Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Taylorcoug, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. Taylorcoug

    Taylorcoug New Egg

    Oct 13, 2016
    I have been raising chickens for over a year now, and when it gets cool, sometimes I throw out mealworms as a supplement. Does anybody have any thoughts on feeding them? Is it beneficial or just a gimmick?
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
    drumstick diva, rjohns39 and N F C like this.
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
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  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, Taylorcoug, and :welcome! Pleased you joined us! I think they are beneficial as I assume they provide protein. A lot of companies have made a ton of money selling them so I guess enough chicken keepers think they are beneficial as well! :D. If you have half a day to kill, type 'meal worms' into the BYC search box, pour yourself your favorite beverage and get comfy, you'll be reading awhile!
    Best wishes and thanks for joining BYC:)!
  4. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    Here's a quote from Mother Earth News regarding the protein in mealworms:
    Mealworms in Livestock Feed

    So, how do mealworms work in livestock feed? The answer is that mealworms are a high quality protein source, and can replace the use of soy in any omnivore’s diet. Poultry relish the mealworms, and the wiggly treats are a great way to tame any bird. Gecko and lizard owners know the power of mealworms, as they are the default live food for many of those animals. Dogs, cats, pigs, and fish all enjoy mealworms raw, and will quickly ignore their commercial ration in favor of the tasty larva.
    Mealworms have 48 percent protein by weight (Feedipedia: Mealworms), which is similar to soy’s 50 percent protein (Feedipedia: Soybean meal). Mealworms contain more total energy per pound, however, and have lower ash and crude fiber content.
    Just like soy, they need to be mixed with other feed sources, as a pure protein diet is not healthy or balanced. Mealworms can be dried for grinding and added to commercial rations using existing infrastructure, and require less processing than soy. Combined with their lower resource consumption and cost, mealworms offer a real option as a protein source for animals.

    To me, those little mealworms are a very beneficial source of protein and they can help tame poultry by encouraging them to associate their handlers with goodies. Just keep in mind, treats should not make up more than 10% of a balanced diet (just like you wouldn't eat candy all day long instead of a balanced diet).

    Plus, birds love them! Good for them and fun for's a win/win!
  5. RodNTN

    RodNTN Following Jesus Premium Member

    May 22, 2013
    Serving Jesus
    My Coop
    Hi and [​IMG] Glad you joined us!! You have been given some great advice so I'll just say have a great time on here!! [​IMG]
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  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    And here I thought the only purpose of mealworms was to generate the [​IMG] factor.
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  7. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
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  8. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you.

    Mealworms are fine as a treat, just don't let it go beyond that. They are high in protein but they're also mostly air.
    drumstick diva, rjohns39 and 007Sean like this.
  9. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hello there, and welcome to Backyard Chickens! @N F C gave you some amazing advice, I do not have anything to add! I hope you enjoy BYC and find it as helpful as I have!
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  10. Space Coast Mealworms

    Space Coast Mealworms Just Hatched

    Nov 6, 2017
    There are plenty of online suppliers of mealworms (including myself). Mealworms shouldn't be a large part of a bird's daily diet (4-10% max), but are a great supplement, especially during winter when natural insect foraging drops off.
    rjohns39 and 007Sean like this.

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