Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Our meal worms are starting to pupate!!!

Recently I decided to stop paying out the nose for meal worm and that I was going to try meal worm farming. I watched a video on YouTube and thought, well that seems easy enough! So my son and I got started. To read about how we got started, click here.

So it has been about three week now and I am so excited because our meal worms are starting to pupate!! What does that mean? Well it means that in two to three weeks we will hopefully have some adult beetles!!! What does that mean? Simply put, we are on our way to making meal worms!

 From Enchanted Learning

So this is how they life cycle of Darkling beetle works.... The female beetle lays hundreds of eggs which hatch into meal worms. The eggs can take anywhere from four to nineteen days to hatch. The meal worms them eat and grow and eat and grow for about two to eight weeks. After that they turn into  pupa (that is where we are now!) This stage lasts two to three weeks but in the winter can be as long as nine months. Ours have heat so I am hoping we will fall in the two to three week range. After pupating, we will hopefully have adult Darkling beetles to start laying eggs!!!



"waste" aka eaten oats
Since over half of ours are already starting to pupate, I cleaned out my container, removing all the pupa and worms. I then refilled the container with oats and put everybody back in. I was amazed by how much "waste" they had made in just this short time. They really did eat a lot! While going through the spent oats I also found dead worms (only about six) and the cast off skin from when the worms grew bigger and shed. It was really very interesting. Okay, I know, some of you now think I am weirder then you did before! LOL



So now we are back to the waiting game.... So I guess I will be updating you all in about two to three weeks if everything keeps going well!!

Everybody in their newly cleaned home
Close up of pupa


















12 comments:

  1. So, is it the pupae that you feed to the chickens?

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    1. I guess you could but we feed the worms to them. That is why we need the worms to grow into the adult beetles so they can lay eggs and make a lot of worms. These are going to be our breeding stock.

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  2. I also am giving this a try. I ordered 500 mealworms and have had them for about 2 weeks now. I can't wait to get where you are but I haven't had any get to the pupa stage yet.

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    1. 500!!! Wow I only started with 100. I have no idea how "old" our worms were when we got them, but I am guessing on the older end because they did turn into pupa quickly (well what I think of as quickly) Good luck to you and keep me updated!

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    2. Mine are pupating like crazy, but then they go brown and die. I am not sure what the problem is, maybe they are too moist.

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    3. That is odd! I have never had that happen. I would probably check the humidity. I am thinking too dry.

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  3. Do you feed them to your chickens? I've heard of raising them for fish and poultry. Thanks so much for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop!

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    1. Yes, Lisa we are planning on feeding the baby meal worms we get from this experiment to our chickens. Our girls LOVE them.

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  4. Walmart sells an office drawer of the rubbermade sort, perfect to house these fellas...... they will not climb out, and have air in the top, without holes, and they stack up, so you c can put them in a stack of several stages. I have a few pix on my Farmer Laur facebook page. they are about 6 inches high, about 18 inches long, and about 6 inches wide.

    I'm getting stuck at the beetle stage!

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    1. Sounds like a set up! I will look into it!

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  5. Aha! I wondered why anyone would want to raise them ;-) Thanks for sharing this on Wildcrafting Wednesday!
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/01/wildcrafting-wednesday-7.html

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