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Breeding mealworms -- any tricks for actually getting them out of the box? — The Grow Network Community
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Breeding mealworms -- any tricks for actually getting them out of the box?

Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial DirectorSouthwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 723 admin
Hey Merin,

We use a colander with wide holes for the wheat bran to move through, we got ours at the dollar store. You still have to pick out the beetles, but the meal worms that are big enough to be fed to the chickens wont slip through the holes.

Hope this helps!

Comments

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited April 2018
    Thanks, Casey! I've actually been using a colander, too, but of course have still been having to pick out the beetles. Sounds like I'll just have to stay at it! :)
  • GrowCrazyGrowCrazy Posts: 3
    edited April 2018
    Hey Merin, I used to be a biology lab assistant back in high school and raised lots of meal worms. One of our tasks was to constantly start new colonies (?) because the old one would get used up and filled with droppings etc. So if you have the space create 3 or 4 colonies of various ages and just give the oldest one completely to the chickens and let them do the work of picking out the worms and even beetles and pupae to eat.
  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 348 admin
    edited April 2018
    Can someone explain why the beetles have to be picked out?
  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 723 admin
    edited May 2018
    Thanks, Grow Crazy! Various colonies at different stages is an interesting idea. I believe you generally have to allow about two months after adding live mealworms to a fresh container for the life cycle to have completed enough so that removing mealworms from the container will not destroy the productivity of the colony. I've heard of people raising mealworms in those plastic, three- or four-drawer towers, so that might be a way to do this without using up too much space. What types of containers did you use for the colonies in the lab? Thanks again!
  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 723 admin
    edited May 2018
    Hi Ruth, that's a great question! Really, it's just that the beetles lay eggs that then become more mealworms. So if you're not concerned about perpetuating the colony, you don't have to worry about leaving the beetles in the container. But if you want the colony to keep reproducing, you leave the beetles in the bedding so they can keep laying eggs...
  • nora739nora739 Posts: 5
    edited August 2018
    Maybe try putting a piece of food in there and waiting for the mealworms to climb onto it?
  • Renee IlseRenee Ilse Posts: 16 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    That's what I did when I was raising them.  I would put in slices of bread, and then the meal worms would get onto/into the bread.  I would just pick it up and shake it off into a container.
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