Raising Worms

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by valmom, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. valmom

    valmom Songster

    Sep 23, 2007
    Our girls are enjoying the spring worms so much that I was thinking about buying night crawlers and trying to raise them in 5 gallon buckets of dirt for feeding. Anyone know how long it takes ( or even how) night crawlers reproduce?

    Or is it just another crackpot idea for the girls? I don't want to take all the worms out of my garden- which is what SO is in the process of doing to feed to the girls. They really LOVE worms:D
  2. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    I haven't tried worm composting, but I do raise mealworms for my chickens. It's crazy easy. With mealworms everything is dry, and the only source of water they need is a potato, or other kitchen type scrap. Because it is dry, it does not mold, therefore it does not stink. Then, when you want to give your chickens a real treat, you go and pick the worms off the top of the container. Really, really easy and mealworms have more protein than earthworms.

    Just thought I would throw that in there!
  3. Henpecked

    Henpecked In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2008
    Magnolia, TX
    Please please tell me how to do the meal worm thing!

    I tried red worms but it is way too humid here in Southeast Texas so all I grew was a penicillin plant!

    Is there a website?

    How long to get actual meal worms?
  4. catfish

    catfish Songster

    Apr 13, 2008
    Greenbrier, Arkansas
    You want night crawlers I read someplace that you need to raise rabbits Night Crawlers LOVE to eat rabbit dung.

    I know like you need another critter to take care of. [​IMG]
  5. msbliss

    msbliss Songster

    Nov 20, 2007
    There were a couple of these types of posts "how to raise mealworms", but this is the quickest one I can find. to find more, a search here will give you tons of info. I have 2 containers going and they are NOT stinky and easy to raise!! And the chicks LOVE them!

  6. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    Quote:You can look up the other threads about them. They really are crazy easy, I keep mine in the house just so I don't need to worry about temperatures. I plan are started several other bins and putting them in our shed.

    All I did was get mealworms from a friend who raises his own. You can buy them at the store but they are really kinda expensive, the Petsmart here(NC) sells them for almost $3-4 for only 50.

    I use UNmedicated chickstarter for the bedding/feed. I find a container that is at least 5 inches deep and pour in about 2-3" of chickstarter. I dump in my worms. I cut a potato or apple in half and place both halves cut-side down on the chickstarter.

    I do not currently have tops on my bin, which freaks my family out, but as long as there is a good 2" of plastic surface between the feed and the rim of the bin, they won't go anywhere. I actually had more escapes with a screen on top because the screen would hit the tops of the potato and they would climb out that way.

    I put the bin somewhere out of the way and forget about it for a couple of weeks. When you can look in or even shake it and see worms at several levels of growth and beetles running around, you can make your first "harvest". I usually just pick the largest "worms" out by hand for the chickens. As long as there are beetles in the bin you can be assured of more worms later. I harvest my one 12"X5"X5" bin about once a week. If you ever look in and see that there aren't any big worms available just go ahead and wait another week or two.

    I started my first bin maybe a couple months ago and I could not believe how easy they are. And the "worms" are not slimy to touch and they rarely "wriggle" like a panicked earthworm does. They do not bite and the beetles do not fly. I've only had my bin a couple of months and I'm looking to expand to several larger bins so I can add worms as a regular part of their diet.

    I have tamed even the most ferel of my chickens with these mealworms. Just be careful! If you feed mealworms by hand, expect your hand to be pecked even when there are no mealworms!! I have a couple hens that will bite my fingers and almost draw blood thinking my fingers are just an extra extra large mealworm(either that or punishing me for not bringing some for them).

    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
  7. chickiepoo

    chickiepoo Songster

    Jun 28, 2007
    coastal South Carolina
    Catfish or anyone, do you know if you can put the rabbit poo into the worm bin with the litter? My son has a rabbit and we use a litter box and litter in the tray under the hutch to cut down on the odor. It is cat litter.

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