Grubby Update

I have been able to document almost all the stages of the meal worm now. It’s been a lot of fun. Continue reading only if pics of insects are of interest to you!

The meal worms (grubs) the day they came home to live with me.

They shed their skins and become these bright white, immobile, alien looking pupae. The white turns more golden colored with time.

After a week, the pupa starts to develop noticeable eyes and the new legs become darkly defined.

Here is the beetle just “awakened”. They start off beige, turn orange in a few hours and then black.

I just have left to show the darkling beetle in its black stage and show the eggs. I don’t know if those will be big enough to photograph. So far this whole process has taken 2 and 1/2 weeks!

Update: Aug 25, 2012

I have now been through 2 complete cycles. My worms now are the size of the original ones I purchased and will soon be ready to pupate. The first complete cycle took 4 months and the second cycle took 4.5 months. The difference was probably because for the second cycle I saved the worms that developed later in the batch to make more beetles. The earlier ones were frozen or fed to the chickies.

I must say it would be very easy to compound your numbers very quickly. I started off with 250 meal worms. I fed about 50 to the chickens for a tastey taste. The next batch I only kept a portion and that was more like 600. Additionally I froze about 400 and fed the peeps another 500, probably more.

200—-> 1500   1st batch
600 (kept)—> 4,500 potentially 2nd batch

I will be switching out of my square foot boxes and into some underbed sweater boxes.

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8 Responses to Grubby Update

  1. Laura says:

    Yum – for the chickens anyway. They just awakened beetle is very pretty – looks like jewelry (a lot of jewelry seems to have beetles as the image, so you could just tie a thread around his little leg and wear him on your shoulder…) Just sayin’

  2. Dan says:

    Do you have names for all of them? LOLOLOL
    I know the chicks will love the larva but would they eat the adults also? That would be good if they did because that means they wouldn’t go to waste.

    • Julie Helms says:

      I need the adults to lay eggs, which they do till they die in a few weeks. I will see if the chickens like the crunchy dead ones.I’m thinking protein potato chip-type thing!

      • Dan says:

        I remember you telling me the adult can lay hundreds of eggs I would just hate to see the protein from the adults go to waste after the egg laying. If they won’t eat them whole maybe the would if crushed up and made into a sludge.

  3. Trish says:

    Nom nom nom. Chickie feast makers!!

  4. I believe chickens will enjoy those little snacks in any form. Wait until you see the no-holds-barred-all-out chicken- race that will develop when your majestic, normally peaceful chickens figure out that you’re approaching with a container full of these culinary delights. “Stampede” comes to mind. “:)

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