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Friday, January 1, 2010

Breeding wax worm: Another live food for white-rumped shama and other insectivore birds

Recently, one of my friend says that he is thinking of breeding wax worm to feed his birds instead of buying from the shop.  I also get interest in this topic as I currently breed Rusty Reds (Blatta lateralis) to feed all of my birds.  I might try breeding them just to see how easy/hard it is and see if breeding wax worm is worth the time/cost instead of buy from store or order online.  Few friends of mine also have great success breeding cricket, mealworms, and rusty reds.  From what I research on the internet, breeding wax worm is not hard but what I concern is the cost of making the food for those wax worm larvae.  Breeding your own food source for the birds is definitely cheaper than buying from the store or order online, but sometimes, it is not worth it as cost, time, and labor might exceed the cost of just buying it.  Wax worm is a great addition food source for shama and other insectivore birds.  It is great to condition or fatten up the bird after sickness or stress as wax worm has very high fat contents (20%).  As far as I see, all insectivore birds love wax worm and it is very easy to cause the bird to become fat and obesity if one does not control how much wax worm to feed to the bird.  I would not advice to feed the bird exclusive wax worm for a long period of time.  Even every bird loves wax worm and it has lots of fat content and decent protein level (16%), wax worm lacks other vitamins, calcium, and many amino acids necessary to become a sole live food source for bird.  Again, variety of diets is the key to keep the bird healthy and happy.  Healthy and happy (stress free) bird will have great chance of breeding and gives healthy babies.

Link to how to breed wax worm:
http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef011.asp
http://www.exotic-pets.eu/waxworms.php

Wax worm breeder kits:
http://www.waxwormkit.com/orders/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1

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