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Author Topic: Mealworms  (Read 14779 times)

Vinnie

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2016, 01:32:31 am »
Think I would rather put sunflowers seeds or peanuts on my ice cream. Some eat chocolate covered grasshoppers too I tried those at a Fair one time the only flavour was the crunchy chocolate.
Voss Electric Fence

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2016, 08:21:22 pm »
UPDATE on my mealworm 'farm' which is all Vinnie's fault !

We are now two weeks on and I have quite a lot of beetles - probably over 100 I think and I have moved them to a slightly bigger home.

They have started doing all the necessary activities for babies now so I will leave them for 2 maybe 3 weeks and then move all the beetles out into a new home and leave the eggs to hatch without being eaten.

If its true that they lay up to 100 per day then the chickens are in for a treat.

I will repeat this every 2-3 weeks  to keep the same age groups together and see how many baby mealworms we end up with.
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

Vinnie

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2016, 04:08:52 pm »
 ;D  :roflanim: welcome Q     Sounds like the little critters are doing really good. That seems to be the trick to get the eggs or beetles out before they are eaten. You are going to have happy chickens, not sure how many chickens you have but it is annoying after all the time spent growing the worms how fast the chickens eat them. Chickens that turn into  :pig:

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2016, 11:49:29 am »
UPDATE on the mealworm farm

Its 3 weeks since I moved the beetles into a bigger home because I was getting more beetles hatching than I anticipated.
Still getting new beetles daily from the pack of mealworms I originally bought from the pet shop.  ( 15 new beetles yesterday ) but these are definitely coming to an end now - must be hundreds now!

Anyway, I have now moved the beetles which have been laying eggs to their second home to keep the eggs from being eaten and just need to wait 4-19 days for the eggs to hatch.

But......  I kept the original home separately just in case there were eggs and yesterday I saw the first baby mealworm that had hatched   :excited:  it was absolutely tiny but shows that the process works.
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2016, 12:01:45 pm »
Just to add.......

Moving the beetles out was much easier than any of the videos that I have been watching where they were sieved out. To me that looked messy and time consuming.

I have kept a few toilet roll insides in with the beatles because they like to hide under them & cling on to them.
Just moved the loo rolls over and shake it to get the beetles off - easy - I just put the loo roll back and left it for a day to catch the next lot.

Finally had to manually catch the last 10 or so that were burrowed in the oats - job done - clean and simple.
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

Vinnie

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #35 on: May 29, 2016, 02:46:41 am »
That's great Q, you know you are doing something right when you get baby mealworms :thumbsup: Good idea about the toilet rolls, I was using cut up egg cartons which was kind of annoying, but the rolls work good.

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2016, 11:03:11 am »
UPDATE

its been another 3-4 weeks now and I am just preparing to move the current set of beetles to a new home and preserve a new generation of mealworms so I thought I would put in an update.

Firstly, all the original mealworms have been through their life cycle and I finally have NO MORE DAILY BEETLES which is a relief because I have PLENTY!

Secondly,The previous eggs batch I had saved weren't looking likely because I hadnt been able to SEE anything happening but TODAY I had a quick firkle through the oats and there are baby mealworms EVERYWHERE!  I can see them better now because they are brown and about a half inch long.
I am more optimistic about a bumper batch from the current lot because there are a lot more beetles this time and they have been active for slightly longer.

The only 'work' I have had to do is to cut up a carrot every 4-5 days and drop in a handful of new oats once a week.


I will post another update when there's some food for the chickens!
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #37 on: July 28, 2016, 08:24:58 am »
Another UPDATE  - I hope somebody is reading this.

So, another 8 weeks on and I have just re-homed the beetles again.  I should not have left it this long because there are thousands of worms in with the beetles this time - they are small but visible and I had to be extra careful not to harm them. Some will surely have found their way into the new beetle home but couldnt be helped.
Proves one theory though  - the beetles DO NOT eat the eggs and the small worms if left together.

Progress on the other batches of worms - the very first lot of worms are getting quite big now - some of the bigger ones larger than 25mm. They are probably at size where they are one (or two) skin sheddings away from being chicken food but I have noticed they have grown really quickly with the recent warmer weather.

The second lot of worms that I separated have also become easily visible but they are noticeably smaller (3 weeks behind the first lot).  There are far more of them in the second and third batches which is exactly as I expected because the beetles wouldnt have laid so many eggs in their early days.

WORKLOAD
Little to nothing - the carrots tend to dry up quicker in the hot weather. I have also been putting in cucumber, lettuce and potato on occasions. I haven't had any real problems with mould although they do drag the food down into the oats and it does come out shrivelled and a bit mouldy but not spreading.

COST
I have just started on my third 1Kg bag of oats - very cheap and I (my chickens) have a huge volume of worms to look forward to.
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2016, 09:26:45 am »
So what weight of worms do you think you'll get this time?  I'm intrigued by the process, but it sounds like a hell of a lot of work compared with buying layers' pellets!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2016, 11:03:02 am »
So what weight of worms do you think you'll get this time?  I'm intrigued by the process, but it sounds like a hell of a lot of work compared with buying layers' pellets!
I hadnt thought about weighing them - its a bit tricky when the mass at the moment is the oats that the beatles were using mixed with thousands of tiny worms.
I dont have really accurate digital scales but it might be interesting to weigh the ones I have just transferred then do it again in few months time.
As for comparing buying pellets well, no, but my chickens appreciate a live meal worm more  :eyelashes:
Its a bit like the allotment though - plant / feed / wait 3-4 months then reap the reward.
Compared to buying mealworms in the shop - £2.40 for a small box ( about enough for 1 frenzied chicken snack) - I think this will yield at least 100 times that - if only there was an outlet for them  :thinking:
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

Vinnie

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #40 on: July 29, 2016, 02:54:02 pm »
Hi sorry haven't written for awhile. Wow q your mealworms are doing great!!!! Not sure about where you live but in Canada some put ads like on kijiji or some other classified website and they sell them. Their prices are crazy expensive but people are willing to buy them for their pet reptiles. Also pet stores may buy them from you. If you want to sell them if not you have some very happy chickens  :excited:

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #41 on: July 29, 2016, 10:22:31 pm »
was looking on ebay - they sell a 500g bag for £8.00 on there. That includes postage and there would be fees.
would cover the cost of my porridge oats though  :roflanim:
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

Vinnie

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #42 on: July 30, 2016, 06:26:05 am »
Some sell them live here they are 100 mealworms for $5.00 or 500 for $20.00 or 1000 for $35.00( Canadian not sure how many £ that is). And  then the pet stores usually just have the gut loaded ones or super worms they call them ( don't mix those with your worms it will kill them)but sometimes you can buy the regular for 50 worms at like $2.50. I think  we all grow them mostly just to feed our animals don't think anyone will be getting rich on worms ;D

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #43 on: September 01, 2016, 02:02:10 pm »
ANOTHER UPDATE - the full cycle is complete and a new use for overgrown courgettes.

Well, 1st September it is and the first lot of mealworms have now reached max size and are now chicken treats.  I was a bit late really because some have already started to turn into alien pupae with the recent hot weather probably speeding it up.  Lucky the chickens like the pupae too.

The beetles really should have been removed from the eggs again by now but a little laziness got in the way.  The second and third batches of worms have far more worms than the first batch partly because of the extra time I left it but also probably because the beetles will have been producing more.
Either way I have produced more worms than I ever thought possible - absolutely thousands and thousands.

I love the noise they make when munching on the oats - its a lot louder than you think and reminds me of rice crispies.

The grand kids are always fascinated by the worms and beetles when they come round too.

The original beetles are still going strong - not showing any signs of dying off at all.

Costs and time.  Again, hardly anything. 
I have been putting in oats and topping up a bit every week or so.   For moisture the beetles have had sliced potatoes and the worms had been eating cucumber but I found those overgrown courgettes better for the worms because they are a little dryer and they definitely seem to devour them pretty quickly.

Haven't had any problems with mould or smell at all.

So, project is a success to me - will I continue - hmmm  not sure
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

Vinnie

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Mealworms
« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2016, 02:57:42 am »
Congratulations Q sounds like a booming success  :excited:
What are courgettes?
Also is your mealworms  farm inside or out? Just wondering because mine were outside in a shed but we had a very wet summer not if that was the reason but unfortunately mine didn't make it. So if I can convince my family  :thinking: to let me have them in the house I may try again
I bet your chickens just gobbled them!

 

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