Raising Meal Worms ???

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TheSpiceGirls, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    I started raising meal worms several months ago. I think it took my worms a while to get going because it was cold and I had them in the garage. I also bought small meal worms and it took them a while to grow up into big meal worms and turn into beetles.

    I've had beetles for a good month now and I'm thinking I should be seeing tiny meal worms. But I don't.

    I have not separated out the beetles from the batch. I read a number of posts that said they didn't think they lost too many to cannibalization.

    So what am I doing wrong? Or do I just need to be more patient?

    I'm also surprised at the long cycle these guys have. I'm guessing I should divide my tub in half and start a second batch so I can have a regular supply.

    Could someone who's done this please respond with some advice/guidance?
     
  2. dianehodges

    dianehodges Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is a web site exoticnutrition.com I order my meal worms from them and they have information on raising meal worms I"m just starting to raise them too Hopefully it will be like my chickens and things will just fall into place Good luck

    Lab mix, Red, 2 cats Punkin & Smallest 1 roo Little Richard 3 hens Nene Henny Penny Lady Gaga
     
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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  4. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    It doesn't sound like you're really doing anything wrong and bringing them inside will certainly speed things up. The length of the life cycle is highly influenced by the temperature; you could probably stretch out a single life cycle into a year or more with sufficiently low temperatures. If you've had adults for a month or more, you should start seeing very tiny larvae any day now. I also agree that cannibalism probably isn't your problem. Since most cannibalism is perpetrated by larvae on pupae you wouldn't have many beetles. Just to be sure, are you giving the adults vegetables?
     
  5. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I'm having the same problem as original post. So should I put them in my empty brooder and get the heat lamp on them to speed up production? I do have beetles, pupae, and worms, but not seeing any new babies. I haven't been using vegetables, but have been using apples along with the normal meal. Would veggies be better? Also, I've had them inside my garage, so I can't say they've been real cold, but maybe my problem is temp because the cycle does seem to take longer than I would've thought.
     
  6. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    The brooder light will certainly help; be sure to carefully monitor the temperature at first so that you don't fry them. However, you would have to consider if the cost of the electricity is worth the gain in mealworms. What is the average temperature in your garage? Being in OK, your temps should be pretty good. My colonies crank along best at 100+ degrees, which we're hitting everyday now.

    I would definitely broaden the range of food that you're giving them. Potatoes and carrots are a good start. Keep in mind that the broader the diet, the better the mealworms will be for feeding to chickens too.
     
  7. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for making this post. I am in the same situation. Plenty of Black beetles, no eggs or babies. I'll just wait.
     
  8. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    Another thought just occurred to me. For those of you with lots of beetles and no larvae (anybody with beetles for that matter), you can help the process by promoting interactions between the beetles. I lay out opened cardboard style egg cartons upside down on top of the substrate. Instead of spending most of the day sleeping under the substrate, you'll find them socializing on the bottom side of the cartons. I have no data to support the notion that it helps, but when I see them interacting like that in the middle of the day, I have to think it does.
     
  9. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Yes on the veggies. I mix it up. I'll put in slices of potato. A few days later when those dry out, I'll do a slices of a hard green apple. I know they are suppose to really like carrot but those seem to dry up the fastest so I only do carrot occasionally.

    I suppose temperature is a factor. It's been really cool so far this year in CA. It warms up during the day but the nights are chilly.
    I originally had the farm in the house when I started it months ago, but my DH said that all animals had to go outside. [​IMG] Guess I have a little more country in me then he does.
     
  10. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Wow, they like 100 degrees. I missed that when doing my research. I think the cool spring we've had in CA and the fact that they are out in the garage is slowing down production. And since they like the dark, I think I'll try bringing them back in the house to a warm dark corner. Maybe my DH wont' notice them. He objected to them being on the kitchen counter. [​IMG]
     

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