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More Pets – Kind of

August 24th, 2013

This past Wednesday I received 5,000 meal worms from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm.
meal worms 1
They’re alive of course, and I put them in a container on the back porch filled with wheat mids. I’ll be using them as my starter colony to grow meal worms for my chickens and ducks during the cold winter months.
meal worms 2
After doing some research, chickens are supposed to lay better in the winter if they have a more natural source of protein. I’ve read in various places that people have great success giving their chickens live meal worms and red wrigglers from a worm bin in the cold winter months when they can’t scratch for their own live food. Even if they don’t lay more eggs my chickens will sure enjoy them as snacks and they’ll make the eggs they do lay much healthier! This is all part of my effort to close the loop of what comes into my garden, should be an interesting experiment.

Do you grow any feed for your animals?

6 Comments to “More Pets – Kind of”
  1. Nebraska Dave on August 24, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Susy, You have the most spoiled chickens of anyone that I know. I hope in their little minds they appreciate that. But then chickens only know how to be the best chicken that they can be, right? It’s so interesting to read about how you are starting up a homestead from the ground (pun intended) up. Both you and Brian have a curiosity that causes research and action. It’s amazing what you two have accomplished in just one season. You are an inspiration to me and I’m sure lots of other readers as well. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your journey through blogging and podcasts.

    I hope that you are thoroughly enjoying the Maine weather and scenery with your visitors.

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  2. whit on August 24, 2013 at 8:49 am

    You are a brave soul, Susy! I think I’d have a sour stomach every time I had to fetch these things for my chicken’s dinner.

    Reply to whit's comment

  3. Chris on August 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    We grow blackberry vines for our goats! Along with huckleberry, salal and Douglas fir trees! :)
    Your chickens are going to love you!

    Reply to Chris's comment

  4. gabe on August 26, 2013 at 9:20 am

    This year, I planted sunflowers, sorghum, and mangels – varying levels of success so far, and we’ll likely have some trial and error over the next several years as we look for some crops that produce well, store well, and the girls like. I’ve looked into meal worms, soldier flies, and other various forms of protein, but haven’t started with anything yet.

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  5. Rocky on August 26, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Where are you going to keep those worms during coldest month of winter? I have red wiggler bins for composting kitchen scraps, but I have to bring them inside a house for winter. I keep them in the basement where it will stay around 32F. But they don’t eat or reproduce during winter. I am interested to see how your mealy do in the cold ;)

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  6. Karen on August 30, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Can you show how you will be taking care of these live little critters? I would love to give some to my chickens as well but do not know how to take care of them or “farm” them. Will you continue to keep them through their whole life cycle? I saw that people keep them in plastic drawers. Thanks for sharing the site with us. I would like to get some red wigglers and meal worms for my chickens to feed to my chickens this winter too.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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