Home › Forums › Bluebird Chatter › New to feeding live mealworms…instructions needed.
- This topic has 40 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 10 months ago by blue diamonds.
May 22, 2020 at 11:20 pm #8234
Right Carol. The activity is to kill the live bugs or larva as they may bite or their sharp leg appendages may scratch and injure the throat passage of the young birds as the parents try to put them in their beaks. This happen in a lot of the small bird species.
Stafford, VAMay 23, 2020 at 9:00 am #8235
Wow, thanks David – you are a wealth of info. “Leg appendages” what on earth is that in a mealworm?May 23, 2020 at 9:19 am #8236
All insects have 6 legs. The little growths at the front end of the larva are the beginning of those legs. They help the larva move through whatever medium it is living in (dirt, wood, grain, meal) If you notice in our mealworms those little growths are pointed to help them move. That is why they need to be immobilized before feeding to the youngsters as their throat tissue is still maturing. In some larva there is a pincer or sharp jaw at the mouth end that could bite and injure a tender throat.
Okay, enough entomology. Took this after putting the mealworms in the cage this morning to see if the parents will be okay with the feeder. The nestlings are 8 days old. Fecal sac ready for disposal.
- This reply was modified 3 years ago by David in Stafford,VA.
Stafford, VAMay 23, 2020 at 9:41 am #8238
Judy – Sorry for hijacking your thread with my blues. I will take my progress back to my thread. :(
Stafford, VAMay 23, 2020 at 9:51 am #8239blue diamondsParticipant
Night and day difference in packaging of mealworms. Purchased a starter bunch from Wild Birds Unlimited, beautifully packed in fresh oatmeal base in a container, lid with air holes. Mail order was from Tractor supply, came in a small box with egg crate inside. Before opening there was a stench coming from the box. Upon opening mealworms were crawling everywhere, including between the seams of the box and attached to top and bottom of egg crate liner and awful smell. It was an unpleasant experience, to say the least. Yuck‼️ I don’t know which is typical, but I do know where not to order from.
Judy-MichiganMay 23, 2020 at 3:17 pm #8241
Judy, I ordered from Grubco that Carol had recommended. Carol they did accept my 10,000 worm order. I will let you know how that turns out. My starter cup of 1000 from WBU store did not have the air holes in the cup top. I put them in when I got home. As you said, they were neatly packed and in fresh meal.
Stafford, VAMay 23, 2020 at 5:33 pm #8243
Gang, the large quantity worms from actual places where they grow them, comes in a large white sack with newspapers for air, when ordered, not ready for refrigeration at all. Yes, this is not a pleasant thing but I can dump 10,000 in a large container (I actually use a bucket in my bathtub) and get them dislodged from the newspapers and then into my plastic containers in about 20 minutes. For this number I usually have four containers, depending on size of container. You really do not want to overload them in one or two containers – they will not survive. But this is the way I handle 10,000, and 5,000 is much more doable – I just like to get the large orders if I can and then feed them every 10 or 14 days.
P.S. strange that WBU cups did not have holes in their lids – this is definitely necessary. I still have some old 100 and 500 size cups from different “emergency” buys with holes in lids and use them to put about 2-3 days worth into fridge. Another nice picture, David!May 23, 2020 at 7:30 pm #8247
That is good to know Carol. I am headed to Walmart to pick up several storage containers. I am using a dinner tray that we got from an oriental carry-out a week ago it seems to be a good fit for the 1000 mealworms in that WBU container I just put holes in the top for air and ruined it for whatever my wife was saving it for.
Stafford, VAMay 23, 2020 at 9:40 pm #8248blue diamondsParticipant
Carol, thanks for informing us newbies on what to expect with delivery of live mealworms. I’m sure shaking them from newspaper is no fun! After getting the neatly packed starter worms I was not ready for the wild worms. Lol.
David, I never felt hijacked…..I always enjoy your posts and photos, so keep them coming. I want to hear if you get them to accept the caged feeder. Good luck with your upcoming order of mealworms.
Judy-MichiganMay 26, 2020 at 10:00 am #8263JulieParticipant
Thanks for sharing this amazing mealworm info!!! Saving it all for the future. I haven’t fed mealworms yet. We live near a river and the bug content here even in daylight is astounding. We can’t use any outdoor lights at night from June until a hard frost in fall. But you all are inspiring me to consider offering mealworms. I’m so thankful for all you share.May 28, 2020 at 8:47 pm #8279Rich KParticipant
There is a big shortage on meal worms right now. The best place to get them on line is Exotic Nutrition. They are the least expensive, great shipping charges and good quality worms. They are limiting purchases to 3,000 per week right now. I actually have the breeding kit and am starting to breed my own meal worms for year round feeding. I find a small blue open cup with a hanger (I got it at WBU) works the best but I have also used a small shallow Rubbermaid container on the deck that they come to all the time. I do exactly what Carol does. Feed them in first thing in the AM and a little closer to dusk. I usually put 50-60 out for 2 adults and 4/5 chicks. My pair knows exactly when they are going to get fed because they show up like clockwork!! I find Momma is better at collecting a lot in her bill and taking them straight to babies. Dad seems to Scooby snak about 5 or 6 first then he carries some off. I have also put bugs we catch in the house, like Daddy Longlegs in there. I pluck a wing off so they can’t fly off but they are still very much alive and the EABL’s love those!! I am convinced that feeding the meal worms during the cold snap saved my brood this year. I actually doubled the amount during that time. I also provided crushed up eggshells for the calcium and they do eat these as well.May 28, 2020 at 9:08 pm #8281
My shipment of 5,000 worms came in today and they are in containers getting fat on the wheat bran and sliced carrots. I’ll put them in the fridge tomorrow. They really are hungry after 2 or 3 days packed up in a box. I have had real good luck with both worm companies from Ohio and especially like the quick shipping with just regular mail charges. These were shipped out on Tuesday and arrived early this morning, Thursday. I sure would not want to have to order every week and pay all those shipping charges. But everyone has their favorites. My juveniles which fledged about 12 days ago are not going inside my feeder and eating on their own – been doing this about 3 days now. Quite a site. Still waiting on the parents making a new nest, but it has been raining almost every day and everything is too wet for them to build.May 29, 2020 at 10:54 pm #8283
Carol and all. I ordered mine from Grubco last Thursday before the 3 day holiday, so they did not ship until this Tuesday and arrived on Wednesday, just after noon. Had them in the containers in about an hour. I was a bit surprised at how the little critters were eating the paper that was in the shipping bag and in every fold there seemed to be a dozen or more. I have another day of feeding to do before I start refrigerating. Like Rich, I have about a third of the worms setup for breading. I want to see how that goes. I will post some progress on that later.
Stafford, VAMay 30, 2020 at 9:57 am #8284
David & Rich, all I can say is you both are brave to try raising the worms – that is quite a process. Back on our old forum there is a great wealth of information on this, but I am sure you have both researched the matter. A link to this is http://www.bluebirdnut.com/Feeding.htm and scroll down to “Raising Mealworms”. I had printed this info off when I first began birding in 2008 and decided not to try it. Wish you both luck in your new endeavor!May 30, 2020 at 10:16 am #8286JulieParticipant
I have a question about mealworms. Is there an odor with them or the bedding? I ask b/c we have just one fridge, and I’m nervous if these are smelly. You all are so helpful! I would study before trying mealworms, but have already learned there’s much more to it than I realized.
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