Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Growing Mealworms

I'll never forget one day when Phil was rearranging his things in our walk-in closet. He stopped suddenly and asked me, "Do you have worms in here?!"  I sure did. In a small tub in my closet are thousands of worms and many, many beetles.
Why would I want to grow worms? Because my quail absolutely love them and they are a great source of protein for them.
To grow mealworms you will need:
chicken layer crumble
a small tub

I found my small tub at a thrift store for about $3. It was perfect because it had a top that had a round insert in it that I could take out. In the tub I put a few inches of chicken layer crumble feed then a few peices cut up newspaper.
To get mealworms you must start with mealworms. The mealworms I bought from a friend online. You can buy them online on eBay as well. I only started with 100 mealworms. These I put in the tub as well and then added a few peices of carrots. I put them in my closet because it is always closed and stays warm even when the air conditioning is on. A few weeks later and my worms evolved into beetles. Don't worry, they can't get out of the tub even with the top open all the time. The beetles lay more eggs which give you more mealworms.

I add to the tub any vegetable matter that the beetles will eat. They seem to like cabbage or lettuce leaves and carrots so they get a lot of those, and I also add more chicken layer crumble from time to time. I eventually will get a larger tub and grow a bigger mealworm "colony". 
To feel them to my quail I have a small seive by the tub and I scoop them out trying to only get the worms and leave the egg laying beetles. I put them in a small bowl and take them out to the quail.

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