Mealworm farming

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

  1. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

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    Quote:Now that I have read thus far I am glad to see we agree on this! I am so worried about "throwing the baby out with the bath water!" that we keep everything back for many weeks. Although the containers and bins are starting to take over our house. Not that we mind so much but we are thinking about getting a building where we can stack everything better. I am not worried about the summer as much as keeping them warm enough in the winter and it not cost me (another) fortune. Our power company just had a rate increase. [​IMG]
     
  2. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

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    Quote:If your amount of wheat bran is small enough then freezing over night is fine. I did smaller bags and tried to push them some what flat so they would freeze quicker and I could use them sooner. So far so good for me.
    Just make sure the wheat bran comes to room temp before you dump it in the bin. I didn't think about it and got a few fists shook at me for it! LOL

    So neat that your bigger worms come to the front! You have them trained! [​IMG]
     
  3. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

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    Quote:Glad you have joined us! Love your name, too!

    It is really very simple. I was worried at first but joined in last April and hannakat made it sound very easy so I started it all up and have been amazed at how interesting and fun it is, not to mention that my chickies really adore me and are growing in leaps and bounds because of the added bonus of wormie treats.
     
  4. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

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    Quote:I keep my house cold - 62-64 - I've got the mealies in a plastic drawer a bit bigger and deeper than a shoebox. I'm using a reptile cage heater mat, the kind that sticks on to the bottom of the terrarium. it took about a week to heat my substrait, 3" of oatmeal and wheatbran. I've got a thermometer that lays on top of the wheat bran that shows daily high and low. temperature shifts between 74 and 80 degrees on some days, typically 76-79 on most. I think that amount of variation is probably not ideal, but the wormies are fat and happy, pupa popping up all over.

    the mat is called "heat wave desert" (they come in desert and rainforest). and it covers all but a 3" strip of the bottom of the drawer. disclaimer - it says use only on glass terrariums and my drawer is plastic, however, it seems to work fine and is not damaging the plastic... your mileage may vary.

    Love this info and may use it later. Thank you for sharing!
     
  5. NightsInWhiteSilkies

    NightsInWhiteSilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay Im going to do this!
    I just read Gallo Del Cielo's page and this is way to easy for me not to try and to just pass up on doing it.
    Im pretty squirmish to bugs or worms of any sort and this is gross looking at them but Ill do it for the chicks if it makes em happy!
    Who knows, maybe Ill get over my fear of bugs! lol...
    Im in!

    Thankyou!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  6. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'm new to this also, had to read the first 257 pages to get past the idea of raising bugs <shivvvvvers>
    but it gets easier all the time! they're a good antidote for bug phobia I think.

    there seem to be 1-bin people and 3-bin people... from what I can tell the bugs don't care at all - just the people do! [​IMG]

    I'm going with 1-bin because I'm pretty sure my hubby is going to be a 0-bin kind of guy... and he'll be back in a month or so... [​IMG]
     
  7. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

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    Henryetta
    The one bin / three bin are just two different methods. The one bin method all stages of mealy's stay put through there entire life cycle egg - worm- pupa- beetle, you never move one type to another bin it's very hands off give them food let them grow and harvest them. The multi bin systems you are moving at different life stages to different bins (I can't explain it better b/c I do the one bin method)

    The worm stage does not lay eggs, the beetle stage lay the eggs.

    Yes if you get enough to start w/ you can feed out "some" mealies until your colony gets good and established, but be careful w/ that unless you get a huge number to start, or you are just feeding out a few.

    There are a few of us that are doing the one bin method, but have multiple bins set up as individual colonies (that is what I am doing) I have two colonies now, and am shooting for 4 total, but I never move them around each bin is independant and all stages are in them at all times. I am shooting for harvesting large amounts per day to feed my chickens. I have 20 right now and am going to double or maybe even triple my flock this coming year.
     
  8. NightsInWhiteSilkies

    NightsInWhiteSilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im going to go to the goodwill this morning and get a 10gallon fish tank and stick with the one bin too because Im not going to touch them at all if I can help it! [​IMG]
    I always wanted to go on fear factor but when it came time to eat or even touch the insects I was out of there faster than Forrest Gump! RUN FORREST RUNNNNNNN! [​IMG]
    So its suggested to put the wheat germ into the freezer in case there are moths or unwanted other bugs. Im curious if anyone has just used the wheat germ straight from the store to the tank and if there are moths picked those out? Im not a nervous nelly on moths their like butterflys so that wouldnt bother me to pick them out. lol...


    This is really exciting in a gross kind of way! hahahaha!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  9. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

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    Henryetta
    Quote:The bigger problem w/ unfrozen or nuked substrate isn't the moths, but the mites. They are tiney and infest the bin by the gaaabillions and are hard to get rid of, and yes several have been infested.
     
  10. NightsInWhiteSilkies

    NightsInWhiteSilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh ya?
    Okay then Ill freeze it for a few days first.
    I can also use Rolled oats,wheat flour and chicken feed so Ill start with that then when the wheat bran has been frozen for a few days add that to it too.
    Yes?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012

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