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Mealworms

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Are mealworms good for chickens? I know chickens go crazy for mealworms, but since mealworms are so full of protein are they good? A lot of people seem to say they will cause liver damage. I personally think the protein is good for the laying hens, but would do you guys think?
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post #2 of 9

Liver damage?  Never heard such a thing.  Yes, they are good as a treat and a protein supplement.  I throw handfuls of freeze dried mealworms to my flock and now I'm also raising mealworms.  VERY good source of protein.

Breeder of Silver Gray Dorkings.  Keeper of 16 colorful egg layers (Cuckoo Marans; Blue & Black Copper Marans; Salmon Faverolles; a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte; Black & Lavender Ameraucanas; a Welsummer; and an Olive Egger) and 7 bantams (Mille Fleur and Porcelain d'Uccles and Blue Cochins). I'm an RN, a real food zealot, a Master Gardener, a wife, and a mommy.
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Breeder of Silver Gray Dorkings.  Keeper of 16 colorful egg layers (Cuckoo Marans; Blue & Black Copper Marans; Salmon Faverolles; a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte; Black & Lavender Ameraucanas; a Welsummer; and an Olive Egger) and 7 bantams (Mille Fleur and Porcelain d'Uccles and Blue Cochins). I'm an RN, a real food zealot, a Master Gardener, a wife, and a mommy.
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post #3 of 9

Liver damage?  I would want to see the cited sources of the studies that prove that.  Some things are absurd.

 

I don't feed meal worms, but my chickens forage daily, eating all manner of things.

 

Chris

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by countrygoddess View Post

Liver damage?  Never heard such a thing.  Yes, they are good as a treat and a protein supplement.  I throw handfuls of freeze dried mealworms to my flock and now I'm also raising mealworms.  VERY good source of protein.

Yes, that is what I have heard, but ironically people have said in articles the exact opposite of what you just said. UGHH so confused lol!!! I get so many mixed emotions. I'm gonna go with my gut and still feed mealworms, but not an excess amount. Thank you though!

 thumbsup.gif

Here is an article that I have copied and pasted.

 

 

Quote:
I am especially concerned about all of the people feeding their hens mealworms. A small amount, like one tablespoon a day, is a fine treat. But, people SHOULD NOT BE feeding handfuls. They’re practically feeding their hens pure protein (mealworms are up around 50%) The chicken expert at my local feedstore just told me about hens dying from kidney failure due to being fed mealworms as the main part of their diet. Besides the health dangers, mealworms are very expensive.
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post #5 of 9

I guess that, as with most things, common sense and moderation is key.  Certainly if hens were confined and fed a diet of all or mostly meal worms their nutrition would certainly be off and yes, protein would be to high.  But fed as the occasional treat?  You are not going to run into trouble that way. 

wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
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wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
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post #6 of 9

Yes definitely heard it will cause liver damage. I usually give them a table spoon a day. But they got into the mealworms bucket and ate it all. :/ should I be worried? Does anyone know if that will cause liver problems?

Mourning Zeta, partridge frizzle olive egger, who died on July 26, 2015. We will miss her crazy spirit and raucous egg call each morning. Rest in peace, little girl.

Zeta (Click to show)
Was the best bird anyone could wish to have.
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Mourning Zeta, partridge frizzle olive egger, who died on July 26, 2015. We will miss her crazy spirit and raucous egg call each morning. Rest in peace, little girl.

Zeta (Click to show)
Was the best bird anyone could wish to have.
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post #7 of 9

how do you raise mealworms? is it cheaper to do that then to buy them? 

MY BREEDS:  salmon faverolles, golden laced wyandotte hen, sumatra hen and rooster, silver spangled hamburg hen,, and a  black bantam cochin hen. 2 Gray Call duck drakes,and 1 gray call duck hen
          
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MY BREEDS:  salmon faverolles, golden laced wyandotte hen, sumatra hen and rooster, silver spangled hamburg hen,, and a  black bantam cochin hen. 2 Gray Call duck drakes,and 1 gray call duck hen
          
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebutter14 View Post
 

how do you raise mealworms? is it cheaper to do that then to buy them?

Sometimes, when calculating the "cost to do" on something, people forget to consider all factors- most importantly, TIME.

 

You can raise mealworms for an absolute minimum monetary cost.  However, to run a successful, productive colony of mealworms, you will need to spend a small amount of daily time for maintenance, as well as taking weekly and monthly maintenance actions.

 

My children are 8 & 10, and they run a small mealworm colony, and sell their live mealworms.  The money they make covers all of their costs and also gives them a little spending money, but their mealworms are the only critters they tend to, so it's not an "added" burden.  I'm happy to buy their mealworms from them, simply to allow myself the time to enjoy seeing the chickens gobble up their treats.

 

There are many mealworm-raising tutorials online.  CLICK HERE: MEALWORMS

 

Good luck!

post #9 of 9
I'm newer to chickens but I have been raising mealworms for 5 years. I pretty much toss mine some food and sift out dust maybe once a month if that, they thrive possibly could get more with more dictated care but I'm happy with them. You can also add things to make your mealworms more nutritious they pretty much are what they eat I add spirulina power I have also heard of people adding powdered milk. I feed them scraps but try to stay toward healthy stuff ie leafy veggies, carrots I stay away from potatoes. I used to sell a lot and they are super cheap to keep.
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