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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:50 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Thankyou Jocler and Glennie for all that great information...I to have printed it out and hope to start a colony off very soon...
Thankyou again..
cheers
Looloo :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:48 pm 
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Champion Bird
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I rang my local pet supply today (Geelong). They have had a number of recent inquiries about mealworms, but are not sure about stocking them. It seems the mealworms come from Qld. The pet supply owners are not sure if demand warrants the large amounts apparently required for an order. I suggested maybe the mealworms could be frozen, and this would make stocking them a more viable option. Do you think freezing them works? The produce store don't stock them either. Looks like I won't be starting my mealworm production for a while yet :roll: . Judy


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:19 am 
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Great Game
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:roll: I've had a similar story judy.
I spoke to one of the bigger pet supply places near me, and had to speak to four different people before i even found someone that knew what meal worms were! Much the same at a smaller store too.
Not a good start... they seemed entirely uninterested in getting them in.
My resources are not exhausted, but i do think it won't be the easiet of tasks...

Oh well, back to the phones.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:56 am 
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Phoenix
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Hi Guys,

I am not sure what the official implications are (can you freight them interstate?). If there isnt any issues about sending insects interstate and I doubt there would be except for fruit fly, I can always Express post you some to get you started.

PM me if you want.

J

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:45 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Hello Everyone,

Thankyou so much for all the interesting info.

This week I bought my first 50gms ($6 thankyou) of mealworms, a couple of plastic containers and a big bag of bran and have started my little farm off in the garage under the house (the only cool place around). The first pet shop I walked into had reptiles for sale and mealworms too so I was in luck.

One question to the old hands. How big do they get? I have read there are giant typesbut not sure what varieties we have in Australia. Most of the web info is US based. The tub of mealworms I bought didn't have any advice written on it except 'Live Food - keep refridgerated'.

Thanks again. I'm off to feed them some slices of old apple and a banana skin.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:52 pm 
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Phoenix
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Hi Ginny,

They grow to about 25mm (1" in the old measurements). I havent been able to find the Giant ones here, but as they say, good things come in small packages. :)

Happy farming and if you have any more questions, let us know. If you keep them at about 26C you will find they develop into beetles quicker and you can speed up the process of getting a feeder farm going

J

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:20 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Ok so some are ready to pupate. My largest would be that size. I'll keep an eye on the container (with glasses on if I can find them!)

I am so excited. I have Light Sussex hatching this weekend and guinea fowl next week so plenty of mouths to feed.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:36 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Hi Ginny,

Don't get too excited yet! You have a way to go yet in establishing enough mealies for your flock.

As soon as you see the pupae formed (the little alien creatures) take them out of the lavae box and keep them seperate. They will take a little while before they turn into beetles. The beetles will be a lovely brown colour when they first emerge. As soon as you see the beetles, take them away from the pupae and put them into the beetle box and there they will happily lay their eggs and the whole thing starts again.

My beetle boxes are simply a spaghetti collander placed over a smallish bucket (like a fetta cheese or honey bucket). The beetles go into the collander with some bran and some cut up egg cartons. (They like to hide in the egg cartons) Every couple of days give the collander a shake and the eggs that are attached to the bran flakes fall through the collander into the little bucket below. And there you egss can live happily with out being eaten by beetles. When they hatch, they are microspopic.
And will take a good week or two until you can actually see them.

Don't be tempted to feed your breeders to your flock.

Good luck

Glennie


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:08 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Okay so how many should I allow to pupate and turn into beetles? Even 50gms seems to have an awful lot of grubs in it. I'm just dying to try a couple with the chicks to see how they like them. Maybe I should just try a dozen or so of the grubs and leave the rest.

Like others I have copied and pasted all of yours and Jocler's comments and advice into a Word Doc for future reference as I am sure to forget something. I intend to give a copy to my niece who may find it interesting too. If only I had known all this six months ago when raising my magpie. It would have been easier than running around catching locusts. Alas a cat caught her one night so it is only for my chicks now. :(

You suggested a paper bag on top of the bran. Do the fruit slices go underneath? I presume so as the fruit is sinking rapidly into the bran layer.

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Ginny - in West Australia


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:31 pm 
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Phoenix
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Good grief Glennie, I have been sifting the beetles from the bran....why didnt I think of putting the beetles in the sifter to start with......great idea and a time saver.

That is a really good tip!

J

Ginny, mealworms are great for rearing native bird chicks that need to be released, they are not so dependant on human seeds and grains when they go.....mind you, magpies hang around for years, we had one that came back yearly to show off her latest brood..still love the sound of them carolling in the morning.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:56 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Camira, South East Queensland
Go on Ginny! Feed some mealies to your babies. I know you want to.
The more mealies you keep the faster you can build your own colony.

The sliced apple goes on top of the bran layer. If the apple isn't eaten with a few days, toss it and give some fresh ones. Watch for flies as well. If it gets stinky the balance isn't right. Don't overface the little grubs with too much apple/carrot. If the apple disappears overnight, increase the number of slices. Don't forget they are also living off the bran or oats or whatever is in your strata. :shock:

I put brown paper bags over the top. I atomise the brown paper bags twice a day. It's extremely hot and humid here at the moment. The mealies need the moisture to survive. They will start to eat each other if they have no moisture. but PLEASE BE CAREFUL. You can easlily lose a box because it has gone mouldy from too much water! Just enough to dampen the bags.
As your mealies get older and bigger and are ready to pupate they seem to like hiding in the bags. This is an ideal way of harvesting them.

Glennie


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:01 pm 
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Golden Brush Turkey
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ohhh,
i read your posts slightly enviously ginny! i still await my meal worms...theyare arriving on thursday from a friend. everything else is ready and waiting for them, and i certainly don't have to worry about them not being warm enough at the moment :lol: :lol: :lol:

but seriously, will they slow down if they get too hot?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:26 pm 
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Showy Hen
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I must admit it surprised me how easy they were to buy after reading all the other posts. I just went into a pet shop in Joondalup and there they were, 25,50 & 100gm tubs, all lined up in the fridge along with the crickets.

Quote:
but seriously, will they slow down if they get too hot?


I was wondering the same. At present I have them under the house as the only stable temp area I have other than in the house and I took note about them being a pest in the pantry if they get out. Hubby's eyebrows nearly disappeared into his thinning hair when he came home and saw yet ANOTHER thing around the house. He is used to silkworms so I convinced him they weren't much different really.

Another question. How susceptable to insecticide are they? I use a robocan in the house at all times but downstairs is not affected by that (I think!). It doesn't seem to affect the spiders down there so hope it is safe enough.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:41 pm 
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Phoenix
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Ginny.

Either way you look at it, they are an insect so an insecticide is not going to be good for them.

Not sure how suseptible to temperatures they are. I have them down in my stables which dont get that hot with a breezeway down the centre. Being this close to the water it is always about 5-10 degrees less than the rest of Sydney. I do know they say they are ok up to about 28C and the optimal temp is about 26C for development.

Glennie would probably have a better idea of that coming from the humid, semi tropics of Queensland.

J

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:59 pm 
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Golden Brush Turkey
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mmm, have been wondering about the temp thing, as i was going to put them out the back where the worm farm is.......it slows down alot at this time of year and at the coldest part of winter, i think it gets too warm for the poor darlings. the back verandah is on south side of house, and the max/min therm out there sometimes pushes between 45-50! ...like today for instance....(sorry being a real heat wuss this week :lol: ) mind you its shady, and as i get grape vines etc growing over the years it will hopefully become a more satisfactory microclimate!

both are protected from frost in winter

so, using the logic that if my earthworm farm can survive there, my mealworm farm should be ok....sound reasonable? not exposed to direct sunlight either.

good to know they are easy to get in joonadalup. i cheated, and decided to ask my friend who already has an established mealworm farm if i could get some from them............saves me a 3 hr return drive and they are bringing them to craft next week :wink: :lol:

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