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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:45 am 
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Hi Ginny,

Exciting isn't it! I watched some of my new worms shed their skin last night. They must be close to pupating by their size, I think. Found a use for the brown wrapping from my Australasian Poultry magazine and the worms demolished the thin layer of choko that I fed the last night.

Now, until the experts get back to you:
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When they turn into beetles, they go in the beetle box, which is a giant sieve. They are in a small layer bran. They do what beetles do and their tiny eggs stick to the bran. Every couple of days I give the giant sieve a shake and the bran with the eggs falls through into the egg box. Then the cycle starts again.
from Glennie. Only butting in here as I've been studying the thread.

So it would seem safe to put the beetles in some bran. I don't know if they feed on it or not but it is apparently what the eggs stick to and will be something for the new larvae to feed on as they hatch.

Cheers,
Desnee (Gold Coast) :D


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:11 pm 
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Ginny,

You are correct, there is no need to add the apple/carrot to the beetle box. They will eat the bran hence why Glennie shakes out some bran every day. (I like Glennies idea of just mixing the torn up egg shell cartons with a handful of bran flakes in a colander.) Otherwise the beetles will eat not only the bran, but the eggs on it. The beetles will also eat the pupae so dont keep adding pupae to your beetle box. Wait till they turn into beetles and then put them in with the others to breed. This keeps up your supply of egg layers.

You then take that small amount of bran you shook out of the beetle box and put that into a clean container of bran. Once you see the bran moving (the larvae at this stage are very small) then add your peelings. When the larvae get bigger, you can transfer them to your feeder stock or just grow them out where they are, then use them to feed with or pupate them to produce more beetles.

You should have about 5 containers going. A big feeder one ( I use one of those big "underbed" storage boxes. Remembering that each female beetle will lay 500 eggs if you had 100 beetles laying for you, thats 50000 larvae), a beetle one, an immature larvae one, a pupae one and one of larvae you are growing to pupae. Obviously you will end up with pupae also in your feeder box so you might not need a growing out one eventually.

If you get to the stage you cant feed that many to the chooks, put some of the feeders into those hard plastic chinese takeaway containers (holes in the top) and pop them in the fridge, that will slow them down from developing into pupae or sell them to your friends for their chooks/birds/reptiles.

Sorry if that sounds a bit jumbled :) trying to work at the same time.

J

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:24 pm 
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Jocler,

Thanks for all the information!

Desnee :D


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:33 pm 
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Cackles,

Sorry, it was your post about being correct I was responding to :) I addessed it to Ginny

J

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:20 pm 
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Thanks Jocler and Cackles. I think I need some more boxes LOL

Just off to feed the worms and sort out the beetle box. Then on to clean out the incubator which finally has no eggs or hatching chicks in it. Finally a morning to myself at least until lunch. I've just finished recovering a lawn cage for the chicks, this time with a bottom cover so my dogs don't dig under and eat my chicks. Twitching wire is hard work so I think I've earned a cuppa first.

Cheers

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:24 pm 
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Hi Ginny,

Yes. You will need to take the beetles out of the pupae box. The beetles can eat the pupae. You can still feed beetles the sliced apple. If you only have a small number of beetles, just put in a very small amount of apple. I have torn up egg cartons in my beetle box. I atomise that once a day as well as having the apple for moisture. You can see the beetles actually drinking the water droplets!

You're going great guns!

Glennie


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:36 pm 
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Just bought my "starter pack" of 100grams of mealworms at Petstock in Geelong. Now will re-read the instructions I printed out from here - thankyou :D - and then all ready to start production. Will keep an eye on this page for further tips :D :D Judy


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:49 pm 
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I thought you guys may be interested in seeing my high tech mealworm facility! :shock:

[img][img]http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Glennie_01/mealiesandducks019_edited.jpg[/img]

[/img]Image
The green collander is mealie :lol: a lid to keep the critters in...and other critters out! Nice and light and airy.
[img][img]http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Glennie_01/mealiesandducks012_edited.jpg[/img]

Beetle Box (Collander with egg cartons torn up and moistened)

[/img]Image
"Breeders Box" with mesh lid. This may not be necessary in winter.
[img][img]http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Glennie_01/mealiesandducks006.jpg[/img]
Next cycles' breeding stock.
[/img][IMG]


Hope all this is helpful. All of the equipment was recyled or found at the $2.00 shop.

I am harvesting in excess of 100 pupae a day at the moment. This will slow down as winter approaches I am sure.

I have never breed meal worms before now, so I could lose the lot tomorrow. :? I think I'm on the right track though.

I cannot emphasis enough that if your treat these critters like any of your well cared for birds/horses/dogs, you will be breeding them with no problems. Give them the right environment and food and water.

[/img]Image

Glennie


Last edited by Glennie on Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:55 pm 
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Very nice Glennie.....

Mine looks just as neat and tidy.........







*jocler sneaks down the back armed with screwdrivers and bits of wood muttering.......*

J

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:02 pm 
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Thanks heaps Glennie - the photos are terrific, very impressive and inspiring!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:16 am 
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Duurrrhhhh! I couldn't figure out how to keep the beetles in the seive - they kept crawling out. Why didn't I think of a lid?? :shock:

Okay now I need to go and rethink my boxes - and shelving - and buckets and.... I really like the idea of buckets under the beetles in the (lidded!) colander.

Thanks for posting the pics. It is so much easier for a visual person like me. I have to go shopping for some more stuff. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:18 am 
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BTW Glennie do you use rolled oats for just the lava? And can it be bought in bulk?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:04 am 
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Thanks for the photos, Glennie! and I liked your pun! (I might have to assemble that set of shelves that is still in the carton a couple of years after purchase.)

Is the last picture showing pupae? They don't get all smooth like a butterfly pupa? I read somewhere that a plastic spoon can be used for handling them - is that what you use?

I think my worms must have been in the pet shop for a while as they are pretty big and on top of the bran etc. They came in a small container about the size of a 500g margarine tub but started to climb out as soon as I opened it so put them into a 2l ice-cream container straight away. Put in a couple of sweetcorn cobs after harvesting the kernels for seed and the larvae definitely approve! Maybe I didn't need to buy the 100g size tub of meal worms to start. There were certainly a lot in it - few less now that I gave some to my new chicks! It didn't take long for at least one gecko to check out the mealies on my kitchen window sill when I left the lid open.

I feel like a kid again - next step pupae...D :D


Last edited by Cackles on Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:16 pm 
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Cackles,

Yep. The last picture is pupae. They don't get pretty smooth shells like butterflies.

You could use a plastic spoon :lol: but I think it's faster to use your fingers (gently). Do you know if your mealworms aren't happy (or maybe too happy as they are) they don't pupate. They can stay as lavae for a very long time. Up to 12 months.

Ginny, I experimenting with the rolled oats. They eat just about anything; including wheat germ, rice cereal etc. I thought the rolled oats might
make it easier to sift. I have only been buying from Woolies and not in bulk.

Judy, As your plastic containers (buckets, boxes or collanders)get more use and more bugs, the dust builds up on the sides of them. The beetles and the mealies with their tiny little feet can climb up the sides of the containers quite easily. So when it comes time, clean the containers and get rid of the old dust.

Glennie


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:35 pm 
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thanks for the photos glennie, when penny gave me the mealworms and i asked her what the pupae looked like she mysteriously told me "you will know" :lol: :lol: well i didn't! when rescuing them from pesky ants yesterday i was wondering what the funny looking things were, and if it were a stage on the way to pupating! not the actual pupae.....now i know they are teh pupae and to rescue them from being eaten!!
thanks for all your help, its great!

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