How Much Food To Feed My 12 Week Old Puppy How to Breed Mealworms, The Easy Way

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How to Breed Mealworms, The Easy Way

You may ask why one would want to raise mealworms. There are several reasons I can think of why some might do this NO get interested in raising mealworms – they are worms! They are smelly, slimy, disgusting worms! They can come out and infest my house! Or those who have some experience with these insects may suggest that they can be easily purchased at a local pet store or even cheaper in bulk on the Internet.

First, let me dispel the assumptions: they are not smelly, slimy, runny, and I don’t think they are disgusting. Its climbing abilities are limited to non-sliding objects. They move slowly, so if you drop one, you can easily capture it.

Yes, you can order mealworms from a pet store. The Internet also sells worms for as little as $12 per thousand! So why would I want to go through the trouble of raising them when I can buy them so easily and cheaply? great question

If you raise small reptiles like I do, or have very small hatchlings like viper geckos, pictus geckos, or even chameleons, you need to raise your own mealworms! You’ll find that mealworm breeding offers a wide variety of sizes that are perfect for these little reptiles. Young reptiles eat often! You must have a reliable supply of food of the right size for these young animals so that they can grow at a healthy rate. When breeding your own, you will have several sizes available for your animals.

To start raising your own mealworms, start with about 100 to 200 adult mealworms. Again, these can be purchased at a local pet store or even an internet company. A note that normal mealworms metamorphose into a pupa and then into the Darkling beetle.

Prepare used bedding to keep worms healthy by using a generic brand of oats and a dry baby cereal. The cheaper the better. I use oats as a base for the medium. I like to add cereal as an additional food source for young mealworms.

Mix the two together: 2/3 oats to about 1/3 cereal. You want to mix enough to have about an inch or two in the bottom of your container. This will become the staple food of the worms. Additional foods such as potatoes, carrots, apples, kale and other vegetables can be offered to provide moisture to the worms. The container can be a plastic shoe box, a sweater box, or another configuration that I will discuss later.

Once the oats and cereal are mixed, add the mealworms. Add an egg carton to the top and bottom and you’re good to go. Worms use this egg carton to crawl over and under. Although mealworms will not climb the plastic walls, place the cartons away from the edges of the box.

Keep the mealworms at a constant high 70’s low 80’s and you will soon start to see the pupa developing. I have found with the medium mixture described above and other foods offered that the worms will not bother the pupa. Some pupae may turn brown and die, but most should develop into beetles. If you want to maximize the output, you can separate the pupa from the worms.

After about 2 weeks of pupation, you’ll start to see a few Darkling beetles appear under the egg cartons. Again, I have not noticed any predation in my groups, even of the softest pupa by the beetles if they are well fed. Beetles are ultimately what you are looking for in a healthy mealworm colony. They lay eggs to create new mealworms. The eggs are quite small and you will likely never see them as they are sticky and will stick to bedding.

Finally, the container will be a mixture of substrate, egg cartons, mealworms of various sizes, maybe some pupae, and definitely beetles. From this slurry of activity, you can selectively harvest the size of mealworm you want.

The above technique works well if you only need to feed a few animals. If you have more than a handful of animals, the best way to create a non-stop food worm factory is to use one of these plastic filing systems found at your local department store. Set up each bin with a crop and you’ll pull out all sizes of mealworms, more than you could ever use.

In this setup, I have 6 drawers of mealworms (the middle bin is used for vermiculite). I don’t use all the worms this unit produces. I let several containers mature to produce pupae, beetles, and eventually more mini-mealworms.

I hope you will try this great way to provide extra food for your animals. Be patient as it takes some time to see those first micro mealworms.

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