Adding Mealworms to Your Chicken’s Diet: Why You Should Do It

If you wish your hens to be healthy & lay more eggs, you should increase the amount of protein in their food. Mealworms are a good example of protein-rich food. 

Chickens adore consuming mealworms, so it’s no surprise why: they’re a great source of protein, which means more eggs for you. Read on for additional information about the benefits of feeding mealworms to the chickens as well as any caveats you should be aware of. 

Here are 5 Reasons to Feed Mealworms to your Chickens –

Chickens think mealworms are the greatest thing since sliced bread. In addition, they are fortified with many beneficial elements that will improve the health of your chickens. You must feed your chickens mealworms because of the following benefits. 

  • Increased production of eggs 

Mealworms are an excellent protein source for chickens, helping them to lay more & healthier eggs. They’re a great source of the nutrients your chickens require. 

Providing them to your hens will improve the quality & nutritional profile of the eggs they lay. Feed your chickens mealworms, especially while they are laying eggs. Eggs can be produced in response to mealworms on occasion. 

  • Helpful when going through the molting process 

During the molting season, the chickens will shed their feathers & grow new ones. The chickens will be healthier and stronger after they molt as a result of hormonal changes. 

Even though they need protein more than ever during this time, because they aren’t laying eggs, this is when they eat the most. Since feathers are mainly protein, you need to supplement their diet with high-protein foods like mealworms. 

  • Immune system fortification 

Proteins are essential for the survival of all organisms because of their role as immune system boosters. Not even chickens are excluded. If you’re concerned about providing adequate protein for your chickens, you may rest easy knowing that mealworms contain more than 50 percent protein. More importantly, the amino acid methionine found in mealworms prevents your birds from turning on each other. 

  • Enhanced connection 

Mealworms are not only a healthy food option, but they also taste great. Mealworms are a tasty treat that chickens will appreciate much more if you give them. 

This makes them more receptive to training and encourages them to hang around with you. You can tell that your chickens are happy when you feed them mealworms since they react with joy to this treat. 

  • Fun 

Seeing your chickens go crazy over mealworms is great entertainment. They have been known to resort to fighting for a mouthful of food. You, the owner, will find these times entertaining and calming. You can consider this a go-to activity for when you need a pick-me-up or a diversion from your troubles.

can chickens eat mealworms

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Can Chickens Eat Raw Meat? : To Feed or Not to Feed

Feeding guide of Mealworms to Your Chickens –

Mealworms are a healthy supplement for chicken diets, but giving them too many at once might be harmful. Chickens shouldn’t have more than 10% of their diet consist of goodies like mealworms. 

They rely heavily on their diet, which provides them with all the necessary nutrition. For this reason, they shouldn’t eat mealworms over than twice a week. Do not feed the chicken over than ten live mealworms or four stale mealworms in a single day. Some of the results of giving your hens an excessive amount of mealworms are listed below. 

  • Obesity 

Overfeeding the chickens with delicacies like mealworms will cause them to gain unnecessary weight. Your chickens will become overweight if you continue feeding them foods that are inappropriate for them or if you allow them to consume excessive amounts of healthy foods. 

Full-grown hens don’t need to put on any more weight. In the absence of precautions, it might lead to liver damage in hens. It can also cause the chicken to lay eggs that are too large for her to hatch on her own. An overweight chicken has a harder time adjusting to hot conditions because its body temperature cannot be controlled, which in turn causes it to breathe incorrectly. Therefore, such a chicken would perish due to heat exhaustion. 

  • Behavioral shift 

You’ll notice a shift in the chickens’ demeanor if you feed them an excessive amount of mealworms. It’s possible they lose some of their vigor and agility & become more irritable and tired as a result. There has been a noticeable change in their demeanor because they aren’t acting like themselves right now. Be sure to get them back to normal by adjusting their nutrition if you see this. 

  • Health 

Since overfeeding chickens cause them to become overweight, doing so will negatively impact their health. They will be more vulnerable to illnesses like the common cold, low fertility, etc. 

Your hens don’t need to be underweight for you to consider them healthy, but their weight must be moderate & stable. Never risk overfeeding without first checking their weight. You can help chickens maintain a healthy weight by providing them with access to outside spaces where they may run and play. 

Mealworms: Bought from the Store vs Grown at Home

Chickens can be fed either store-bought or home-grown mealworms. Here are some things to keep in mind while purchasing or raising mealworms at home. 

  • Mealworms from the supermarket 

Mealworms can be purchased locally or ordered online. The advantage is that it’s easier than raising mealworms at home. You won’t have to spend time making sure the mealworms have what they need or researching how to get the best results when raising them. 

In contrast, you shouldn’t always put your faith in mealworms purchased from a pet store. This is due to the fact that hens may be exposed to harmful chemicals used in their cultivation. It could be challenging to locate trustworthy retailers to purchase mealworms. In fact, this is why mealworms have been outlawed in various nations. 

Additionally, mealworms can be quite pricey if purchased from a store. Feeding mealworms to your chicken on a regular basis will put a significant dent in your wallet. Therefore, if you are on a tight budget, growing your own mealworms is a good option. 

  • Mealworms made in your house

You could also try growing your own mealworms, but that’s not a completely stress-free operation. The possibility of accidentally feeding the chickens something toxic is eliminated when you raise their mealworms yourself. On top of that, producing your own mealworms is more cost-effective than always purchasing them from a store.

However, before you can successfully raise mealworms, you need to learn about their life cycle, ideal diet, environmental requirements, etc. Therefore, if you want to raise mealworms for your chickens, you need to learn a great deal about them. If you don’t use a safe substrate, your chickens may be exposed to harmful chemicals while you develop mealworms.

can chickens eat mealworms

Additional Five Healthy Treats for The Chickens 

You may feed your chickens a variety of nutritious things, not just mealworms. Your hens’ health is directly related to the nutrition you provide them, so it’s important to always provide them with a balanced diet of healthy foods. 

  • Apples 

Apples are a favorite treat for chickens. In addition, the vitamins in apples will help your chickens function better. However, before feeding apples to the apples, make sure you eliminate the seeds. This is due to the fact that the cyanide in the seeds could poison your hens. Also, if you want to make life easy for your chickens, dice up those apples. 

  • Eggshells 

Chickens require calcium, which is found in abundance in eggshells, in order to lay eggs. They can have their eggshells ground up and added to their food instead of thrown away. Although it won’t hurt them, this shouldn’t be their exclusive source of calcium. Today, you’ll need to switch your diet to something else. 

  • Berry 

Chickens can also benefit from a diet that includes berries like strawberries, blueberries, and so on. Berry-eating is a favorite treat of every type of chicken. You may plant berries in areas where your free-range chickens frequent if you want to provide them with a healthy snack. Besides, they’ll get some exercise picking the fruit off the branches. 

  • Veggies and greens

Chickens benefit greatly from eating greens and vegetables like lettuce, kale, turnip, onions, carrots, etc. They are widely accessible, both in the form of frequent supermarket purchases and home cultivation. Vitamins in these meals are great for keeping you warm & energized, which is especially important in the winter. 

Feeding Flaxseed to Chickens 

Chickens can also benefit from eating flaxseed. Having this treatment improves the health and look of their feathers. The grade of their eggs increases, while their blood cholesterol levels decrease. Flaxseed feeds your hens with healthy lipids because of the presence of unsaturated fatty acids in it. 

If you want to give your chickens a healthy diet, you can either buy flaxseed food or buy flax seeds & ground them up to feed them. 

To ensure your chickens get all the nutrition they need, you should provide them with a variety of nutritious diets and treats. But make sure you get them food from reputable supermarkets & farms or prepare it yourself if you can. 

Conclusion 

Feeding your chickens mealworms will increase their egg output and enhance the quality of their food. Their nutritional worth means they must be considered, despite not being the primary feed. You should think about producing mealworms at home to guarantee your chickens have access to healthy mealworms. If you will not have time to raise your own mealworms, a reputable local farmer should have everything you need.

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