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 Post subject: Mealworms
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 12:26 am 
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Anyone had a go at breeding mealworms? I have just started a colony after reading how easy it was on a poultry forum. I just picked up some live mealworms from the pet shop and put them in a container with some oat meal. You need to add some vegetable peelings or something as this is how they get their moisture. Here they are
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I had a lot of deaths to start with and I think this was because the worms I bought had been in the fridge at the pet store for quite a while. There were lots of dead ones in the container with the live ones. I just pulled out the dead ones and fed them to the chooks. After a few weeks I started to get pupae forming
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This is what I have them in at the moment
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In the next few weeks the pupae should start turning into darkling beetles. Each female beetle can apparently lay up to 500 eggs so once they start breeding I should have heaps of larvae. :rock: Its a pretty cool project especially for the kids. My son loves playing with his grubs

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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 1:09 am 
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I share your enthusiasm Bender. I've wanted to do this for a long time but it got put on the backburner. Youve inspired me. :grin:

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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 3:57 pm 
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Cool project to do with kids. Is there any easy way of harvetsing them for the chooks or do you have to pick them out individually?


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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 11:12 pm 
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Burnsy wrote:
Cool project to do with kids. Is there any easy way of harvetsing them for the chooks or do you have to pick them out individually?
I haven't got to that stage yet Burnsy but I have put a couple of bits of cardboard down over the oat meal and the mealworms like to hang out on the surface below the cardboard so you can just pick out a handful when required. The other thing I have seen on youtube is to just use a sieve but this only works if you use smaller feed like oat bran.

I'll just be working it all out as I go along :dunno:

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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 5:39 pm 
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This is cool.

Is there a certain way to design the tower, Bender? What have you got on each level?


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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 9:28 pm 
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Charlie wrote:
This is cool.

Is there a certain way to design the tower, Bender? What have you got on each level?


You can have it set up however you like Charlie, there is no set way to do it. At the moment I have mealworms only in the bottom layer, then pupae only in the middle layer and the top is empty. Once the pupae turn into beetles I will put them in an ice cream container with oat bran and then replace the oat bran into the top container using a sieve every few days. The reason behind this is that the beetles lay hundred of eggs in the bran but they tend to eat their own young :bat: so its best to change the bran every few days. This way you get more offspring hatching = more mealworms for the fish/chooks.

Its best to separate mealworms from pupae and beetles from both worms & pupae as they tend to eat each other. However in saying this some people just keep the whole process in a single container and let them all fend for themselves. This would be less productive in my opinion but its horses for courses I guess. If you look at how a commercial producer is set up they have hundreds of containers filled with mealworms of various sizes and always keep the beetles in a separate container to provide the eggs.

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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 5:21 pm 
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I grow giant mealworms for my reptiles and their life cycle is longer than you expect.
Also, the temp. eg. cooler temps, will slow down their reproduction.

Still, they are more productive than silkworms.


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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 8:31 pm 
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Daffy wrote:
I grow giant mealworms for my reptiles and their life cycle is longer than you expect.
Also, the temp. eg. cooler temps, will slow down their reproduction.

Still, they are more productive than silkworms.


Giant mealworms :shock: Sounds awesome. Care to share any photos/hints/tricks Daffy?

They definitely slow down in the cool weather. I found my mealworms started developing much quicker when I brought them inside so they get the warmth of the wood fire. Much to my wife's disgust :blackeye:

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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:36 pm 
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Starting to get my first beetles now ImageImage Ill be keeping the beetles in a separate container to lay eggs. I'll use these beetles as my breeding stock and put the eggs into the next level in my farm. Image the pupae are really freaky looking :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 9:36 am 
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You'll get a lot of mites using grain based substrate. *tiny white specks in their millions*

I microwave my rolled oats for a min of 2 mins. to kill them off before I add the mealworms.
I rinse the mealworms / beetles off under luke warm water to wash off the mites so they don't reinfect their fresh substrate.

I choose the largest of my meal worms and I put them into clear plastic tackle boxes.
They are divided into small matchbox sized compartments and into each compartment I put a small amount of oat bran and 1 (ONE) meal worm until all the compartments are filled.
At this point there isn't any need to put a water source in with them.
Put the tackle box into a dark draw and leave them alone.
The mealworm will curl up and pupate and then turn into a beetle.
Put the new beetles into a tub with their water source, etc. just like the mealworms and move into a fresh tub every 2 weeks to stop predation of hatched mealworm young and eggs.

The reason to separate the mealworms is that they exude a chemical which will inhibit their change if they are kept in higher numbers.
This can be a helpful thing that you can use to your own advantage to stagger beetle production.


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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 9:53 am 
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One of THE best "How To" on meal worms/ giant mealworms/ kingworms I've seen and I have used is located ......

http://www.herpshop.com.au/

Then click on - Links and Care Sheets. *in the left hand side bar menu *

Then click on - "The Superworm" link. Try as I might I couldn't see a single meal worm wearing a cape! They must have been in their "Clark Kent" guise! Superworm indeed! :error: :run:


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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:40 am 
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Thanks for the info and links Daffy. Very informative

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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:27 pm 
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Hehe when my dear husband Eddy said " is there anything you want at the shops"?
I replied yes please. I would like a tub of mealworms.
I peeked and left the lid not quite sealed and went on to watch a few you tube vids on growing mealworms
When I looked back the cheeky monkeys were doing a runner.
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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:39 pm 
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Faye wrote:
Hehe when my dear husband Eddy said " is there anything you want at the shops"?
I replied yes please. I would like a tub of mealworms.
I peeked and left the lid not quite sealed and went on to watch a few you tube vids on growing mealworms
When I looked back the cheeky monkeys were doing a runner.


:lol: you have a very understanding husband. Good luck with Faye :thunbs:

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 Post subject: Re: Mealworms
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:49 am 
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Mum breeds these for her animals at the native ark. The draws are a good she has some that i cut the bottom out of and replaced with a fine mesh so the eggs would drop down into the next draw ill see if i can find the photos


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