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#93952 - 04/09/06 10:15 PM mealworm farm info

I am starting a mealworm farm and am wondering what to use as bedding/food that I can buy from a feed store... I currently use flour, wheat germ, and rolled oats but I read that there are cheaper nutritional foods that can be found at feed stores can someone please let me know what these are... thanks in advance!

Edited by Chaungo1 (09/25/06 12:26 AM)

#93953 - 04/10/06 12:15 AM Re: mealworm ? [Re: ]

I use oatmeal, baby cereal and bran cereal. I don`t use wheat germ anymore since I realized that it goes bad if not refrigerated after 48 hours. Obviously you don`t want to refrigerate a mealie farm <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

#93954 - 04/10/06 02:30 AM Re: mealworm ? [Re: ]
Xfilefan Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 8899
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
Bran is the one I know of that is available at a feed store, without being mixed with other things, and usu. not too expensive.
Jen/Colin :bb: Commander Riker 12 16 02-10 04 12 you will be FOREVER missed :wfb: Sinbad, :wfb: Gabby, :grey: Baby, and :grey: Alley

#93955 - 04/10/06 04:48 AM Re: mealworm ? [Re: ]
Paula0442 Offline
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Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 3008
Loc: Williamsburg, VA & Whg, WV
go to
there are a couple places on the internet that will tell you what to do.
good luck to you.
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming

#93956 - 04/10/06 06:41 AM Re: mealworm ? [Re: ]

Yeah, please do as Denise says and don't use the Wheat Germ in your bedding... You can just use oat bran and oatmeal.... I mix ingredients all together which includes herptivite and calcium as a gut load.... Not sure about other mealworm farmers, but here's what I do... (sorry this is kinda long):
I have several generations in my mealworm farms.

Order your mealies from Grubco,
or Superworm farm
or Wormman

Get yourself five containers to start, I use the zip lock or glad containers that you can easily place holes at the top portion of the sides all around, but it’s your choice as to what kind you use.
The First container will be your feeder container - place what mealworms you will not be farming in this container in the fridge for cool storage, you may use the same mixture of bedding in this container listed below (Which is what I do).
The Second container will be for mealworms or Larvae
The Third container will be for Aliens or Pupae
The Fourth container will be for beetles
The Fifth container is for your second Beetle container.
1). Feeder Container: You will need to take this container out of the fridge once or twice a week for your feeder mealworms to hydrate and eat for a few hours, only. You can place oat bran and rolled oats in your feeder container and all your farm containers with your worms/pupae/beetles or you can choose to use the mixture listed below (what I use). Get you something to store this in too, (I use a jug I purchased for my dogs called dog bites ... good sized), as you won't be using it all at once. (This is a gut load for your worms.) Here's the mix recipe:

4 cups dry baby oatmeal cereal
4 cups oat bran (all crushed up)
2 cups rolled oats (Old fashioned, not instant)
2 teaspoons Herptivite
2 teaspoons calcium

Now you’re ready to start your farm:

2). Mealworm Container:
Your mealworm container should be filled with about 1 to 1-1/2 inches of your mix. You won't need the rest until you see your alien morphs (Pupae). They will be pupae’s for a week to two weeks, then they will turn to beetles. Place you about 100 mealies in your Mealworm container, (depending on how many suggies you need to feed, I have 4). Out of your 100 mealies that morph into beetles, you will have gazillions of mealie eggs. I would say that 15 to 20% will end up dying before turning to beetles, which is actually still quite a bit of mealworms, female beetles can lay up to 275 eggs each..... THAT's A LOT OF MEALWORMS!! So start out with how many you like, but know that you will need to add some fresh bedding every so often to all those babies that hatch, they have a huge appetite!! After you start seeing the mealworms turn to pupae’s, use tweezers to transfer your pupae's to the pupae container. You will need to re-furbish the mealworms after your farm gets going, I simply place about ten in a week into my mealworm containers after all my worms morph to pupae's. Also, know that you will have to order more mealworms from grubco, mealworm farm or wormman, until your mealies start going good. But you'll save money in the long run to grow your own, plus you will know exactly what your mealworms are eating.

3). Pupae Container:
You will need a container for your pupae's but you won't need a lot of mix in it, about 1/2 inch of your bedding mix, just enough for them to eat when they change to beetles until you transfer them to the beetle container. Simply use tweezers to carefully transfer the pupae’s to the pupae container. Some people don't separate them at all, but I have experimented with both processes and found that you will have more mealies if you separate all stages. The beetles and the mealworms will eat the pupae and the beetles will eat the mealworm babies, pretty gross, but they will seek moisture from other mealworms and pupae.

4). Beetle Container:
Once you see beetles in your pupae container, use tweezers to carefully transfer them to the beetle container. Place about 2 inches of your bedding mix in this container and lay egg carton pieces or cardboard over the top for them to lay eggs in and on. When feeding your beetles, place a folded piece of paper towel over the bedding and simply lay your veggie right on top. Try not to allow the food to touch the bedding to eliminate any mold issues. I never use fruit, I use carrots or celery or romaine lettuce leaves instead. This is just my preference. Fruits will mold easily and I used to use them but after throwing out one or two farms due to moldy fruit, I decided to go with veggies instead. Mealworms are actually really proficient at extracting moisture, so be careful not to put too much moisture in your containers, you will get mold. Place a paper towel or two over the entire top section of your other farm containers, and lay your veggies on top of that. Again, Veggies or if you do use Fruits, you should never allow them to come in contact with your mixture, to avoid any mold issues. If you do get mold, you will need to trash the entire farm container. Aflatoxins are not anything you want your suggies to eat.

5). Second Beetle Container:
When you start seeing the beetles dying off, then transfer all the living beetles to the Fifth container with a fresh new mixture. Do not throw away the first beetle container, this is where your baby mealworms are. They will be very tiny and you probably won't see them for a month or so after you place your beetles in the second beetle container, you will see the mix moving before you see them. It will take about 4 months to get your farm going good. This Beetle container now becomes your baby mealie container, the 1st generation mealies of your farm. I wait until about three to four weeks at a time to change the beetles to a new container and the mealie babies are massive!!!

Also, some mealie farmers mist the top of the paper towel with a light water spritz, I do not. My mealies are huge by just feeding them veggie leaves about two to three times a week. Mealworm farming is really easy. It farms itself basically, and if you get to where you have too many mealies, you can freeze them. Which happens from time to time. Just NEVER USE ANY CORN PRODUCTS ! !

Life Cycle of your Darkling Beetle:
Egg: 7-14 days
Larvae: 30-90 days
Pupae: 10-20 days
Beetle Adult: 5-10 days
I have found through my experience with mealworm farming, that this cycle depends on the conditions of the environment and is a general rule, but not etched in stone……

You will have to check on your farms every two to three days, but if you forget until four or five days, it's no big deal if you choose the method that I use. You will need to sort them, juggle the aliens (Pupae) and beetles around, but after you get used to doing that, there’s really nothing to it. Like I said, it is extremely easy to raise mealworms. I don't place mine in any certain spot, just make sure they have ventilation, and in somewhat of a warmer temperature in your house, not cool, and your holes should be sized where the beetles cannot escape. Although they do not bite, do not fly... and are ultimately harmless, you don't want them escaping and not laying their eggs in the mix. Also, when placing your holes in the top sides of your containers, you can just use a power drill, just an easier way and less time consuming.



#93957 - 04/10/06 10:15 AM Re: mealworm ? [Re: ]

Cycy, I just need to question the herptivite and calcium in your bedding. I had read before that feeding this to your mealies will throw off the ca:ph ratio being that we`re already adding extra to our gliders diet. Although I really have no clue if this is true or not, just asking <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nixweiss.gif" alt="" />. That`s why I never added any to my mealie bedding just in case it is true <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

#93958 - 04/10/06 08:30 PM Re: mealworm ? [Re: ]

I dont use the herptivite or repcal because its not nessicary.. but I have started using the baby oatmeal today.

when I go to my local feed store do I just ask for oat bran? Is it originally fed to horses or something? Im sorry for the stupid ?s but I've never had to go and buy any before.

I currently have all my mealies/pupae/beetles in the same container for now and they are doing alright, I dont want a HUGE mealworm farm since I only have 2 gliders so if the beetles eat some eggs and what not I wont mind.

#93959 - 04/10/06 08:44 PM Re: mealworm ? [Re: ]

what will the wheat germ do to the mealies if its been in there longer then 72 hours?

#93960 - 04/11/06 01:53 PM Re: mealworm ? [Re: ]

FemaleCheetah, The Wheat Germ oils supposedly become toxic after the 72 hours.... so this would suggest for you to discard anything containing the old Wheat Germ.....
As for the Oat Bran, Kellogg's makes a Oat Bran Flake that I use sometimes, and I can't remember the other brand that I use from time to time.... but any cereal with "all wheat bran" is what you should look for down the cereal aisle at your local the grocery store.....

Denise, there are several who do gut load with the herptivite/calcium and feel that it assists with those gliders that do not eat all their nutrients at dinner time and this is a good way to help keep their suggies nourished and then there are some that feel it's not necessary and like you said, possibly interupts the balance.
After my talk with Dale at Grubco, I did find through our conversation that gut loading does very little to enhance the mealworms nutritional value, according to him.
You can still add the herptivite/calcium, I just feel that it may be otiose, for the most part, the mealworms intestinal tract is so tiny, it may or may not make a big difference.

#93961 - 04/13/06 03:11 PM Re: mealworm ? [Re: ]

Ok I dumped the whole thing with wheat germ in it and picking out all the mealies, pupae, and beetles and put them in seperate containers. I bought bran flakes, oatmeal, and oatmeal baby food... thats what they are in right now.


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