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Best Method To Dry Meat For Dermestid Beetles

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by BeetleBri, Jun 13, 2022.

  1. BeetleBri

    BeetleBri New Member

    What is everyone's method for feeding their beetles? I know some people swear by drying the meat, while others prefer it to be "wet". How do you feed your dermestids and what is the process you use if you are drying the meat?
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    If I need it right away, meat slices can be put right in as long as you don't overload them. I slice meat and lay it on plastic wrap on a cookie sheet and freeze it. I let it stay on the sheet if I can until it is dried out then bag it and keep in the freezer. You can also take slices and hang them in front of a fan until they are dry. The fan speeds drying and keeps flies from landing on it.
    Peter H. and joeym like this.

  3. PA

    PA Well-Known Member

    The method I have used for 40 years now is to slice the meat anywhere from 1/8 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch and lay them out on a wooden framed platform covered with hardware cloth in front of a fan. They are dried usually overnight, pried off the hardware cloth and put in plastic bags and frozen. They can then be fed to the bugs for up to many years, thawed from the freezer. I have NEVER put fresh meat into a colony. It causes the possibility of mites and flies being hatched inside as well as stench if not totally consumed. If you have absolutely no food and have a fresh carcass, cut the meat extra thin and still dry it to the consistency of jerky before feeding. However, you are still running the risk of introducing a foreign pest (wild dermestid, eggs from bugs around the drying rack, etc.) I much prefer to freeze every object before adding it to my colony.

    Bugs like certain material better because of the fat content. They will consume tallow from deer, and every scrap from own deer butchering is saved - bones, sinew taken off the meat, hooves etc. and fed to the bugs as long as you skin and dry the material, and then freeze. They don't like a diet of just tallow though and prefer some meat with it. I save my brains removed by spreading them out on paper and then drying the paper on the hardware cloth and then freezing it also. I put the single layer of paper with dried brains on it and bugs love it.
    Peter H. and fogbound like this.
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Never thought of that. Good tip. Thanks.
    fogbound likes this.
  5. fogbound

    fogbound Member

    Hummm... May have to think 'bout that... Good tip.
  6. moonshine

    moonshine Active Member

    I save 100 doe heads in the freezer to get me through the summer, i just skin remove eyes and brain and through in frozen, verysimple,