What's with my mealworms

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Ace_king_brahma, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. Ace_king_brahma

    Ace_king_brahma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay I've raised mealworms before but, never really took it seriously. It was a bit of an experiment. I eventually released the beetles. After a fishing trip I had some giants left over and I decided to try again. So I mixed a blend of bedding/food and bought some regular mealworms and put them in. And I figured to let my giants in and let them have some room and eat up and die peacefully. I heard from many people that giant mealworms won't pupate into beetles. However I started getting giant size pupa with the smaller ones. And just today I started noticing giant beetles. They are twice or even three times the size of the smaller ones. So I stirred the bedding to see most of the worms are the size of the giant mealworms. Very few small mealworms were in there and there is a lot more giants in there than I tossed in. I'm not sure why they are all getting jumbo size. ANd the beetles are kept in a different container.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2008
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Perhaps a different strain of mealworm. Like bantam and standard hens! LOL
     
  3. Rte.66_chicks

    Rte.66_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you post a photo of the mealworms, please? Both sizes, if you can find them. The "giant" and "regular" mealworms sold by our Petco are the same size, and I haven't seen any real "giant" ones for years. I would love to get some that reproduce.

    Did you get your "giants" online?
     
  4. Ace_king_brahma

    Ace_king_brahma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Lol could be. My birds love them either way so it's a win win if they keep all getting big.
     
  5. Ace_king_brahma

    Ace_king_brahma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rte.66_chicks :

    Could you post a photo of the mealworms, please? Both sizes, if you can find them. The "giant" and "regular" mealworms sold by our Petco are the same size, and I haven't seen any real "giant" ones for years. I would love to get some that reproduce.

    Did you get your "giants" online?

    Sure I can post some tomorrow. I can get shots of the bigger ones and the smaller ones. I can also post for the pupa and beetle differences. I have the breeding bins up at the store. I don't want to keep them in the house in case of escapees. And the superworms have escaped their bin a few times too lol hence my rule of keeping them out the house.

    I purchased just plain old Armstrong's mealworms at Petsmart and they are all getting to the same size of the gaint mealworms I bought a container at Academy SPorting Goods.​
     
  6. Moonwalker

    Moonwalker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have forgotten a tub of medium mealworms on a shelf and a few weeks later I had a tub of giant ones. They are the same species, but they are taken off the growth food at a different time. Most of the time, if they come off the hi pro food early, they will grow to be smaller adults. If they are left on the growth food longer they end up being giant mealworms. The nice thing is that no matter what size, the chickens will eat them and they will also eat the beetles! No other animals that I buy mealworms for will eat the dang things. Until I turned over the water bowl in the pigeon/fancy chicken pen at work and the chickens went nuts over the beetles the were under it. Now I know what to do with the ones that hatch.
     
  7. Ace_king_brahma

    Ace_king_brahma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay sorry I didn't get the pics sooner but here they are.
    Shot 1: Giant next to some regular mealworms I bought a few days ago.
    [​IMG]
    Shot 2: Giant with others and a escapee superworm.
    [​IMG]
    Shot 3: Giant pupa next to smaller one. My beetle pen is full of these huge pupa.
    [​IMG]
    Shot 4: Beetle from the big pupa and a smaller one from the regular pupa.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. treeclimber233

    treeclimber233 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure but I would guess your info on giants not turning into beetles was incorrect. You threw the giant larva in the bin with the smaller cousins, right? (There is a difference between the two species). My guess is the giants are eating their cousins in the bin so you are getting fewer regulars. And since you are finding giant beetles in the bin they are coming from somewhere (i.e. the larva you threw in)
     
  9. RepoBob

    RepoBob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm very interested in trying this.
    I can't see your pictures; tried to copy the link but couldn't do that either?????
     
  10. Ace_king_brahma

    Ace_king_brahma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I had another possiblity presented to me: Since I found some of the giants half eaten when they tried to pupate the smaller worms took in the hormones used to make the giants and in turn grew large themselves.

    I'm not sure what to think on this anymore but the worms I bought from another company are not going jumbo sized and making alot of regular sized pupa and worms. Right now I have tons of beetles in the breeding pen and will have to make a third colony as my worms are going crazy in the main colony and pupating quicker than I can house them. Currently I have resorted to allowing pupa to remain in the main colony and luckily the worms are not eating them.
     

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