Fattening Up Mealworms
Mealworms are a great source of food for wild birds. A good mealworm selection can keep birds such as bluebirds returning to your bird feeder regularly. Live mealworms can be bought from many pet shops and websites in large quantities. Mealworms are not worms at all: they are actually beetle larvae. When breeding mealworms for bird food purposes, you will need to feed them before they get a chance to turn into fully formed black beetles. For a guide to fattening your mealworms up, see the following. %%AFC-ADVERT%%
When breeding mealworms for food you must make sure they are kept warm. Do not make the common mistake of putting them in the fridge the whole time, as this makes them dormant and will prevent growth. Take them out and keep them warm so they start to feed and then put them back into refrigeration the following day.
Feed your mealworms by filling up their container with high-protein grain. The live mealworms will eat this up and it will become a fine powder. When this powder sinks to the bottom you should replace it with fresh grain. Use rolled oats or wheat bran.
In addition, add in some extra high protein food such as dog or cat kibble. This does not need to be ground as the mealworms will manage with larger chunks. You could also encourage growth by adding poultry feed or brewer’s yeast.
Be sure to keep an eye on the shape of the mealworms. The more protein they eat, the closer they will come to pupating. The appearance of the mealworm will change and you will notice this. This is when you know that you can feed them to your birds with the live mealworms before they turn into beetles.