Is it okay to feed chickens meal worms?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Hens rule, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. Hens rule

    Hens rule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know it sounds like a strange question but ive heard that mealworms (darkling bealtle larvie) can carry very bad diseases like mericks. Is it okay to feed them store bought mealworms like Happy Hen Treats mealworms?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  2. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, at the volume they are sold for chickens I would have to give a hearty YES for that question!
     
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Oh gees, if it is not safe, I do not want to be the one to tell my gals .. volunteers? [​IMG]

    In all seriousness now, I have not heard of negatives to feeding chickens mealworms and as Bridebeliever has suggested, with the volume sold [+ those farmed at home] and number of chickens eating them, if there were issues, we probably would have heard of them.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Never heard that meal worms carry Mareks.....hmmm....tho I've heard that all chickens carry Mareks, so maybe.
     
  5. Hens rule

    Hens rule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All chickens carry Mareks? Is that why it's bad to mix birds from various places?
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Here's a good article on Marek's. http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf

    The darkling beetles that carry Marek's is the wild kind, not the domestic darkling beetle bred to produce meal worms.

    It's not necessarily true that all chickens carry Marek's but most have had some exposure to it. If you live in a rural setting as I do, the wild turkey population helps to immunize your chickens against the Marek's present in your locale, so it follows that your chickens have been exposed to Marek's probably. But it's not a bad thing. This is one of the reasons for giving baby chicks in their first week a clump of sod from your surrounding soil to scratch and peck at. It serves to immunize them against many different pathogens.
     
  7. Hens rule

    Hens rule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone!
     

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