Thursday, June 16, 2011

Meal Worm Farming

We recycled an empty Rubbermaid tote to house our meal worms. Pyper, mom and I put 9 quarts of chick feed in first...

Then added some dehydrated milk...

Some wheat germ, oatmeal and Pyper...she loved feeling the textures on her feet and hands. It was cute until she started dumping the "food" onto the floor.

I added some celery and newspaper so they can eat and sleep.

Here's a close up of my new little farm. I ordered 1000 meal worms. You may be wondering, "Why on earth would Aimee BUY meal worms and put them in a plastic tub???" Well, the Dixie Chicks LOVE meal worms, and they can get a bit expensive buying them by the dozen. So, I did some research, and discovered I could buy them in bulk, for a fraction of the cost. I researched how to "breed" them, and maintain them. I'm hoping they will multiply to the point I can supplement the hen's diet this winter when they can't/won't go out to forage.

They come as meal worms, and then they will turn into little black beetles. The beetles don't fly or bite, but they DO lay eggs. And lots of them! Then, the eggs hatch and turn into larvae. The larvae then turn into meal worms.

I will periodically take a few hundred and put them in a cool place (like the fridge, but don't tell Shannon!) and that will stop their growth and reproduction. This will enable me to stagger the life cycle, so I don't have all beetles, all larvae and all meal worms at one time. Once again, my degree in Biology is really coming in handy! I really enjoy projects like this. I'm sure the Dixie Chicks will, too!


  1. I hate finding those things in the barn. Next time I see those beetles under a feed sack I'll catch them and bring them to you.

  2. This is fantastic info Aimee!