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Questions on mealworm farm

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by seann, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. seann

    seann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2013
    Hi,

    I've been thinking of starting my own mealworm farm so I can feed my chickens treats they love. However, some questions:

    I have an upcoming 2-wk vacation
    1) Can I set it up now or after my upcoming 2-wk vacation? (will they survive 2-wk without aid?)


    I read/watched videos where they set it up with 3-drawer storage container. Top drawer = beetle, middle = egg, bottom = worm and pupa.
    Bettle lays eggs, eggs drop from top to middle (through mesh/screen). Move pupa to top and move worm from middle to bottom.
    2) How do you separate pupa from worm to be moved? manual with hand one by one? Same question for worm from middle to bottom drawer


    3) The worm frass. How do you separate them?


    4) Does the middle drawer need any bedding/food and carrot/potato?


    I'll have more questions later.
    Thanks!
     
  2. BugGuy

    BugGuy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2014
    You only need one tub filled with oatmeal and a few cut potatoe slices. The entire colony will do just fine as long as you change the oatmeal and potatoe slices one in a while. The insects don't need any water other than the potatoe slices or whatever juicy fruit or vegetable you decide to use. I have a PhD in Entomology and can help you out if you have any more questions. I'm new to the site, but if you send me a private message, I'm sure I can figure out how to respond.

    Bug Guy
     
  3. seann

    seann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2013
    Thanks, I read that they cannibalize unless there's plenty of food like you mentioned.
    So if I don't tend to them for 2 weeks, will they die?
     
  4. BugGuy

    BugGuy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2014
    They shouldn't. The oatmeal and potato slices provide everything they need from egg hatch to adulthood. People often mistake the shed skins (exoskeletons) of the developing larvae for cannibalization. You may see some egg mortality if you don't transfer or use the larvae fast enough as the larvae can eat the eggs that are laid on the oatmeal. These beetles are extemely hardy and need very little care.
     
  5. sueblack

    sueblack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Saegertown, PA
    I find that carrots do not mold as quickly as potatoes. If you add , say 1/4 potato or 1/2 carrot and they eat it in a day, then try giving them a little more the next time.

    If I was going on vacation, I personally would use carrot. The will be fine. I had a shipment of 2,000 mealworms returned to me last summer after a month in transit (buyer didnt leave a forwarding address). They were hungry, thirsty, shriveled up little things, but still alive. They devoured several carrots over the next week til they were rehydrated.
     

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