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Mealworms died...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WiseOwl5, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. WiseOwl5

    WiseOwl5 Out Of The Brooder

    I was reading some posts on here some time ago about farming mealworms for chickens. I finally decided to try it. We went to our local feed store (that has mealworms) and he said he made a mistake in how he was raising the mealworms and said he could only offer 50 mealworms. He did give me some pupae which was nice. Anyway, when we got home I put some microwaved (to kill mites) oatmeal in two containers, separated the pupae and the mealworms, and put some potato in there. They were squirming for a while and after a few hours they started just laying there. Are they dead? Some of them are still moving and one of them turned into a pupa an hour ago (gross) but I think the rest of them are dead. What could have happened?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Sorry for the late reply. I found with my worms that they are often to not very active, except when I put fresh feed in. They also tend to go very still just before turning into pupae, which I suspect may be the case with your batch.
     
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi. [​IMG]

    Your post must have went by fast when you first did it. Sometimes it's hard for people to catch, once it leaves the front page.

    Yes, they may be pupating causing the stillness. Have any more turned since you last posted?

    A great place to get meal worm questions answered and has good activity is this thread.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/492636/mealworm-farming/8640
     
  4. acefaser

    acefaser Out Of The Brooder

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    Make sure you keep them above 20 degrees C or 70 degrees F. They really slow down in lower temps.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, temperature has a lot to do with how active meal worms are. Not only are they much more mobile at temps around 80-85F but their life cycles also speed up.

    I've forgotten my carton of meal worms and left it in the run on a cold night in the 30s. In the morning, the worms appear all but dead. Not moving at all. After taking them back into the warm house, they come back to life.

    Freezing temperatures will kill them. You do not want to subject your worms to temps below 45 for very long. And do not forget to always add a bit of raw veggie to any container you keep them in. Being without a water source for too long will also kill them.
     

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