Monday, September 10, 2012

Worms, update

Been wondering what became of the mealworm project? Several months ago we placed some mealworms in a plastic storage bucket, hoping to grow enough to supplement the birds in winter. The method we started with was much too labor intensive and soon fell off the list of chores.

Surprisingly, after no attention for several Months, we opened the box to find a thriving community of worms and beetles!  That have me an idea.  Perhaps we can use the hardiness of the beetles to make life easier.

So. ... we pulled an old sand box (from our California days) from storage and put it use.  We dumped all the individual worm boxes into the sandbox,  and placed it into the barn.  There are literally thousands of not millions of worms in various stages of development.  The sand box has a  fitted solid top to keep the chickens out and provide darkness for the bugs. The bedding is a  combination of chicken feed,  goat feed,  and alfalfa making a couple inches of material across the entire bottom.

The plan is simple. Feed them occasional scraps, keep it covered, and weekly pull out a bucket of worms,  beetles,  and feed. That can be feed directly to the birds quite easily as part of the regular feeding.

When winter hits,  we will bury one or two of the flat panel ceramic brooder heaters in the bedding. With a cover it should be like summer year round!

The only risk at this point is that the worms or beetles climb up the sides. There is some possibility of that by watching them so far. Need a bright idea about this challenge.

If this works,  the birds well have a constant diet of bugs all winter!

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