This weeks reader question is do I need to separate the mealworm larvae from the beetles (and eggs)?
The short answer is No, you do not need to separate mealworms from the eggs or beetles, but you might get a slightly higher yield if you do.
Starting a mealworm colony is a great way to produce cheap protein for your chickens. It is also a great way to help attract bluebirds and robins to your property for the birdwatchers who are reading 🙂 In my post on how to start a mealworm colony I go through a couple of different methods. One is to separate the stages and the other is to keep them together. You do not NEED to separate the mealworm stages.
A benefit to separating mealworms from the beetles (and eggs)
- If you separate them then more of the eggs will hatch (otherwise some of the eggs will be eaten)
That said, I think it is easier to not separate them and so I tolerate the loss of a few eggs. It really does work either way!
You can use a rubbermaid drawer system (which I think is the easiest mealworm colony set-up to clean) with separated stages or while keeping them all together. It really is 100% up to you, but there is no need to separate mealworms from the beetles (or eggs).
Another huge benefit to having a mealworm colony for your chickens is that you can also use the mealworm frass in your garden or on your flowers. It makes a great fertilizer!