The Meal-worms are growing exponentially here at Leafhopper Farm! We’ve doubled our output and are now in the height of growing season. Worms are plentiful by the end of summer, having all the warmth of several months to speed up metabolisms and uptick reproduction. They will continue to breed through the winter, but without a constant heat source, our output will be much lower by the end of winter into early spring. Our production is not up high enough yet to justify and fully heated system. The worms are worth the effort though, and as we raise the number of birds in our home flock, we’ll grow our worm farm to match.
The work that goes into these bugs is so minimal, sometimes I forget they are there! As more space becomes insulated and habitable, we’ll create a special set of shelves for our worm farm in which a constant temperature will enhance production, bringing our numbers to sustainable levels as a feed for the home flock. Winter bugs will be most valuable, as the natural world outside is usually too cold for bugs to thrive. Layer hens need constant protein, even in winter if you would like to keep up your egg production.
Meal-worms are worth your time, as a staple for poultry, and as a healthy protein source for you! Diversity of diet keep out immune system healthy. Bugs are eaten as a staple in many other countries, and there are some great native bugs almost everywhere you live. Make sure you know what the bugs were eating before you partake. It is possible to flush a bug’s system by keeping them captive for a few days and feeding them fresh greens. In an urban setting or near chemically treated spaces, bugs will not be present; they were exterminated. That’s an indicator for you to think about. If the chemicals are killing life, they are probably not so good for your life. Small exposures add up too, and the soil has a history you can test. Know what’s in the ground before you grow.
Leafhopper Farm meal-worms are fed organic materials only, though sometimes “stale”. Before I ever plan on selling them commercially, I would have the bugs tested for protein content and other trace minerals for consumer consciousness. Most meal-worms you buy in pet and feed stores come from China. I promise you those worms are not full of good things. Meal-worms can eat styrofoam and live just fine on the petroleum based fodder. That does put a damper on eating them as a healthy snack. If you really like feeding your pets meal-worms, or supplementing livestock grain, buy some organically raised worms and start a little farm. The worms are safe to handle and could be a pet themselves. No water necessary, just add minimal fruit, veggies, and grain.