How to Start a Mealworm Farm
One of the most superb food sources today for hedgehogs, sugar gliders and birds is the mealworm.
If you are a pet lover and you have all the animals mentioned earlier, a mealworm farm is an ideal money saving solution for you.
Building your very own mealworm farm will certainly give you the profusion you need in order for you to feed and take care of your pets’ health.
Establishing Your Farm
One of the extremely successful mealworm farming systems has been created and developed by Lisa Lambert, an incorrigible mealworm farmer. This type of system will only require you some beetles and some bran as well as a plastic tub. To be more specific about the system, the first thing that you will need to do is to find and get some beetles. You can obtain these beetles from a pet store, by online ordering, or if you have a friend who is a mealworm farmer also, you can ask for these beetles just to save money. However, it is highly recommended that you obtain these beetles from a fellow farmer of mealworm. This is to ensure that the beetles you have obtained are productive, healthy, and will not arrive dead to your mailbox.
Once you have acquired enough beetles for your starting farm, get a plastic bin and fill it with bran. The bran must only be around six to eight inches. For food, you just need to cut some potatoes that will be in halves and surround the bran with these half potatoes on a sliced-side-down position. Potatoes will give your beetles their needed hydration. It will be in the potatoes where the beetles will rest their eggs. When your container is already set up, you may now release your beetles into it.
Taking Care of the Farm
The life cycle of your beetles will be feeding on potatoes, laying their eggs in it, and will eventually die. Once dead, take them away from the farm. But remember to not take with the dead beetles the pieces of shriveled potatoes since this is where the worms are incubating. The next thing for you to do is actually nothing, just let the worms incubate. Let at least one week to pass. After a week, find the oldest potato there is and turn it over. With a close look, you will see the tiny worms lurking in it. During this time, the worms must be gut loaded. The purpose of this is to heighten the nutritional value of the worms. You must add vegetables and fruits such as apples inside the container for gut loading to be possible. Thus, in this case, not only potatoes will be in you container. While the worms will feed on the various foods present in the container, their nutritional value will incredibly increase.
Furthermore, it will be around 90 days to 114 days until the worms will complete its larval stage. Around this time, they will certainly grow several inches. The maximum length will be around 1 ¼ inches. Within the larval stage, the worms can already be harvested for food. When the worms are approaching its pupae stage, they will start turning a darker shade and will eventually curl up. Lastly, if what you are aiming is to procure mealworms only for attracting birds or for feeding a pet, you must build a number of containers for the purposes of housing the worms throughout the stages which they evolve. With this, you will have a continuous production of mealworms. And as time passes, you will definitely be surprised at the rapid increase of the mealworms with just some beetles.
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