Mealworms farming

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SuperLuke, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. 808momof6

    808momof6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2015
    Mt. View, Hawaii
    Aloha Rae, and welcome! I also bought my first (and only purchased) batch of mealworms from Rainbow. They were and are awesomely healthy. I have never bought since! Yes, I think I need more drawers, too. I originally had them in one dark bin. a guy on Pinterest does it like this, and it seemed easy enough. But now I reallize that there is so much more to it. I'm pretty busy being a mommy, a wife, and a real estate assistant (part time), and this sounds like a bit more work than I bargained for. But, I'm willing to stick it out. I think once I get a good system going, It will be easy. Plus, I like the benefit of having meal worms for my hens. They are almost pure protein, so the eggs that my family eats will be awesome! Plus, because we've been getting a phenomenal amount of rain here, the worms will cut down on grain consumption.
     
  2. lovemealworms

    lovemealworms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 2, 2015
    chico, California
    any grain seems to work. I have used bran oatmeal chicken crumble. Just make sure it is unmedicated and no diatomaceous earth. The finer it is the better. So if you can blend grind or otherwise bust the grains down as small as possible. It makes it easier to eat for them and easier to get the worms out later.

    Life cycle is two and a half months up to about six months depending on temperature you keep them at. Your lage mealworms will turn into pupaes they look weird. Seperate them from the worms or the worms will eat most of them. They will stay pupaes any where from 4 days to 3 weeks. They turn into pale beetles the same color as the pupaes. They will darken for a few days until black. Seperate once they turn to beetles. They will eat pupaes as well. The beetles start breeding and laying eggs within about a week. The more beetles the better. The more they mate the more eggs they lay. After 2 weeks or so move all beetles to a new drawer. They will eat the eggs and small larvae if left in too long. The eggs are **** near invisible and so are the tiny mealworms. At two weeks They will be easily found under the moisture stuff you put in. At four weeks they will tend to start hanging around each other a bit under the substrate. And be about a quarter inch. At six weeks closer to a half inch each and you should see a good amount of movement. At eight to ten weeks they go from three quarters of an inch to about an inch. I would say 8 weeks or more to feed to chickens because they will hang out in piles right at the corners of the drawers. Easiest to grab. Otherwise scoop some into a bowl and shake them up and down like a vibration and the mealworms tend to end up on top.
     
  3. lovemealworms

    lovemealworms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 2, 2015
    chico, California
    more questions is better cause it means you want to learn. The screen setup does work, i just don't get as good of numbers out of it because depending on the setup some eggs fall through the screen some don't. So then you have some mealworms eating mostly frass and others are stuck with the beetles. Worms end up in multiple bins at the same size. I tried it alongside the drawer method and my numbers dropped by almost half. With the drawer method my worms have changed half to three quarters of the substrate into frass and i just dump it after i feed off and sell all my larges that i dont keep to turn into beetles. From what i've found it's when the worms start bunching up that they cause heat. I reach in and mix em up once a day and then feed. Also with the humidity issues you have there you should try putting your moisture stuff on a piece of paper bag or a piece of a lid from a margarine container,just the flat part of it. Total upkeep should be like five minutes a day giving vegetables and mixing them up and maybe 20 every two weeks when you move beetles. If there are more questions please ask away.
     
  4. 808momof6

    808momof6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2015
    Mt. View, Hawaii
    Great, that doesn't sound like too much time at all! But I do have one more question, now that you brought it up. How many do I save to grow up into beetles? I do want to keep my population going.
     
  5. lovemealworms

    lovemealworms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 2, 2015
    chico, California
    by the time you get large mealworms you should see how many your beetles are producing. Say you start with 1000 beetles and the numbers you are getting are exactly what you want. You start letting some pupate at each large tub. For a thousand with five tubs each life cycle you let about 220 pupate so you can replace the beetles that may die off. So 220 each two weeks will replace the current population as it dies off. With a 10 percent overcount for any that die while pupaes or are malformed when changing into beetles. Hope this was clear. Sometimes i ramble a bit. Any more questions please send them my way.
     
  6. Granny368W

    Granny368W Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2015
    OMG!! I just got my order from Rainbow Mealworms.... they are in Newspapers, how on earth do I get them out, without dropping worms all over??
     
  7. lovemealworms

    lovemealworms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 2, 2015
    chico, California
    if you have a clean trash bag dump everything into it and reach in and pull open the newspaper slowly and shake it off and pull it out. Then dump the mealworms from the bag into your contaner.
     
  8. 808momof6

    808momof6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2015
    Mt. View, Hawaii
    ok, I think I got it. I am going to take EVERYTHING out and start over, now that I have some clear instruction! I've been just kinda shooting blind until now, but i've been lucky none the less. The only problem is, right now, I only have about 10 beetles. The rest all all worms! So I know I need so save them, and I'm going to search for pupae today. I've seen mostly worms. So I guess I am really starting over with worms again, right? I probably have more than 1000 worms.
     
  9. lovemealworms

    lovemealworms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 2, 2015
    chico, California
    yep stating over sucks. I would wait until you have about 500 beetles befor you start swapping drawers because in the beginning they hardly drop eggs in the first two weeks. That way you save on veggies. I forgot. Yes drilling holes in top edge of drawers is a good way to help with humidity. Keep me updated please and any other questions please send my way.
     
  10. Granny368W

    Granny368W Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2015
    well I did it! I pulled each paper out and put them on a large cookie sheet... I ordered 5000 because it cost so much to ship... I called Rainbow Mealworms and he said next time order the ones in egg cartons...
    Okay, if I have this right, I'm going to wait until I see pupae, then I put them into a drawer by them selves....is that right?
     

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