Mealworm farming

waretrop

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Sumi, Very nice. I raised my own mealworms, wax worms, butter worms and mega worms for my pet stores. I also reiaed my own crickets. My customerser got to know that if they had a baby reptile that I would specially pick small bugs for them. I had them for about 27 years. When I retired I kept a few cultures going to feed the bluebirds. Then I got up to 200 chickens. I could never never keep up with them. They could eat 10,000 every day... I haven't done them for a while but should start up a batch of mealworms soon.
 

Mini Horses

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Sumi, are you still doing this? How's it going for you?

I had family issues and coming out of all that now, so back into the "hmmm may work" mode. LOL I have a man who raises special mice for live feed to pet shops, lives about a mile away. May be a place to discuss possible distribution.
 

sumi

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Due to family issues and health issues last year I had to shelf this idea after only a few sales. I still have some worms that I'm keeping for my chickens, but I gave up on selling them. I might again in future, but at the moment I'm busy with other ideas and another project. I'll share more about that later, when I've got it up and running.
 

Mini Horses

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I can TOTALLY relate to the family issues side of your own life being put "on hold". It has been so here, which is why I ask when this thread was brought up again. As you saw, I had been interested in this at origin.

When you are working from your own little homestead small things can upset the cart. :) Large things can roll that cart way down the hill :cool: You will find something that fits into your current space, time & financial allowances. Can be stressful.

Since I how have my garage back, a supply of fresh veggies all year for free, this is something I will look into, again. I sure LIKE the dehydrated ones but NOT the price. At this time, feeding for my own flock of 50-60 chickens would be nice. Could you give me an idea of the cost of the start up worm purchase, just the worms? I know it will vary with location, shipping, etc., but a general idea of outlay. Then, I will need to research suppliers.
 

Mini Horses

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so my patience issues kicked in and I went online to find live shipments.....appears that $100 will cover a good start up! Much less than those $1 per oz bags at our feed stores....which I've known all along. LOL Just wasn't "my" time to grow them.

Since I have several plastic tubs, bedding, feed, space, etc. Could raise them with a small outlay. Nice. Just have to get my head around it.
 

sumi

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$100 sounds like a lot of money for start-up, unless that includes the tubs, bedding, feed etc as well as the worms. I paid about €4.90 per tub of worms (±250 per tub). I meant to go big from the start, so I bought a lot of worms. If you're not in a hurry, you can start with 500-1000 worms and leave them do their thing, divide them into more tubs over time, as the colony grows and they will multiply quickly. Keeping them warm (80-90F is great) will encourage them to reproduce quickly, but expect the cycle from start-up worms to many more decent size worms to take 3-4 months.

I put mine on bran and bought big bags at the feed store. It's way cheaper than buying small bags for baking at the supermarkets and a big bag goes a long way and lasts a long time, even if you have a few tubs full. Sprinkle some chick starter crumbs in the tubs when you have little worms. The protein and other nutrients help them grow quickly and also makes for a more nutritious snack when used for feeding.
 

Mini Horses

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Well I'm looking at 10,000. in $75. range, mediums. BUT...I'm just saying $100 or less will definitely do a good startup. Even the bran and such. Have tubs, most all else except bran.

Far less than many things I've "started" :lol:
 

lcertuche

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Great information. My chickens free range and in the summer do quiet well at feeding with all the frogs, lizards, bugs, etc. but in the winter I think they come short on protein. This sounds like a sustainable resource for feeding. I like to the idea of the byproducts of fertilizer for the garden. Sounds like a win-win proposition. :thumbsup
 

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I've toyed around with this idea. My problem being I'm too squeamish to raise them in the house and our winter temps are too cold for outdoors or outbuildings to be sustainable location
 

sumi

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@tortoise the mealworms are different from other worms that I've handled in that they are firmer and dryer to the touch, not soft and squishy, for lack of better description. If you don't want to handle them much, there are things you can do like placing a cut potato in the tub for them to bite into, then shaking them off, or sifting them out with a kitchen sieve. I use one when I clean the tubs.
 
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