. insects and livefoods
Give us a try and list your
birds for sale on the "Birds for Sale"
To place an advertisement, click on "Birds for sale" web page in
top navigation bar then
click on "Place a for sale Advert" web page.
4 lines for 2 months is only $25
Note: Commercially produced
insects are grown in conditions that do not support the transmission of
any internal parasites that may be detrimental to any birds in our
aviaries. Some books state that some of the insects we feed birds
may be a host for internal parasites such as worms. In a dirty
backyard situation with wild birds and insects being housed in close
proximity it may be theoretically possible to have an insect
colony contaminated by internal parasites. Commercial production
facilities maintain optimum hygiene to maintain optimum production.
Commercial insect producers rarely have captive birds on their premises
and this minimizes or eliminates the possibility of any product
to Commercial insect breeding. - (Or where the insects come
"Insect rearing management (IRM) is the efficient utilization
of resources for the production of insects of standardized
quality to meet program goals". A really good quote from the
book "Handbook of insect rearing Volume 1" by Pritam Singh and
R. F. Moore (editors).
The quote has meaning for all aspects of animal / insect
rearing. It does not matter whether we are out to breed
insects, birds, reptiles, marsupials or any other life forms
that are raised under conditions built or controlled by people.
We, the breeders, dictate the conditions under which the animals
will use or be subjected to, to hopefully breed and maintain
the animals genetic line.
In an intensive breeding unit such as commercial insect
breeding, the following list outlines what the
main costs are to produce
top quality insects.
- Insect rooms & equipment for cooling, heating and
- Diet or food requirements for insect rearing and colony
- Holding of adequate breeders and ready-for-sale orders.
- Manipulation of speed of life cycle.
- Heat and adequate clean water.
- Sanitation and hygiene of the equipment and facility.
- Disposal of waste.
- Maintain safe working environment for the owners and
- The cost of labour.
Work areas in
commercial production complexes comprise:
- Work areas: - are divided into clean work rooms and
dirty work rooms to minimize disease and contamination.
- Storage rooms: - cool rooms - food storage rooms -
packaging, handling, and shipping supplies room.
- Personnel hygiene areas: Showers - lockers - toilets -
kitchen or food consumption areas.
- Administration area.
- Insect production rooms - with own water supply and
wash up area.
- Insect harvesting room/s - with own water supply and
wash up area.
- Washing room for insect cages, equipment, utensils and
- Secure, vermin proof waste disposal area.
The most expensive and important item in any production
facility is usually the breeding room/s. This applies to
home based hobby units as well as fully commercial facilities.
The initial fit out of the production or breeding room
- Insect breeding cages
- Racks to support the cages
- Adequate lighting with multi stage timers.
- Thermostatically controlled heating.
- Small wash up area usually only used to wash hands or
- Provision of external air extractors or internal air
purifiers and fan/s.
- Storage cupboard for sanitation items and paper towel.
- Storage area for daily quantities of dry foods such as
- Durable, washable - floor, walls, ceiling, benches,
cupboards, basically everything!
- Storage rack for clean boxes / cages currently not in
- Adequate bench space, preferably stainless steel
With insect production the two main ongoing expenses
are heating and feeds.
To minimize the heating expense, the room has to be
adequately insulated. As doubling the insulation R value
usually does not double the cost, the use of 150 mm thick
freezer grade panels is cost effective. The panels are steel
or aluminium sheet covered and come with a painted or enamelled
gloss finish and are durable and easily cleaned. All the walls,
door and roof are made of the insulated panels.
To minimize the feed expenses, the bigger quantity one
purchases at the one time, usually the cheaper the unit cost is
likely to be. One proviso with that statement is that it is
necessary to have adequate storage areas to store and maintain
the additional quantity. A refrigerator or freezer may be
necessary to store some foods.
Wash up or cleaning room
This area can be expensive to establish as it requires the
- Hot and cold water.
- Good lighting.
- Large sink/s or possibly a bath in which to wash and
rinse the largest item/s.
- After wash and rinse rack or bench. Handy to have a
spot to dry large or bulky items or allow the item to drip
dry or be blow dried.
- Cupboards to store cleaning products and cleaning
utensils as well as towels.
- Protective clothing and items such as protective gloves,
masks, safety glasses and basic first aid items.
- System to temporarily store dirty or waste items and
- Suitable, safe spot to soak and disinfect re-usable
items. e.g. soaking in bleach.
- A handy extra is the facility to heat sterilize either
in an oven or by boiling.
- Adequate ventilation.
- Floor that does not get slippery when wet.
and allergy precautions for humans:
The following is
applicable to all insects but
particularly applicable to mealworms and lesser mealworms due to the
fact the mealworm frass (excrement) is so dry and has an extremely light
small particle size. The problem is made worse than for other insects
due to them living in their frass making their extraction messier than
The dusts in the breeding room and any
fine insect tissues, when inhaled, can cause reactions requiring medical
intervention. The longer one inhales the contaminant the more severe
the reaction can be. The effect can be cumulative and the longer you
breath it in, the longer it may take to cure (sometimes years). The
main contaminant is the (4) proteins in the insects frass (droppings/
excrement). When this material is inhaled into susceptible peoples
lungs, they may react badly. General rule is never keep
breeding mealworm colonies in a residential house.
While handling any stages of the
mealworm, do not rub your eyes as the fine material can have an adverse
reaction and cause strong eye irritation. Wash hands and any exposed
areas to minimize the risk of skin irritation after you finish your
It is unwise to use a broom or similar
cleaning product in the breeding room to clean the floor as it is likely
to stir up dust which can be inhaled or settle in a breeding box or on
other equipment resulting in a disease outbreak.
When it comes to sieving the contents of
the mealworm box, take every conceivable measure to minimize the
inhalation of any dust and to prevent its spread to others. A wise
precaution is to shower and wash your hair after sieving the contents.
Pop the cloths into the washing machine for a good wash before using
them again. Never go to bed with "bug dust" in your hair as you will
inhale it throughout the night from on your pillow.
Most people tolerate some degree of
contamination but if you exceed the "trigger point threshold" and get a
bad reaction, seek medical attention and tell the medico what you
have been inhaling. Medical respiratory allergy specialists are
available in Capital cities if required.
My philosophy is: prevention of possible
health problems is better than having to cure a real health problem
(It's also cheaper).
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