Starting a Mealworm Farm? It’s one of the simplest things to do for either hobby or profits. Also, it’s very interesting and fun to learn and grow along the way. And
of course, earn a profit for your efforts. Many folks see the profits in being able to feed their pet Lizards Birds, Fish or Chickens free nutritional feed at low or no cost.
You can raise Mealworms from just a small corner of your home or even closet. Raising Mealworms for fun and profit can be an exciting journey. Need help getting started? Visit our Raising Mealworms Website/blog
Heads UP–It’s advised before going into the Mealworm business for fun or profits to consider this. Many beginners to the biz start out way too small on their first purchase of Mealworms.
Since Mealies take up such little space, everyone would have plenty of room for them even if they purchased them in the thousands. So, if you start too small, it could be months before having enough to supplement your pets desire for this nutrient-rich candy.
So, to purchase a thousand or even more Mealworms right out of the gate is your best solution to this problem. 250 Mealworms you almost hold in one hand, depending on the size of your hand.
Unless you want to go from 200 to 300, 300 to 500, in the next 6 to 10 months, don’t start too small. 500 Mealies is nothing but a cup full of the little critters. And could be housed in a tup-a-ware bowl.
Normally you will need to go through two or more stages of their full lifecycle to double your inventory the first go round. Because many pupae never ever make it to become Beetles. So, just be aware that the larger the number you have starting out, the better and faster reproduction occurs. Doubling, Tripling and Quadrupling your inventory.
Remember, Mealworms Take Up Very Little Space
So you can have as much as 5 thousand of these little buggers in a habitat the size of a normal briefcase!
Except for a briefcase-size container you might want it a bit taller on the sides. It would need to be a few inches taller so they cannot climb out. You really need an inch or two of Oats or Bran for their bedding. You do not want even one escapee! The more Mealworms you buy at the startup, the more Future Mealworms you will find yourself producing. Which leads to plenty you can inventory or set aside for your pets.
My Pet Chickens Eat Mealworms Like Candy
In The Beginning–My first encounter with Mealworms and what they were, started a few weeks after I purchased a half dozen baby chicks at an Atwood’s store near me.
And it was at that time during learning about chickens and what they love to eat, that I read up on Mealworms. I immediately decided I wanted some to supplement my hens’ diet and to breed in order to take advantage of having the free feed for them. What a great beginning.
The thing with feeding these to chickens is you can dump 100 large Mealworms into a pin of 5 chickens and mine are looking up at you after about 3 seconds, wanting more.
Don’t underestimate how many of these Mealworms you can give to your pets. Because it can be thousands per week and that is just to supplement their feed.
You don’t want to feed them Mealworms or Beetles exclusively anyway. Too many are actually bad for chickens. Mealworms have an exoskeleton that is difficult to digest in large quantities. Even though they could scarf up a hundred Mealworms each day…that would be too many.
Chickens do not need tons of Mealworms each day. So don’t feed them as much as they will eat. That would be a bad decision. I feed mine about 10 to 20 for each chicken at most. And then a day in between sometimes without any Mealworms.
But when I’m handing these Mealworms out to my chickens, they will flock to me from clear across the yard, like their tail feathers are on fire.
You May Have Seen This Video Below–Click on the arrow…
How To Begin Your Mealworm Farm Set-Up
Buy Mealworms or Darkling Beetles @ RaisingMealworms.Online
Get some plastic bins to put them in…
Add some Bedding to the bins (Oats/Wheat Bran/Cereal or types of Grain)
Add a slice or two of potato or Carrots or Celery (per bin every few days for nourishment)
Most people want to start out small. And that is okay of course. If you have one small lizard to feed. However, if you have chickens like many of us do today, or lots of little mouths to feed, you will want to have plenty of Mealworms for them in the future. Lots of time can go by during the process of a life cycle for the Darkling Beetle. So prepare to over purchase when you decide to start your grow bins.
Wanting To Raise Mealworms?
If you get the urge to, you can buy Mealworms before you even have a place set up for them. Since it is easy to set up a habitat for them very quickly. It is how I got started.
Yet now if I went back I would have purchased way more! Many start out with just a few Mealworms (small size) which is 200, 300 to 500 of the Mealworm Larvae. And later wish they had purchased larger sizes and a larger volumes. As it does take months to get through their life cycle.
However, if we are talking about the size of Mealworms, why buy tiny ones that have to grow for months? The worms you buy can range anywhere from a half inch to one inch in size. Not talking about Super Worms which are way different.
But, regular sized Mealworms from many sellers are listed as large, only to send you some that are very small. So picking the largest size will give you more bang for your buck. Remember, these are very small worms and they love to snuggle so there can be a thousand in a very small area the size of a cereal bowl. But don’t eat them just yet! You will want them to multiply if you are wanting to have a Mealworm Farm
Once you have the Mealworms or Beetles, all you need is a plastic container to live in. As long as they cannot climb out. If you use plastic that is slick, then they will not be able to climb, even though they have six small legs in the front part of their bodies.
If you want a lid on your bin be sure to add some breathing holes and avoid stacking bins where the holes are in the lid. If you want to stack bins the holes must be in the upper sides of the bins. Just out of reach of the Mealworms when they stand on top of their bedding.
Plastic containers come in all shapes and sizes so you may even have some around the house you can empty and use as a first home for your Mealies. Many small grower farms utilize a system that is 3 to 5 drawer plastic dresser type setups. These stack upon each other and then the drawers slide out from their plastic frames allowing for easy access and tending.
For a group of 1000 to 5000 a container that is 25 by 15 is sufficient. A bin that is about 5 inches from bottom to top lip is great. Which will give you room for a couple inches of bedding or substrate. They love to burrow down and hide so this gives them plenty of space for that and also plenty to eat. As they will eat the bedding! Providing it is Oats, Wheat, Cereal or some type of grain.
You will want your container deep so there is no chance of them getting away if you choose to go lid-less. Most growers use open trays so they don’t have to mess with so many lids.
What To Use For Mealworm Bedding
We use Wheat Bran which you can get at some feed stores for about $9 dollars per 40 lb bag. I see many new growers buy oats, cornmeal and cereal from supermarkets which is priced much higher. But either oat, wheat bran or cornmeal will work wonderfully. Oats need to be the rolled oats. Not the regular oats like horses eat. Even horses I think do better on what is called crimped oats rather than whole oats for digestive reasons.
I’ve used crimped oats before and they seem to be able to eat these as well.
The 4 Stages of the Darkling Beetle
I must say the metamorphosis of the Darkling Beetle to the egg and then into a Mealworm is quite interesting. The first stage of life for the Beetle is the Egg of course. That is their beginning. Female Darkling Beetles lay hundreds of white, tiny eggs which will eventually hatch into the larvae stage (Mealworms).
It can take anywhere from about 4 days to 20 days for the eggs to hatch into Mealworms. The eggs are a bit sticky so that they will stick to just about whatever is around. Their stickiness is probably to keep them from washing away in case it rains.
The Mealworm Larvae (Is The Mealworm)
When Mealworms first hatch from the tiny eggs they become the Mealworm. Or larvae. These larvae are so tiny they cannot be seen for weeks, but they look whitish in color and are almost microscope in size. The reason you might see white Mealworms in your group is that they tend to shed their skins many times during their life. 10 to 20 times. And each time they are without their skin their bodies are more whitish in color than brown.
When they are Mealworms they can surely eat lots of grain. They can devour much food as they grow bigger and fatter. They are basically getting their bodies ready for the next life cycle. The Pupa stage.
The Pupa Stage
This is probably viewed as the most inactive but visible state the Mealworms are in. The Mealworms when they are ready to pupate will rise to the surface of the substrate and change into the Pupa. The Pupa does not eat, does not move much (hardly at all-but does twitch every now and again) and merely lays there for about three weeks in this stage.
They do not need food or water when in the pupating state.
While in captivity you must remove the Pupa from the Beetles and the Mealworms or else they will be eaten as a food source. Once the pupa reaches its cycle it will then turn into a Beetle.
The Darkling Beetle
The Beetle must be one of the most remarkable of its species. There are literally hundreds of thousands of species of the Beetle. Yet this one perhaps is most incredible as it transforms itself into 3 unique stages. The egg as the first stage, the larvae or Mealworm as the next, and then the Pupa. From there it turns into a Beetle once more.
Does it ever die? Certainly. The Darkling Beetles soon die after laying hundreds of eggs. That ensures their continued success as a species. And thankfully so. The protein enriched value given by this Beetle has set the bar extremely high on the nutrition charts!
Conclusion To The Darkling Beetles and The Mealworms
If you are interested in getting to Beetles or Mealworms to Raise and perhaps start a farm. Look no further than leaving a comment below. We will respond within 24 hours. Or if you wish you can go over to our website where you will find large numbers of these high-quality Mealworms to buy.
We help all insect lovers with feeding their pets and learning how to raise and grow their own farms. And since these Mealworms are such special treats for your chickens, lizards, fish and birds, we’ve come together to help every individual we can to take advantage of raising your own feed. With low start-up costs… On up to huge profits.
How To Give Mealworms Water
One thing you will need to think about is giving your Mealworms and Beetles water. Please understand Mealworms and Beetles need moisture. They don’t drink from a water fountain of course, so here is how to give them their water.
Most growers will use some type of vegetable or fruit. Layed on top of their bedding. But be careful as when you put a slice of fruit down on their bedding it can become wet and then create mold. Which will kill your Mealies.
So many growers will put down a slice of potato or Apple onto a thin piece of plastic to keep it off the oats or wheat bran bedding or substrate. As long as you keep an eye on this you will be just fine.
Some growers use water crystals that sit inside a container. They stay moist for a long time and the Mealworms can crawl over to take in the moisture.
How To Feed Mealworms
Mealworms eat the substrate or bedding you have in the container. As long as it is some type of grain. Oats, Wheat Bran, ground up chicken feed, Cereals, etc…Some mix their foods up to be part Cornmeal or Bran, Oats and ground Cornmeal. Providing that you have some type of grain formula there.
Your Mealworms and your Darkling Beetles will be fine. You can use blended Chicken Layer Grain that chickens eat, Oats, Wheat Bran or even Cornmeal is mostly used here in the states I believe. Most growers use Wheat Bran as that is much finer texture and mealworms seem to do best with eating it.
Remember, you are not putting fruit or vegetables in their bin so they can eat them…However, they do consume these for moisture. And you should see many tiny bite marks upon the outer edges. By nibbling on these the Mealworms get the needed intake of water.