Options on raising feeder insects

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by familychickenman, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. familychickenman

    familychickenman Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 4, 2008
    Are there any insects that can be raised completely or mostly on grass silage and/or grass hay? I am thinking earthworms, would that work.
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Maybe the red wiggler worms - but I am not sure.

    Have you thought about mealworms? Can be raised in a bucket of bran with a carrot or tater thrown in there for moisture. My chickens love the mealworms - we have been raising them for over a year.
  3. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    I'm not sure about raising anything on just dried plants. Maybe worms?

    Like the above post, mealworms are very convinient feeders for chickens. I myself raise feeder roaches (Exotic ones whom cannot climb, fly, bite, make noise, or stink) and although they need a little more involvement, the outcome is much greater. The adults are 2-2.5 inches, and packed with protein. (35-36% VS. 21% for mealworms) Not to mention one adult will probably equal 20+ large mealworms.
  4. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    I used to raise feeder bugs for my reptiles but once they passed away I gave all my bugs away to some kid who had gotten an iguana.

    I used to raise meal worms, crickets, super worms.

    meal worms/superworms were easy nothing to it, I would put them in a large plastic pail fill it with 1/4 of the way with oatmeal and made my own gelled water with OXO packets, and placed in a small round pickle lid, for food I would give them round small iguana fruit and vegie pellets, which a small container would last me for months. the lid of the pail had tiny holes for ventilation and once I needed meal worms I would gently sift through it with my hands and get all the medium worms out, I left the larger ones in there because they were at the stage of turning into beetles. I never changed the litter because meal worms break it down very finely at the bottom and that is where the tiny almost invisible eggs were which would hatch and eat the tiny particles until they got large enough for larger food. I also never removed the bettles, they work on cycles and clean their own bedding, and consume the old shell carcasses. I would also sometimes throw in a few apple slices for extra moisture and lettuce, but after several hours any uneaten fresh food had to be taken out to prevent mold, as this can lead to health issues to what ever animals you are feeding the worms to.

    Crickets are more tricky, I placed mine in a small aquarium tank, with a section of indoor/outdoor carpet that was always kept moist. or a sponge, this would be the breeding grounds where the females would lay their eggs, if the sponge became dry the eggs would die, so the sponge always has to remain moist but not wet. I used a spray bottle with a fine mist and misted once a day, one or two sprays was enough.
    on the other side of the tank, I provided stacked egg cartons, gelled water, again in a lid of some sort and for food, the same pellets and foods I gave the worms. but they also really liked fish flakes, and alfalfa. I provided a black light or blue aquarium light for the crickets because it increased their breeding when they were mature. mind you for some reason I found that the blue light increased their singing a lot more.

    I raised these insects for 4 years, I kept them in a dark and warm environment, otherwise crickets will die and the worms will be sluggish. when I say warm I mean about 70F.

  5. OwensMom

    OwensMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    CO Western Slope
    Familychickenman,You asked about worms. Red Wigglers would be great to raise. They are easy, eat kitchen scraps and shredded news paper and multiply well. You can keep them in a rubbermaid bin with air holes. Use wet shredder newspaper as bedding. Add vege kitchen scraps, coffee grounds and cardboard(moist) for food, They will also process fresh horse manure and it is good for them. They must be kept moist-not wet-because they respiration is through their skin. And if it gets below 50 degrees they need to be kept indoors.
    The end result is worms for chickens and compost for your garden. A great worm raising resource is"Worms Eat My Garbage". Everything that you ever wanted to know about worms!!

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