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Old 03-13-2014, 02:07 PM   #1
HollyHamster
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Default I'm officially a micro-farmer!! ([WARNING:] creepy crawly factor)

I would post a very long and detailed post about my newest adventure, but I think I'll just cut a long story short and say that I have decided to set up a micro mealworm farm.

Mealworms are the larvae of the darkling beetle (Molitor tenebrio). They are essentually grubs. They live in and eat stuff called bran. Its usually wheat bran. That's the sawdust looking stuff live mealworms come in at the store. They also need moisture, which can be supplied in the form of slices of carrot, potato or other semi juicy fruits/veggies/tubers (potatoes are actually tubers, the startchy root parts of the potato plant).

Mealworms go through a lifecycle much like a butterfly: egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. However, being little black beetles, they are noticeably not as colorful, or magical looking, hence the creepy crawly-ness that butterflies don't have.

Now, I must warn you, the next bit I am going to divulge to you is a little hard to swallow, no pun intended, so the squeamish might not want to continue reading.

Mealworms are used in several places in the world as human grade protein sources. Yes, that's right, some people actually willingly ingest these little creepy crawlies as part of their everyday diet. Not something I am brave enough to do, nor do I think that anyone on here is either, but its done. I've read that when fried up (which I think would make the whole kitchen smell just awful btw), they supposedly taste like peanuts. Just makes you want to throw a handful of chocolate coated mealies in your mouth, right? Didn't think so.

I think I'll stick to feeding the little beggers to my hamsters, thankyouverymuch.

Anyways, not to get to the whole point of this post. I bought a nice little setup to farm these little suckers, and will use the constant supply to feed my hams fresh live mealworms every now and again (and on the off chance that I get too many mealworms, I'll sell a few of them on Ebay or something).

I'll post pictures of my setup, to share with the few remaining brave souls who are still reading this thread, mostly because I don't have anything better to do, and just in case anyone else has the odd notion to set up a mealworm farm of their very own.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 100_1196.jpg (88.5 KB, 133 views)

Last edited by souffle; 03-13-2014 at 02:09 PM. Reason: language
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: I'm officially a micro-farmer!! ([WARNING:] creepy crawly factor)

so where are they? Are you waiting for the eggs to hatch just now?
Will you be keeping adults to breed your next generation?
Looks interesting and some nice food for your hams
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: I'm officially a micro-farmer!! ([WARNING:] creepy crawly factor)

Nope. Nope. Not gonna do that...ever! It's bad enough that the dwarfies like the dried worms, and I'll even go so far as the occasional can of moist Flukers mealworms. But living worms and beetles. Nope.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: I'm officially a micro-farmer!! ([WARNING:] creepy crawly factor)

bleeughh *shivers* good luck! *backs out of thread quickly*
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:17 PM   #5
Colby and the Dwarfs
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Default Re: I'm officially a micro-farmer!! ([WARNING:] creepy crawly factor)

I'm doing this too! Of course, mainly for the gecko and turtles

I'm not squeamish, if it was dead I'd eat one, haha!

I have 14 beetles, how many did you start out with?
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: I'm officially a micro-farmer!! ([WARNING:] creepy crawly factor)

Eeew. :3 Good luck with it though, I've heard they're not as easy to breed as most people think? Be a nice way to feed your hammies, fresh mealies can get pricey when you feed quite a few.

Not my thing personally. xD I think they stink, and I couldn't cope with escapees!
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: I'm officially a micro-farmer!! ([WARNING:] creepy crawly factor)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colby and the Dwarfs View Post
I'm doing this too! Of course, mainly for the gecko and turtles

I'm not squeamish, if it was dead I'd eat one, haha!
Why would you eat one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchalot View Post
Eeew. :3 Good luck with it though, I've heard they're not as easy to breed as most people think? Be a nice way to feed your hammies, fresh mealies can get pricey when you feed quite a few.

Not my thing personally. xD I think they stink, and I couldn't cope with escapees!
Escapees??? Escapees??? I hadn't even thought of that! OMG. Holly, you are a brave soul.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: I'm officially a micro-farmer!! ([WARNING:] creepy crawly factor)

Quote:
Originally Posted by souffle View Post
so where are they? Are you waiting for the eggs to hatch just now?
Will you be keeping adults to breed your next generation?
Looks interesting and some nice food for your hams
The mealworms are in the third picture via the attachments, the one with all the bran and carrot slices in it. They are just deep in the bran, as they don't like light very much.

I guess I should explain how the whole setup works. The first picture in the attachments section is the whole shebang, extra wheat bran, the three drawer system and all.

The second picture is the now empty drawer where the adult beetles will go once they are done pupating. The holes drilled into the bottom will allow the eggs they lay and any waste, called frass, to fall through to the second drawer, which is the mealworm drawer, the drawer that I have my first batch of mealworms in now.

If I were to leave the eggs in the same drawer as the beetles, they would eat the eggs as fast as they lay them and I would get nowhere fast.

When the mealworms are big enough, as the eggs themselves are microscopic and the newly hatched mealworms aren't much bigger, I'll feed some to my hams and leave the rest to pupate. That's where the third and bottom most (now empty) drawer comes into play. Its the pupae drawer, where I put mealworms that have pupated in until the emerge as beetles.

The whole setup doesn't smell very much, if at all, and the beetles don't fly so they can't get out and go elsewhere in my house. All mealworms and beetles will be contained easily within the drawers.

Okay, second science lecture is done for today. I hope you took notes, there will be a test later on what I've discussed. JK!! LOL.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: I'm officially a micro-farmer!! ([WARNING:] creepy crawly factor)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colby and the Dwarfs View Post
I'm doing this too! Of course, mainly for the gecko and turtles

I'm not squeamish, if it was dead I'd eat one, haha!

I have 14 beetles, how many did you start out with?
I've just started, so all I have now is roughly 100 mealworms. That's why the first and third drawer are empty.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: I'm officially a micro-farmer!! ([WARNING:] creepy crawly factor)

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Originally Posted by DrKMcK View Post
Why would you eat one?



Escapees??? Escapees??? I hadn't even thought of that! OMG. Holly, you are a brave soul.
I think it'd be interesting. If someone offed me one I'd take it. I'm not going to eat mine though, lol!

Bet the gecko and hammies agree!
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