mealworm larvae in the run?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by GOTchickens1978, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. GOTchickens1978

    GOTchickens1978 Just Hatched

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    Dec 27, 2016
    With the ridiculous price on mealworms, I am considering getting live ones and breeding them to have a constant supply. My question is my pullets have a 4 ft x 12 ft run where I have grass clippings, leaves, and hay as bedding (deep litter) for warm this winter. I was raking around today, turning it and stuff on the bottom looks like mealworms could live off of. Could I let a bunch of live mealworms go in the run, and that way my chickens can have a jolly time scratching around and finding treats? or is this just a bad idea? My run is totally covered by 1/2 inch hardware cloth, even under the dirt...
     
  2. BigBirdRick

    BigBirdRick Out Of The Brooder

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    I searched this site using "raising mealworms" lots of informative threads out here.I for one will read up on this subject.

    Currently though, I purchase an 11 lb. bag of mealworms from Amazon $59.99 and I am a member of Prime. I just looked, my last order was delivered Dec. 8th, '16, I have enough to last maybe until mid Feb. We generously toss out a few hand fulls daily. I also add a sprinkle mealworms on our girls daily fresh greens and veggies.

    This time of year here in the Southeast, we go through more as the bugs, lizards, toads, snakes are not as abundant.
     
  3. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I find "wild" mealworms under feed bowls sometimes, but always where it is very dry, excess moisture is the death of mealworms, so I doubt they would do much in the run. Unless they are sheltered from the birds, like under a bowl, they will quickly be eaten and none will be left to breed,

    Raising mealworms is trivially easy. It works best indoors because they stop reproducing in temperature extremes. There are many pages about raising mealworms, in this site and all over the internet. I user to do it when I was younger and my time was more free.
     
  4. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    My chickens would have them all eaten before they could reproduce in the run. They are so easy to raise, my mealworms are in a nice warm tub on top my refrigerator. Start-up was about $20 altogether.
     
  5. Leihamarie

    Leihamarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raise mealworms for my girls but I wouldn't recommend having them in the run or coop with them. The darkling beetles (the bettles that mealworms grow up to be) can spread certain diseases you don't want around your chickens to be around. here's a link for you to peruse: http://www.poultryhub.org/productio...environment/pest-management/darkling-beetles/

    Mealworms are SUPER easy to raise, don't smell at all and are really a great source of live bugs in winter. I raise them in a corner of my kitchen and am on my 3rd generation now.

    I have them in a container like this:

    [​IMG]

    I cut the bottom off of the top drawer and hot-glued some screen material to it to allow the eggs to drop through. I spend about 2-3 min a day collecting the pupa out of the bottom drawer and adding beetles that hatch from my pupa container into the top drawer so they can do their thang. :)
     
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