Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Raising Mealworms for Chickens!

Have you ever thought about raising your own mealworms? Are you tired of paying the ridiculous cost at the pet store? Have you thought it has to be hard? Well it's easy, a real cost cutter and is a great source of protein for your birds! We have had to fence our birds for different reasons, predators, they get into everything, the sake of our gardens and the last straw was an egg laid on the stairs leading up to the bedrooms! They now have a fenced space and limited foraging so we have to make sure they are getting that protein. First, get a drawer system to raise the larvae in different stages. You can always add on to this system by adding another drawer system. I number them and keep a record of what I do with them.

Get a small bin like this one where you will raise your breeding beetles. This has fine screening on top as well as some cloth vented screening, taped so you can get good air circulation for them.

The substrate that goes in both the drawers and bin are very important. These are just a few I use. Each morning after feeding the rabbits I add the stalk of the lettuce. This provides not only some hydration but also another food source. The mealworms and beetles not only eat this but the beetles will lay their eggs in it.

Here are the beetles in the substrate just before they were being removed and the substrate along with the eggs they laid were being put into a clean drawer. You should do this at least monthly. If you don't the beetles begin to eat the eggs and larvae, it's just who they are!

After removing the beetles (I miss some of the dead ones), If you look very closely you will see the tiny larvae that have hatched and are beginning the cycle of the mealworms. Constantly rotating this process will keep you in mealworms forever!

It does take a couple of months to get them to this stage but it is an unbelievable cost cutter! A paper towel over them keeps them happy and contained. In warmer months you can spritz the paper towel with water to give them hydration. The warmer they are the faster their lifecycle will be. Our chickens are happy and healthy!

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