Mealworm farming

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

  1. hannakat

    hannakat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2010
    Beaver County, PA
    To start a farm for that many chickens, 5000 would be minimum and that would also mean letting them all pupate and morph into beetles in order to get an adequate base amount to start feeding.....

    You can certainly start with 1000 but it would take several generations to get to the numbers of mealies needed to treat that many birds.

    A lot of variables Nate.... hopefully someone who is feeding that many will chime in....
  2. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps


    Sorry, couldn't resist. It depend upon how fast you want it to grow and how soon you want to feed and how much you want to feed.

    Mealworm math- 1,000 to start makes 1000 beetles. Hopefully half are female. Each lays 300 eggs.

    So..... 1000 gets 500 females x 300 eggs = 150,000 mealworms which gets 150,000 beetles, 75000 females x 300 eggs = 22,500,000 worms.
  3. mstrrlm

    mstrrlm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2011
    Picayune, MS
    Ok, on the sifter I mean I want to sift out the substrate and skins etc. Then to be able to sift out pupa and beetles to put into different bins. Once I sort them out I can easily maintain picking out pupa and beetles but I will still have to clean out the substrate every so often. I started with 5,000 in September, in 1 drawer and slowly moved some smaller ones to different drawer and then beetles in another but it got away from me when my in-laws passed away recently. So I am wanting to move them to bins and sort out bettles, pupa, and meals in separate bins.
  4. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    What size should I order? I am going to place an order for 5,000-10,000 probably at I was thinking the Medium or the Large. What is the difference? Do they grow differently? How big of a container will i need for this many Mealworms?

  5. Emily1220

    Emily1220 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2011
    I am wondering about what size also. I dont know that I want to mess with the super worms in case they have been given some growth hormones or something.
  6. ipana

    ipana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2010
    What size should I order? I am going to place an order for 5,000-10,000 probably at

    Before you order, why don't you check with WestKnollAmy, a seller on this board? Since we're learning here, why not help those who share so much information? That's just my perspective and a suggestion.​
  7. chickens? not yet

    chickens? not yet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    Kingman, AZ.
    I got my worms from Amy (WestKnollAmy) and I have babies everywhere!! They have done great!! They are growing fast,[​IMG] I'm thinking I need to get another tub because there's so many babies!!
  8. onafixedincome

    onafixedincome Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2009
    Mealie Insanity has struck again, and I'm going to try this. Let's see if I'm making any sense here or if I'm as far off as I think I am! [​IMG]

    First, how many mealies are you going to feed every day? (I have almost 20 chickens, so we'll start there. Banties, although you wouldn't know by their appetites!)

    As a supplement/good hunk of the diet, I would want to feed...oh, let's say 50 medium per day per chicken. That's a thousand mealies a DAY, or 356,000 a year, assuming chicken math doesn't intrude <har de har har>.

    Okay. Starting point found, let's think about how the female beetles lay...they lay about 300 eggs in their lifespan, but with attrition and variation, I'm going to oh-so-conveniently round it down to 200.

    That means that I'd need the full lifetime output of five female beetles each day to feed the monsters...and they take time to grow! what, about a month, the 1000 from Day One are now 30 days and you have 29,000 more coming up for harvest...1,000 each day.

    To keep the beetles producing, you're going to need to replace those females at the rate of five per day, call it 2,000 per year, so you will need to grow out 4,000 beetles each year over the course of the year--just to replace breeders. Sooo...

    A running colony of 10,000 beetles should be giving me 2 million meealies each year total.
    At a thousand mealies fed out each day, that's ...356*1000 = 356,000.

    * head hurts!* This is getting very confusing!

    Soooo....check me here, but once a colony of 10,000 gets going, and if you don't mind freezing surplus *should* be able to produce up to 2 million mealies a year...and if you assume a productive lifespan on the beetles of 3 months, 40-50,000 of those are going to be cycled back into the colony as replacements...

    100 chickens, getting 50 mealies a day each, would be 5,000 mealies a day. 356 x 5000 = 1,780,000 mealies per year.

    So yes, a 10,000 beetle colony could probably keep your 80 supplied nicely if conditions are excellent and barring disasters...

    ...I think! [​IMG]
  9. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2011
  10. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2011


    much sooner than expected! must have had a pupa in there I didn't see!

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