Acquired: Bred invertebrate myself
British Columbia, Canada
Posted Nov 19, 2012
As a bearded dragon breeder one can only imagine the cost of food! That was the sole encouragement for getting into the insect business. The mealworm is a vigorous breeder and most often I had enough to go around so I sold them on the side (among other insects).
Raising and breeding a mealworm colony is one of the cleanest, low cost, and easiest treat for any worm eating pet (birds too).
I bought a bunch of those rolling clear plastic, stackable bins from walmart for cheap as breeding boxes. For large colonies I layered it with about 3" of bran and dumped in the worms to pupate in.
I know others talk about compost etc but I really found that troubling and messy to deal with on a large scale AND if your breeding bin becomes too humid from the rot, the worms might like it but the dangers of harmful bacteria are much too risky for a pet. Remembering your pets are what they eat!
Once the 'dinner' is in the bran I would put carrots sliced lengthwise randomly throughout and this serves two purposes.
1) moisture and food
2) an easy way to cultivate them at dinner time.
Mealworms will hoard onto the carrot and you just pick up one end....brush off into a small feeding container what you need....put back the carrot and feed your pet!
Other vegetable waste can be used for feeding but I wouldn't give too much at one time...so it doesn't rot. Give the worms time to eat it before adding more.
TIP: I would always keep a layer of newspaper on top of the bran and place veg onto the newspaper. This keeps your bran dry and mealworms pupate better in the dry bran and don't suffocate in compost type substrate. Additionally, they need moisture once a day through a light spray which is effective in spraying the newspaper instead of getting your bran wet.
Mealworms are one of the best and easiest feeders to raise without offensive odors....and almost all pets can digest the chitin (outer skin shed) with ease!