Mealworms, how much to feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mustangsaguaro, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    San Martin, Ca
    I did searches here for feeding mealworms, but nowhere did I find how much one feeds to their chickens be it on a daily basis or more of a treat (i.e a couple times a week). I have found plenty of sources for them though. So my question is if I have 9 chickens and say I give them mealworms on a daily basis how many could/should each chicken have? Same for only feeding say 3-4x/wk. I don't want to buy a lot and have it go to waste.

    I am aware that one can grow their own, but am not setup for that, maybe come summertime I will be more ready to do that. How long will mealworms keep? And do you keep them in the fridge? Any other input on storing/keeping mealworms and how to keep them alive would be appreciated. I read something that one needs to get bran and put either a carrot or potatoe in the container.

  2. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

    Jan 20, 2008
    I have no clue how many you would feed to chickens, but I do know meal worms will stay alive for months in the fridge. Most fridges, however, are kept too cold for mealworms, so it's safest to store them in the door of the fridge, away from the coldest part. The only reason you'd keep them in the fridge is if you are not interested in them growing and breeding. You do not need to give them carrots or anything if storing them this way, just bran will be fine.
    Mealworms, however, are very easy to raise, and you don't really need to be "set up" for it. I bought a very small tupperware container, filled it with bran, and let my mealworms do their thing. I gave them potatoes, apples, or carrots about once a week for moisture. Mealworms are larvae, so there will be little beetles digging around your bran eventually, and then you can expect the population to explode. Every now and then you'll need to sift out the waste, remove anything that's wet, and add more bran. The container I kept my mealworms in was only about 6" by 8" by 6", and we had over 4,000 living in there.
    A warning, though: If you don't keep on top of things, mealworms can smell awful. It shouldn't be a problem if the bran is kept dry and clean, but we went camping once and returned to the worst smell ever produced by a bug. If you want something that is just as easy to keep for chickens (if not easier), and that doesn't have an awful smell if you forget a cleaning or two, I would recommend the roaches you find at reptile supply sites or shows. I have four varieties I raise. It takes a year to get a good colony going, but after that, you never run out. I toss a handful into a large metal dog dish and let the chickies have at it; they love it!
  3. karri25

    karri25 Songster

    Feb 5, 2007
    I have been thinking about raising mealworms too but I don't think I can. It kind of grosses me out :eek: I guess I am a big wuss, I can do earthworm farms but that's as creepy crawly as I can get. Good luck, I bet your chickens are going to love them!!!!
  4. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I just pick out a few - handfull or whatever - not every day every other day or so...

    Speaking about GROSS....

    I have potato upside down, cut in half on top of the worm bedding. so I was digging around for worms, telling my husband how gross it was - when he suggested "Pick up the potato"


    There were holes in the underside, with worms hanging out - it was NASTY!

  5. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Songster

    Dec 27, 2007
    EEWWW, Wildsky! That would have freaked me out!! I hate looking at mealworms. They remind me of maggots! YUK
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Nevermind that I had to lift it up again cause the kids heard me FREAK out and wanted to SEE [​IMG]

  7. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    I put mine in the root cellar cause keeping them in the fridge is just too gross [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: