Dried Mealworms for Chickens
Chickens LOVE Dried Mealworms
Are your chickens not laying? Do they look bedraggled or have low energy? They may be suffering from a protein deficiency - after all, it takes an awful lot of protein to make all those eggs, and to produce new feathers!
Even though chickens need a high protein diet, many feeds contain only 15-18% of this essential nutrient. And for chickens that free-range or are fed a lot of kitchen scraps, the amount of protein they are consuming is likely to be much lower than recommended.
So what is the best source of protein for chickens? Insects, of course! Bugs are a natural food rich protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
You can spend your time raising worms, or order live insects with a short shelf-life, but at Dine a Chook we recommend feeding your chickens Dried Mealworms. Mealworms are a convenient, natural, protein-booster that our girls cannot get enough of!
Do you have questions about feeding chickens Dried Mealworms? Check out our answers to your FAQs below, or get in touch with us through the website.
How many mealworms should chickens eat?
Feed your adult chicken 10-12 mealworms each day as a healthy protein-supplement.
You can double their mealworm intake in extremes of hot or cold weather, during breeding or showing, and when moulting. This will help your hens to deal with stress.
What is the best way to feed chickens Dried Mealworms?
There are many different ways to use Dried Mealworms. The best option will depend on your flock and your needs. You can:
- Mix Dried Mealworms with chicken feed or scatter them on top
- Scatter Dried Mealworms where chickens forage as a tasty reward (the local birds may enjoy this too!)
- Feed Dried Mealworms as a treat
- Use Dried Mealworms to train your chickens - we never have trouble locking our birds up overnight with a bag of Dried Mealworms at hand!
You'll be amazed by what you can get your chickens to do with the promise of a Dried Mealworm as a reward. Which ever feeding option you choose, as with any dried food, always ensure your chickens have ample access to water in order to avoid dehydration.
My chickens aren't interested in Dried Mealworms. What do I do?
If they have never seen them before, your chickens may initially be reluctant to eat the lifeless Dried Mealworms. But once they try one, they will not be able to get enough!
To encourage your chickens to try the worms, you can scatter them on top of their normal feed or a favourite treat (our chickens love watermelon!). Alternatively, try rehydrating the worms to get a glossy, life-like appearance.
How to rehydrate Dried Mealworms
Rehydrating Dried Mealworms gives the treat a more lifelike appearance, appealing to fussy eaters. It is recommended during hot, dry weather, and can also be used to add additional nutrients to your chickens' diet depending on your choice of liquid.
Suitable rehydrating liquids include:
- Warm water
- Cold-pressed olive or vegetable oil
- Seed oils such as Flax Seed Oil and Hemp Seed Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Rehydrate mealworms by covering completely in the rehydrating liquid, and soaking for 15-30 minutes or until soft and flexible. Rehydrated mealworms will lighten in colour and can swell to amost double their dried size. Drain and use within 1-2 hours.
Mix any left-over soaking liquid with a dry feed like bread, oatmeal or grain for an extra chicken treat.
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