mealworms

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by lenjac, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. lenjac

    lenjac Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2012
    Hi,
    I have tried the box screen method of housing the beetles and letting the bran and eggs fall thru, in order to get a consistently sized worm (by after a period of time, moving the screen to a fresh container).
    Four containers failed to produce worms.
    Would anyone know where the beetles lay their eggs, as if it is on the piece of carrot I give the beetles for water, then maybe the beetles are eating the eggs, before they fall thru?
    I've read a lot of sites and everyone says something different e.g. they lay on paper towels, on water source, bran etc.
    Last question is how often would the screen be moved? I realize without heating it would vary from season to season. (I live in Brisbane au)
    I think the pros would probably use this technique, so am wondering what I'm doing wrong.
    Thanks for any insights
    Jacqui
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop
    I breed mealworms and it's much easier with a drawer system. Here's my setup:

    [​IMG]

    It's just one of those cheap three drawer storage bins you can buy at walmart. The middle drawer is for my worms. When they pupate, I take the pupae and put them in the top drawer, where they turn into beetles. I use cornmeal as my substrate, because it goes through those little sifters you can buy much easier than bran does. After a week or so of the beetles being in the top drawer, I sift out the old substrate into the bottom drawer. Because they lay their eggs in the cornmeal, the eggs go with the cornmeal and the new mealworms hatch in the bottom drawer. When they get big enough, I toss them into the middle drawer, and voila! Easy to clean, I'm not losing any eggs, I still have them sorted by size, and the worms are very happy:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. lenjac

    lenjac Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2012
    Thanks, Pyxis., for going to the bother of posting pics!
    I've grown into "just a few trays" and making more of a hobby of it.
    Jacqui
     
  4. charlie476476

    charlie476476 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2013
    We move our beetles once a week to new containers. Even then they are not all going to be uniform. Just like with humans we all grow different. The biggest thing to getting them to grow uniform aside from age is not overcrowding them with to many per container. However depending on how many beetles you have if this would be logic or not. The longer you keep beetles in the same container they will keep laying eggs. However think about when those eggs start to hatch all those hungry babies mealworms will munch on some of those newly layed eggs decreasing production

    They will lay their eggs on the bottom of the container or in the wheat bran. Rarely see any eggs on the potatoes if there is its just 1-2 eggs.
     
  5. lenjac

    lenjac Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2012
    thanks Charlie, I've gained a couple of interesting facts from your post with regard to timing and where the eggs are laid and I meant to thank Pxyis re the substrate tip.
    How can you find/see the eggs? Have been doing this now for a couple of years and only found a few of them once on a paper towel. Jacqui
     
  6. charlie476476

    charlie476476 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2013
    how many beetles do you have breeding?
     
  7. lenjac

    lenjac Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2012
    Probably thousands, in various stages of development
    Some trays are experimental such as worms turning brown, to see how many survive.
    Very large worms interbreeding to see if I can create a larger worm.
    A "still" worm tray, to learn how to tell if they are pupating or molting.
    Sounds like an obsession, I guess
     
  8. charlie476476

    charlie476476 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2013
    I mealworm about to become pupa are dull in color. Very easy to tell I'll take some pics when I get a chance
     

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