How Many Grow Out Trays do I Need?

How Many Trays Do I Need

Therefore there are two different breeding systems we will recommend for each breeding method we discuss. Each one will have a different number of breeding and grow out trays. 

Hobbyist-Small Scale

For hobbyist or small scale production it is more practical and common to have a mix of age groups together to reduce the need to manage multiple trays. This will normally mean you have 3 or 4 trays for a breeding block.

Medium-Large Scale

In medium and large scale operations maximum production is achieved by separating all breeding and grow out stages which will require multiple trays (approximately 15) for a  breeding block.

  • Super Worms (fat mature worms about to go to pupa)
  • Pupa
  • Beetles
  • Multiple trays for grow out stock (worms). Typically we would separate out a week between each grow out worms.
photo of a commercial mealworm farm with hundreds of blue trays in shelving. The front rows are pulled out so you can see the mealworms.

Separation of Age Groups

As outlined in the mealworm Life cycle section, all mealworm life stages are carnivorous for will readily eat any  younger life stage. Cannibalism greatly reduces the productivity of your colony. Therefore the more you separate out each age group, the more productivity it creates….however it also requires more trays and maintenance.

In General terms the mealworm colony comprises of two distinct sections:

  1. Breeding Trays– Super worms (mature fat mealworms about to go to pupa), pupa and beetles.
  2. Grow Out Trays– These are the worm which “grow out” in their trays and are eventually harvested.

Breeding Block- The number of trays you need to complete a breeding cycle (Beetle, eggs, pupa, worms) is called a Breeding block. The number of trays you need to make a breeding block will differ on whether you go with small, medium or large scale as explained below.