Peeps

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    During my move I lost all my mealies. Last week I fixed up a tote and put 1000 of them in my incubator room. It stays about 80 degrees in it. Almost all have turned to pupae. How long before I get beetles?
     
  3. hannakat

    hannakat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It depends on the temp. At 80 degrees I would think only a couple weeks. Let us know when the pupae morph. It'll be interesting to know how long it realy takes at that temp.

    Life cycle stages... this is relative to conditions such as temperature, food source, etc:
    Egg Incubation: 4-19 days (usually 4-7). Another source says 20-40 days
    Larva: 10 weeks. Visible after about a week
    Pupa: 6-18 (18-24?) days
    Beetle and Egg Laying: 8-12 weeks (followed by death). Egg laying starts 4-19 days (average 12) after emergence
     
  4. BeccaSmith

    BeccaSmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great information! I'm currently waiting for my pupa to hatch as well, I have a ton of them and collect them daily out of the bin with the larva. I have been collecting for at least a week if not longer so I was wondering how long it would take as well. My temps are much cooler, in the mid to low 70's during the day and the nights get to the low 60's.
     
  5. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm also on beetle watch now... first pupa on christmas day, still mostly mealies in there but lots of them are lounging around on the top of the meal looking like they had too much christmas dinner - fat and lethargic - so I'm hoping that means they're getting ready to pupate (is that a word?) soon.
    so I should have beetles somewhere between new years day and Jan 10th...

    my bin is varying in temp, between 74 and 80 degrees, with occasional lows at 69 or 70. I know the variation might not be ideal, but that's what it seems to be doing at the moment (got a plastic drawer with a reptile mat underneath, I keep the house cold, between 60 and 68 usually).

    watching for more pupal shift, and beetling soon!
     
  6. vclark321

    vclark321 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have my 500 meal world set up and I am waiting for pupae. I feel as if I am running a halfway house for meal worms. I am ready to move to the next stage. I have a couple of questions though. First, after the beetles die off can the chickens eat them? Also along those same lines can the chickens eat the deformed beatles they say to discard? Thanks for looking.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  7. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

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    I am hoping for more pupae, too. I have worms and I have beetles but I am missing a lot of the pupae stage since we are in between on so many. I like pupae. They look so alien! And I like to pick them up and they twist around and around. [​IMG]

    I have a couple of questions though. First, after the beetles die off can the chickens eat them? Also along those same lines can the chickens eat the deformed beatles they say to discard?

    Yes, the chickens can eat the beetle, deformed or not. Mine do not care for them though but maybe it is just my beetles or my chickens. [​IMG]

    Observation......
    I have noticed that my bins only have an odor when the beetles have died and I have left them in there to rot. Any other time I do not notice an odor. I am much too busy to pick out all the dead beetles though so I deal with the foul smell.​
     
  8. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

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    My chickens like the beetles, but they have only gotten the dead ones so far b/c I am still growing the colonies. I seldom pick mine out either, way to tedious and time consuming!
     
  9. mstrrlm

    mstrrlm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What do people use as a sifter? To break up mealworms into different sizes. Custom made, or bought solution and if you make it yourself could you please provide material list and pics would be great

    Thanks
     
  10. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

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    I have a photo of what I use on my website.
    It is from a microwave dinner that comes with strainer and it seems to be the perfect size for the wheat bran to go through but the big worms not to be able to get through.
    However, as I harvest for sales now I just keep newspaper over the bran and a few times a day I move the newspaper and pick up the big worms and put into another container that has only a small amount of substrate. That way all the big ones are always being harvested for sales. They are ready in a smaller, easily accessible container.
    And when I want to feed some then there they are, ready to be scooped up and fed. Another win win. Gosh, gotta love the wormies! [​IMG]
     

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