Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Saving Money By Raising Mealworms!
Hey everyone! I am so excited to tell you about our new critters, that also happen to be chicken food!
MEALWORMS is the word! That's right. We are now proud Mealworm farmers.
Why bother with raising insects for our chickens you ask?
Well, Mealworms are literally the easiest to take care of, they are cheap, and are great for chickens, so why not!?
Mealworms provide plenty of protein that chickens need to lay eggs and live healthy lives.
Again, raising them is SO EASY!
Mealworms actually are immature darkling beetles.
Mealworms hatch from the beetle's eggs (2 weeks after laid) , and live a full 3 months before going into a pupa stage. They then spend a whole month in the pupa stage before coming out a full grown beetle.
They then lay eggs, and the process starts again!
At first, we used a long, deep Tupperware container to house the worms, but then I found out they turn into beetles.
Now we use this:
Using drawers ensures that the beetles will not make an escape, and since I am storing them in my room, I DO NOT WANT THEM TO ESCAPE!!!
The first and second drawers have the worms in them, and the last drawer has beetles and eggs in it.
The female beetles will lay up to 500 eggs before she dies.
We put almond flake flour in the containers for them to live in, but people also use saw dust and dry oats.
They eat pretty much anything. We give them decaying grass and weeds, soft vegetables, and fruits.
They do their own thing; we just give them food 1-2 times a week.
Harvesting the worms is also easy! Simply take out as many worms as you need and feed them to your chickens! I give mine roughly 1/2 cup per 5 hens.
Of course, this takes a while to grow as many worms as you need, so I would suggest not taking any live ones out until you have a large number of worms. The more worms you have, the more eggs you'll get.
You can also freeze dry the worms if you decide you need to cut down or just don't have the space anymore. Put the worms in a container with a lid and put them in the freezer for 20 minutes. This is considered a humane way to kill the worms..
You can store them in Ziplock Baggies in the freezer, but you may not want to see worms every time you open the freezer door. In this case, you can store them on a shelf.
Raising Mealworms is just one of the many ways we save money on the farm.
Come back to find out more ways we save money!