Sunday, July 10, 2016

Okay, The Mealy Worm Condo Tour!

And Mini Rant- Grrr....

Worm Condos

As promised, this post is about the 'Condo' we made in anticipation of getting our long awaited meal worms! First, I had two orders of meal worms cancelled because it turns out neither of the "quality" meal worm breeders I ordered from ship to Hawaii! And of course, they didn't bother to say anything in their ad on Amazon, nor in their check out process, nor in their order confirmations. Each order I placed, went through monies exchanged and only after three days, plus or minus, I get a second email telling me the transaction didn't complete. No reason why, just that it didn't complete.

This being Hawaii, I guess not everyone wants to put our zip code on the package. I have to assume that those that won’t are jealous since all 10 of the major shippers- USPS, FedEX, UPS, DHL, YRC, TNT, Bolt Express, OnTrac, etc., - already deliver here or the dealers just don’t know it’s no more time or effort to get their products to us Islanders. We already expect to foot the difference in price and time- we know it takes an extra day to get here from Michigan.  Seriously, The BIG THREE SHIP HERE!

Lots of meal wormsOk, with my mini rant done, we ordered 10,000 live meal worms from a supplier in California that we found on Ebay.com. Decent price and they said fast shipping. We ordered on July 5, shipping was confirmed on my Ebay.com account on the 7th (two days slower than they advertised). As of Saturday the 9th, the shipments still says its in San Diego but in transit and we can expect it on Monday, July 11th. That is tomorrow! We’ll see how it goes. Either way, we are ready on this end.
The condo started out as a Sterilite brand 3 tray stackable organizer. This is made for holding scrapbooking paper at 12”x12” square and each drawer a full ream thick. Actual drawer dimensions are: 14 5/8" L x 14 1/2" W x 10 5/8"H

3 drawer wide stackable unit
Sterilite’s web site calls it their 2093 - Wide 3 Drawer Unit. It does stack well, but we opted for a side by side arrangement.

After checking the web for ideas, we know we needed a love nest for the grown beetles, a nursery for the eggs and babies, and a room of their own for the growing worms.



Screened Drawer for Meal worms
The three drawers will do fine for now. To make this happen without too much intervention from us, we are using gravity to help us pre-filter out the eggs and the ultra-new larvae. We put the adults in the top drawer and after their Lovey Dovey routine, they’ll lay eggs then those will hatch out as small larvae. We cut out the bottom of the first drawers to the same shape as the stacking unit reinforcement and added some aluminum screening as a floor. The screen on the bottom allows the adults and their food to stay in the upper tray, but let the eggs and babies fall through to the Nursery level. The cutout shape means they fall straight through to the next drawer and won't get caught on the drawer's frame.

Meally worm Condo
For the second and third drawers, we did not make any changes. The second level (drawer) is where most of the growing will happen. We will have eggs and new hatchlings up to 3/8” in here then we’ll manually filter out the bigger adolescents and transfer them to their own “room” below the Nursery (third drawer). In this drawer they’ll grow up, about double in size to ¾” to 1”, where they will either be allowed to morph into beetles and replenish the breeders level or be culled out as Chicken treats! No matter which stage we feed them to the chickens, we expect the chickens will LOVE this!

Once we finished the modifications on the plastic drawer units, I set them side by side into the storage space above the nesting boxes. This does two things, keeps the chicken stuff centralized, and any escapees will drop into the nest boxes!  We added trim to match and doors to keep things neat.


Ready and waiting! 





Photo Credits:
Meal Worms: Modified from a photo from: A screen shot from Amazon.com Sterilite model 2093 from: Sterilite.com
All other photos are taken by us and are copyrighted all rights reserved by AirBornCreations.com




Next Post: Gravity Food Station.


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