Mealworms As Replacement Protien Source~Help!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Arye210, May 7, 2016.

  1. Arye210

    Arye210 New Egg

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    Okay I'd like to think I've got this chicken thing down pretty well but now I'm looking to get a little more self sustainable.
    I'm looking to create the perfect feed ration.
    A little background info..
    I have 9- one year old laying hens. Currently fed a non gmo kalmbach layer crumble. They get lots of yard time, kitchen scraps, and mealworms that I raise at home.
    I'm getting 14 meat birds in about 2 weeks (7 Cornish rock cross, 7 freedom Rangers) oh and 2 turkeys.

    I'm fortunate enough to work at a working grain mill/elevator. I have pretty much any mixing ingredient you could think of at my disposal. BOSS, locally grown rye, barley, wheat, and oats. Millets, milos, minerals, poultry bases, flax, bran, kelp meal, and of course corn and soy meal...and much more! All in bulk and mixed/ground to my pleasure.
    I also have access to many odd supplements through another job I have(all these ones being free so if it's beneficial to add, I'd love to) including Spirulina powder, chia seed, wheatgrass powder, probiotic powders, liquid salmon oil, beef liver powder, bee propolis powder, turmeric powder, beet root powder, grass fed whey Protien powder.
    Then of course a nearly unlimited supply of mealies.

    I know I have many great ingredients but I'm worried about overdoing it. I can't just combine all together and feed.
    Most recipes I find online are from city chicken keepers with limited access to most grains, and limited price wise because their ingredients have to be special ordered and costly shipping on heavy bags.. I'm not as limited in these ways.

    I feel like I could have maybe a 'base mix' of grains and then add 'X' amount of protein to it for the layers and 'X' amount more protein for the broilers?
    Can anyone help me create the perfect mix?
    No need to be organic or completely non gmo, I just like the idea of eliminating as much of the bad as I can and making a super efficient mix!
    If nothing else, how much mealworms per bird per day to be a complete protein source?
    And how early can I start feeding worms to the meat bird chicks?

    Thank you!!
     
  2. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used the merckvetmanual.com to ensure I had a source of every vitamin, mineral, and nutrient required for chickens in my homemade feed. It's not as complicated as it sounds; for each item listed I just googled the best food sources of it. What I learned? Pumpkin seeds are really, really good for you.
    Keep in mind the numbers they list are the necessary ratios to keep a chicken ALIVE, but not necessarily thrive.
     
  3. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2016
    Oh, and I read somewhere (can't cite the source, sorry) that people who farm mealworms and feed them to their chickens usually feed far too much. Apparently 2 or 3 large mealworms a day are more than enough animal protein.
     
  4. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are some simple and some complex excel spreadsheets available for free out there to experiment on paper to make sure your feed covers the main bases nutritionally. I'm sorry I don't have links for you right now, perhaps someone else will chime in. Or you could just Google for them.
     
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe 2-3 mealworms is enough protein as a snack, but if it were the only source of protein (as what the OP is suggesting to do), I highly doubt a few worms would be enough.
     
  6. Mini Meat

    Mini Meat Chillin' With My Peeps

    I may get flack for this, but sometimes I feel we over think our chickens.[​IMG]

    They are opportunistic feeders by nature, able to utilize many different feed sources. I plan to make my own feed ration once I get a few projects done.
    My plan is to offer a wide variety (grain,seed,vegi,plant,ect.) of different, HIGH QUALITY feed stuffs all fermented together and top dress their rations with a good Vit/min supplement. I will also give meal worms daily to my cooped breeders, but they will be scattered in their litter so they will have to hunt for them. The recipe will change seasonally and as things are or are not available.

    This is over simplifying ... It will not be completely haphazard but, I am just not going to fret too much about it. [​IMG]
     
  7. sunshineacre

    sunshineacre Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2016
    There are so many variables to consider - whether or not a chicken is free-ranging, whether its molt season, age of chicken, etc. Here at Sunshine Acre we feed them through the year as treats - probably 5 per chicken per day but there are times when we have excess inventory and they may get dozens per chicken per day. When molt season starts though our mealworms go from being a fun snack to a dietary necessity.
     
  8. Dorit

    Dorit New Egg

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    Jul 9, 2011
    What stage of meal worm farming do you actually feed your chickens?
     
  9. Arye210

    Arye210 New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2015
    I have scoured the site you provided, and though I found many interesting things, I didn't find the part you're referring to. Link just brought me to the homepage. Maybe I'm missing it
     
  10. Arye210

    Arye210 New Egg

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    I totally agree with the simple is best, but where I work it's about as easy for me to customize my grain as it is to buy it commercially------I don't necessarily need a 100 ingredient mix I just want to eliminate the stuff that is normally considered fillers and junk and have a really efficient feed----for the meat birds mostly. Commercial grains always have "grain byproduct" listed as the first ingredient, I wanted to stay away from that..
     

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