Memories caught through my camera - the many faces and things I love.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Worms Crawl In.....Worms Crawl Out!

I've recently decided to raise meal worms to feed the birds and maybe even fish a little. Never thought in a thousand years I'd be a wormer, but it's actually easy and pretty cheap.

I started with some worms/beetles given to me by a resident where I work - he has been raising meal worms for years. I purchased some feed (bran oats mixture) from a local feed store. Cost about $7 for 5lbs which last me for probably 3 months.

You can feed them wheat bran, corn meal or uncooked oats purchased at a local grocery store, but I find the meal worm feed from Garr's is the best and probably the cheapest in the long run.

Originally, I kept them in a litterbox pan with a piece of poster board for a lid. I punched holes into the poster board for air circulation. I have since advanced to a plastic drawer system - which seems to be working well.

I feed them about a cup of feed once a week, place an apple or potato half in the drawers, along with a folded paper towel (for hiding and egg laying). Then I just wait and before long I have lot and lots of worms. Sometimes I have lots and lots of beetles - but that is good because they lay eggs and then I get worms.

Pictured below is an apple placed in the drawer - within approximately 10 minutes it was covered with worms.

Did you know that meal worms aren't really worms but the larva stage of a beetle, the Tenebrio Molitor or darkling beetle. There are four life stages of the darkling beetle - the egg, larva, pupa and adult (aka mealworm).

Chickadees, bluebirds, wrens and woodpeckers love meal worms. I really hope to get some great pictures of the birds enjoying these tasty treats!

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