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Author Topic: Mealworms  (Read 14803 times)

Vinnie

  • Joined Mar 2016
Mealworms
« on: April 15, 2016, 08:34:01 pm »
Anyone else grow mealworms? We grow them for our chickens they absolutely love them. We have them in a shed outside in an aquarium and because the winter was so mild they lived. The adults didn't make it but the mealworms did. So the chickens like to eat the adults too. So just wondering about anyone else that may have mealworms?
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Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2016, 09:01:03 pm »
Interesting! What do you feed them? Do you just have some adult beetles in there that lay eggs or do you buy small worms and grow them on?

Vinnie

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2016, 03:49:52 am »
All I did is buy some mealworms from the pet store. Then you put a couple inches of oatmeal the small flakes. Put the worms in a few carrot pieces for their water, then a few  cardboard egg cartons for them to hid in. Then you wait and wait then they turn into little alien pods ( my scientific name). Then take those out because they are helpless and the worms and adults will eat them if they run out of water.. Those little pods become the adults once the adults turn black they are fully grown. As soon as they can crawl around I usually put them in a separate container. So you have 3 containers. Some people leave all together I may try that this year because I ended up with a lot of adults but I couldn't find any eggs. But apparently there was because they lived the winter. If you google raising mealworms there is a lot more detail on how to set up a colony ( or is it a herd ;D no idea what a bunch of worms is called). I guess some people grow them and sell to pet stores, but we just do it for our chickens. Tomorrow I will try and take a picture of there aquarium.

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2016, 08:23:30 am »
I recently started a colony and do pretty much what you describe except i keep them all together. I haven't had them long enough to get a second generation yet but soon hopefully!

Vinnie

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2016, 04:23:39 pm »
Best of luck on your next generation Clarabelle, they should do real good especially as the weather gets warmer they like to be cozy. I don't know how to get them going faster, because our chickens eat them in like 30 seconds. So we only give the dead ones, I guess when they really start going you can give them live ones which the chickens really love.

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2016, 04:59:47 pm »
I Accidentally started one today.   
After reading your post I rang my daughter to ask how much she pays because she has a hedgehog......  well, she was actually in the petshop buying some!
I asked her to see if they would sell me some beetles or pupae and they had a box that had started to pupate and gave it to her at half price.

So I have the same question - how on earth do you produce enough mealworms to treat 15 large fowl every now and again.   :innocent:
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

ladyK

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Conwy Valley
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2016, 12:24:43 am »
I tried to start a colony last summer but not quite as easy as I thought.
While I got a lot of adults hatched from my first handfuls of worms it didn't go any further - I waited and waited for eggs to hatch but nothing.. so never got a second generation of worms, not sure where I went wrong.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 11:50:21 am by ladyK »
"If one way is better than another, it is the way of nature." (Aristotle)

Vinnie

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2016, 01:01:25 am »
Well Q I don't think you can grow enough they say a chicken can eat up to a 1/2 lb a day. Not sure how many worms that is except a lot. So they are just for treats, you can buy freezer dried mealworms in Walmart in the bird food section. In Canada at least they are $7.98 for a bag I can remember the size.  In case your birds really start liking them, to tied you over until your colony takes hold.

LadyK that happen to me to, I think I started them to late in the summer and they didn't have enough time. At least that's what I hope was the problem. I'm going to look up more info I think though see what a person can do to speed it up.

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2016, 09:39:42 am »
I tired to start a colony last summer but not quite as easy as I thought.
While I got a lot of adults hatched from my first handfuls of worms it didn't go any further - I waited and waited for eggs to hatch but nothing.. so never got a second generation of worms, not sure where I went wrong.
I am only quoting what i have read on the internet but I thing the adults will eat the eggs and the young. Most people I have seen separate the adults as soon as they think enough eggs have been laid - I have seen this timed at 2 days and at a week.  It was quoted that the adults can lay up to 100 eggs per day each.
I dont know how long it is from turning to adult to start laying eggs.
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

Vinnie

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2016, 12:52:04 am »
What if you don't see any eggs ?

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2016, 07:51:45 am »
The eggs are tiny.  depending on the substrate I would be surprised if you could see them.
The youtube video I saw used a filter to separate the  beetles and lots of the eggs were stuck to the container they were in.
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

Somewhere_by_the_river

  • Joined Dec 2013
  • Near Llandeilo
    • Angela French Graphite Artist
    • Facebook
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2016, 02:14:52 pm »
Interesting thread - my OH is talking about doing just this for his pheasants (like they don't get enough treats already, they get more fresh fruit than I do ;) ). Looks like it's not as straightforward as he thinks - is this a fair assumption?

Vinnie

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2016, 02:36:47 pm »
Q would you happen to have a link to that you tube video, it's sounds like it gives more detail about the eggs. I have watched a bunch and they all say is and you gets lots of eggs but not a lot of detail.


I think it is fairly easy once you get the hang of it. Which apparently I haven't yet  :thinking:

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2016, 03:31:03 pm »
Q would you happen to have a link to that you tube video, it's sounds like it gives more detail about the eggs. I have watched a bunch and they all say is and you gets lots of eggs but not a lot of detail.


I think it is fairly easy once you get the hang of it. Which apparently I haven't yet  :thinking:
Yep - no problem - I have to say most of them are cringeworthy to listen the whole way through. 

This first one deals with eggs and the eating eggs bit.  She goes on about using a scrap of material but then in the follow up video she did there was no mention of the material so I personally ignored that idea.

You can skip to the 5.20 mark and save 5 of your valuable minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9-M3XV71dY

This second one is the guy who sieves and goes on about the eggs being stuck to the container.
(skip to about 6.20 for the filtering bit)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LczqEONN1Ho

If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

Vinnie

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2016, 02:46:43 pm »
Thanks Q I am definitely going to try the idea about the screen and cloth for egg laying. Those people really have a quite the colony set up. And maybe the ground up chicken food would be the extra nutrition the worms need to speed them up.

 

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