raising mealworms instead of purchasing


9 Years
May 1, 2010
After paying six bucks for 50 meal worms and 50 wax worms, I typed in meal worms in the BYC site and up came two easy-to-follow plans. Piece of cake. We don't seem to have grubs or creeping things, so this will be great to have a supply on hand, especially for winter diversions inside the coop. I am amused by the guide which suggests labeling the container in the refrigerator so avoid "domestic horrors", ha ha. Anyone raise meal worms? We don't have earth worms in the garden either, but I haven't room to start a worm farm which is also easy to do. What about wax worms? Do chickens like them? Okay for chickens? Easy to raise? Mix with meal worms in bin?
I used to raise mealworms each year for second grade science. They're super easy to care for and not really gross to deal with. We raised them in oatmeal and provided pieces of carrot or potato for moisture. As long as some of them get all the way to beetle stage they'll keep the cycle going.
One thought on the earthworms is that they shouldn't be fed the worms regularly. I have found out that chickens can get 'gapeworm' from earthworms. I know you can't stop them from eating them when they are free ranging but I don't feed them to my girls at all now. My chickens didn't have gapeworm just asked at my family owned livestock supply.

I started raising mealworms last summer for the purpose of giving to my chickens as treats esp in the winter when there is no green grass and it is a good source of protein. I decided after a year of raising them that I won't put the newspaper on the top of them and keep the lid on the totes or bins that I have them in. I bought 5000 of them from online and it was hot so I did lose some. I found it to be a pain to have to worry about seperating the worms from the pupae and then the beetle stage. I have gone through several cycles and have tons of worms, pupa and beetles that live in the same tubs now. In the beginning I wanted to make sure my colony was established and separated the worms from the pupa and then the beetles from the pupae. Well with all that I have to take care of I just don't have the extra time and it takes lots of time to sift through the worms, pupae, and beetles.

I have 3 tubs now with the subtrate and the potatoes (for moisture) with the what as I use for their food subtrate. I use crumble chicken food, and most anything that has good nutritional value for the chickens. raw oatmeal, grits, I even crush up my eggs shells and grind them in the food processor for calcuim, condensed milk powder, even ground up shreded wheat cereal. I read as much as I could on this before doing it and look at ingredients to see what is healthy and what it not for the worms, because in time the chickens will also be eating what they eat.

PM me or post a reply if you need more info. It was a little time consuming but it now is very easy to take care of them. Oh and I don't put any of mine in the refrigerator at any time.
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