If you grow your own chicken in your backyard, one of the most economical ways of feeding them is to grow your own mealworms at home for them. Mealworm is perhaps the most ideal meal to feed home grown chickens and it is less stressful and inexpensive when you do it yourself.
Another good thing about growing mealworms at home for your chickens is that over 90% of the things you need to get started can be found within your compound / household. Perhaps the few things that you would need to source for if you want to start growing mealworms at home is the knowledge of how to grow mealworms and where to get the initial supply of mealworms to get started. The fact that you need little or no effort to get mealworms to multiple in their 100s within few weeks makes it a fulfilling venture to engage in.
As a matter of fact, if you have enough space within your compound, and you are able to create conducive environment for mealworms to grow, you will not only grow mealworms for your chickens, but you are likely going to end up selling mealworms to poultry farmers and also to fishermen et al. That is another way you can generate income as an entrepreneur.
Now let us quickly consider the steps you would need to follow if you want to grow mealworms at home for your chickens;
How to Grow Mealworms at Home for Chickens in 5 Simple Steps
1. Equip Yourself with the Right Knowledge
If you want to grow mealworms at home for your chickens, the first thing that you are expected to do is to equip yourself with the right knowledge on how to grow mealworms. Although the process of growing mealworms is simple, but if you take your time to get the right knowledge, it will make things much easier for you and you will end up not only growing mealworm for your chicken but also engage in the sale of mealworms to poultry owners and even fishermen.
You can log on to the internet to read up all you could lay your hands on about mealworms. The truth is that, if you spend time reading about mealworms before you start growing them, you would know about the most suitable bedding for mealworms, the ideal temperature that encourages the multiplications of mealworms, the ideal containers to be used for growing mealworms and how to harvest mealworms et al.
2. Create a Space in Your Compound and Position Containers / Drawers for Growing Mealworms
Growing mealworms at home might not be a desirable sight you would want your visitors to see so what you are expected to do is to create a space somewhere in your compound where you can conveniently grow your mealworms without disturbance.
Once you are able to create a space for growing your mealworms, you are expected to install your containers / drawers where you will grow the mealworms. In selecting containers for your mealworms, ensure that you choose a container that will allow easy airflow. So if you want to make use of a plastic container with lid, ensure that you drill some couple of holes around the containers.
3. Prepare Your Containers / Drawers
The next thing that you are expected to do if you have gotten a space and containers for growing mealworms is to prepare the containers in order to aid the easy growth of mealworms. You would need a suitable bedding / flooring in the container if you want your mealworms to grow without restrictions.
Newspapers, egg cartons, leave and cardboard paper can be used in flooring the containers; mealworm finds it comfortable to hide under such materials. It is also ideal to make use of edible bedding materials; you can make use of materials like corn meal, wheat germ, oats and chicken feeds et al. Also in preparing your containers for growing mealworms, you would also need moisture source. Water melon, carrots, potatoes and oranges et al can be used for as your moisture source.
4. Get Supply of Mealworms
Once you are able to prepare your containers for growing your own mealworms, the next thing for you to do is to get supply of mealworms. You can talk to people in your neighborhood to show you where to buy mealworms from and you can go online to search for sellers of mealworms.
You can try Amazon and eBay perhaps you might get people who deal in mealworms there. The bottom line is that you should buy fewer mealworms because with the ideal environment, you won’t struggle to get your mealworms to multiply in their hundreds within few weeks of kick starting the process of growing mealworms.
5. Know When and How to Harvest Mealworms
Another info that will come in handy for you if you want to grow mealworms at home for your chickens is to know when to harvest mealworms and how to harvest them. If you miss the timing for harvesting your mealworms, they will metamorphous into beetle and your aim of growing mealworms for your chicken would have been defeated. Unless you have made provision for the beetle to be part of the process, if not, then you should harvest the larvae as soon as you can.
If you want the beetles to be part of the process, then you would need another drawer to house the beetle to allow for easy mating. It takes about two weeks for the eggs produced by beetles to hatch and the process will start all over again. One good thing about beetles is that they don’t fly so you don’t need to worry about how you can keep them intact in your drawer.
The essence of growing your mealworms is to feed your chickens, so ensure that you grow enough mealworms that you can comfortably feed your chicken with, besides chicken also eat dead and dried mealworms that makes it easier for you.
There you have it; the steps to follow if you want to grow your mealworm at home for your chickens.