Mealworms? Bugs?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Inkheart, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. Inkheart

    Inkheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    Hello - does anyone raise mealworms for their chickens? I couldnt find a thread - but worried about them not gettign their "bug quota" over the winter months . Any suggestions would help - how difficult - smelly? Gross? LOL
    Thanks!
     
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Mine dont stink. But, I do mine a little differently than any one here. I have a small tub of breeder worms, I let them stay in the tub for 10 days and then remove the beetles to another tub of fresh food.
     
  3. animalover

    animalover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2010
    Harrisburg, PA
    Lots of us raise mealworms, and even feeder roaches. Use the Search function (in the blue bar above) and you will find the threads with everything you ever wanted to know.
     
  4. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2010
    Constantia, NY
    Mealworms are very easy to raise. Get a plastic container, cut a large hole, put some screen on either by glue gun or tape (this is for ventilation). Add a couple of inches of wheat bran, flour or corn meal etc. Put in a sliced potato or carrot for moisture and add your mealworms. I also add a small piece of newspaper on top (do not cover the whole container). I sometimes spray water onto the newspaper to give them a little more moisture. They also like to eat the newspaper. Let them go. DO NOT SOAK THE BEDDING.

    Eventually, the mealworms will turn into pupae (small white), then turn into beetles. The beetles will mate, lay lots of eggs, and die. It takes quite awhile to see the baby mealworms. I always use a magnifying glass to see them. This can take a few months. They will shed their skin many times as they grow, and eventually start the process all over again.

    The only thing that really smells is the beetles when they die. I use tweezers to remove them to discard. Sometimes, if I have too many, I feed the beetles to the girls.

    Just keep the mealworms at room temp or a little warmer and they will grow just fine. Once they get big enough, you can put them in a small container with bedding & put them in the fridge. This will make them go dormant so they don't turn into beetles. You have to take them out once a week or so to let them eat.

    Just a Note: This is not necessary, but I've been adding a box of rice baby cereal, wheat germ and dried milk powder to my bedding. I think it helps them grow bigger.
     
  5. Inkheart

    Inkheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    Thank you so much! Gross but thank you ! LOL
     
  6. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2010
    Constantia, NY
    Quote:Really, they are not that gross. lol They're not slimy like other worms. They are dry and the beetles do not fly.
     
  7. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    May 6, 2010
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    My Coop
  8. Inkheart

    Inkheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    Quote:thank you i had actually found it and read it!
    Great coop btw!
     
  9. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2010
    Greenacres, WA
    Question...when adding things like a wedge of potato, carrot, etc, will the food be totally consumed or should it be removed if it starts rotting? I ask about removal because I read somewhere that the beetles would actually lay eggs on the food. I wouldn't want to throw away the future generation! Gallo del Cielo, so it looks like you keep your larvae, pupa, and beetles all in one container rather than separating them out?
     
  10. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    This seems practical on a small scale, for someone who has 6 or fewer chickens...anyone out there doing it on a larger scale? I keep about 20 laying hens and would like a nice low-cost protein supplement for them, especially in times when there are not a lot of bugs out for them to eat while they roam around.
     

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