raising meal worms

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by jessif, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. jessif

    jessif Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2015
    Good morning everybody
    I am trying to get some help with meal worms.
    We love the idea of raising these guys as food for the chickens because they are great protein and aside from the first batch you buy are almost free to raise...
    Well here is the problem I can't get them to grow!
    I ordered a batch of 1000 from a dealer on Amazon with great reviews. They came in a cotton sack and looked very healthy so I lined a plastic tub with feed and placed a couple of pieces of spinach for water as this was all I had in the fridge the day they came in. The following day a replaced this with carrots. They loved this. After a couple of weeks nothing was happening. they weren't dying but weren't growing either. So I thought they didn't like the feed and added oatmeal oats. I started noticing that some eggs must be hatching because there are new pale, small worms but still nothing as far as getting ready to change. the air in the room stays around 75ish and at first I kept it lower but they were not moving around much so I thought may be it was too cold. Also they have paper that covers them when lights are on in the room but most of the time the room is dark.
    Also I don't think this matters but I am only giving them organic food as I am trying to raise organic chickens

    Anybody got any advice? these guys are over a month and nothing.
     
  2. Allears

    Allears Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I find mine love banana peel and I sprinkle in skimmed milk powder for calcium every now and again....
     
  3. bsgenius22

    bsgenius22 New Egg

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    Jul 19, 2015
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    Are you 100% sure they are mealworms?

    a close relative to mealworms are Superworms, and they don't pupate unless they don't have any food. Mealworms tend to be a pale color throughout their bodies (though a little brown may be seen)

    the freshly pale ones you describe mean that they are growing and shedding their skin.

    Mealworms are the larvae of Darkling beetles, so maybe research a little bit more??

    ~Beth
     
  4. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2015
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    Take a picture of them.
     
  5. brittsn

    brittsn New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2015
    Seems I am raising them accidentally.
    I have a small compost bin about 16" diameter 12" or so deep covered with a meatal lid with a hole in the middle.
    I just went to throw some stuff in there and found that there were thousands of meal worms in there. So many that you can hear them moving. YUCK [​IMG]

    My chickens will love me. [​IMG] I just don't know how to get them out.
     
  6. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2015
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    That's how it goes!!!! I have mine in three separate drawers, babies, adults and beetles .... Well let's just say forgetting them has given me better results than following the " rules " I have bettles inevery drawer and babies all over!!!! Help !!
     
  7. jessif

    jessif Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2015
    Thanks so much bsgenius22. sorry for the delay but I though I would get emails when people responded to my question. My fault. I think maybe you are right.
     
  8. xfireman805

    xfireman805 New Egg

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    May 26, 2015
    I have done a lot of research on the subject of raising meal worms and I have a friend who raises them commercially. Most of the information I found on line talks about a multi bin set up. While I did construct a few of those, I am following the lead of my buddy who harvests millions of meal worms per week. Keep it simple!!!!!

    I started off with 10,000 meal worms. Naturally they were not pupating by the end of the week so I was in a panic. Well, by the end of the second week, I started seeing pupas. By the end of the second week there were more. By the end of the third week there were so many you could not count them. Then the beetles began to appear. First 5 a day, then 30 and then 60 and yesterday I got 150 beetles. I know that number will continue to grow.

    Now what I will do is put about 2,000-4,000 beetles in a large plastic tote, keep them happy with carrots and potatoes and leave them alone for 60 days. At that point I will put the remaining beetles in new bedding and let that old bedding "soak" for 45 days. At that point it should be full of babies.

    At the end of 45 days I will fist out the meal worms and put the leftovers in my garden. Always lets any old bedding "soak" for 45 days so that any left over eggs have a chance to develop.

    I am doing like my successful friend does and converting all of my meal worms in those aluminum disposable serving trays you get at Smart and Final for about a $1 each.

    I do have meal worms for sale if your interested and if you want help on raising them, that is free for the asking.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Loc20chick

    Loc20chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @xfireman805 where are you located and how much do you sell your meal worms? Reason I'm asking is I have toyed with the idea of starting growing them but still not sure if I can handle their look and where I would keep them cause the house is not an option, my garage might get too cold during winter and I don't want it to stink in there. So for now I'm left to see where I can get them in bulk for my chickens.
     
  10. bsgenius22

    bsgenius22 New Egg

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    Jul 19, 2015
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    They go into hibernation if it gets too cold and as long as you don't leave rotting food in the container, they don't smell
     

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