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Hello OBF Family,
My name is Cyrus and I'm relatively new to the community. I've been on and off reading the forums for years now but have only just officially joined 3/30/17. I live in San Jose, CA (SF Bay Area) and for the last 5 years, I've been a chef and owner of a catering company here. I've been fascinated with Entomology for as long as I can remember, and I can't even remember the last time I passed a bug on a sidewalk without turning for a second look :). Only recently, Entomophagy has became a greater part of my life and I'm now beginning to incorporate insects into our menus at my catering company.
I've recently made the decision to begin a farming operation for Tenebrio Molitar to incorporate into our catering operations for human consumption. We're a bit strict on our standards & guidelines here and so, therefore we decided that by farming our own supply, we can better control and monitor it's quality upon harvest and I'm very happy to announce that our colony is thriving from a humble beginning of 7000 to over 100,000. We're using the basic stacked plastic container setup on shelving units as seen on many commercial rearing facilities. They are fed on an all organic/non-gmo grain diet (currently searching for a non-gluten alternative) as non-gluten is a big thing over here in the SF Bay Area. Organic potatoes and cacti (genus: opuntia) are added as moisture source. Temperature is kept at a strict 80°F-85°F with relative humidity (R.H.) of 70%.
Now, after having a setup that provides decent accommodations for our little friends, we are on the search for rearing methods that can help us better evaluate the outcome of a harvest based on weight measurements. We've come to learn that there are certain techniques that can further optimize gestation and larval growth rates based on high/low density growing environments. We're currently experimenting with:
Tray Sizes: 1'x1.5' / 100 adults 1.5'x2' / 200 adults 2.5'x4' / 300 adults
Has anyone here in the community conducted any research on this? or are using specific tray sizes with a monitored population of breeding adults?. What are your tray sizes? beetle counts? and harvest weights?
How long until you rotate the adults to a new laying tray? we are currently rotating every 2 weeks.
Thank you in advance.