My chickens won't eat dried mealworms

pinebarrens

In the Brooder
Jul 13, 2015
77
10
33
south NJ
I guess they're just weird. I have 9 birds, age around 10-11 months. I bought a bag of dried mealworms when they were pullets and they would never eat them. Recently I decided to try again and bought some more. Nope, zero interest. My beagle ended up "vacuuming" them up off the ground after the chickens walked away (he'll eat anything.)

They free range most of the time. Of course I've seen them catch and eat bugs, little toads, dead or dismembered mice that the barn cat leaves... but somehow the mealworms just don't seem like food to them.

I don't actually need them to eat mealworms... but... now I have most of a bag of the things left. And I would really rather feed them to the chickens than to the dog. I have tried soaking them, mixing them into oatmeal, putting them in with the feed. I've considered getting some live mealworms so that maybe they would learn that these things are good eating, but if they refuse to eat the live ones, I'll just have to figure out what to do with those too.

Any ideas?
 

N F C

What?
Staff member
Premium member
6 Years
Dec 12, 2013
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Wyoming
If your girls won't eat them, maybe post on your state thread and find someone close by to take the mealworms. Guess chickens have different likes and dislikes just like people (mine loved those things, lol).
 

TalkALittle

Songster
5 Years
Dec 15, 2014
1,661
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Massachusetts
Wild birds love them. If you have bluebird over-wintering near your yard, they would appreciate them. Or if you don't want to feed wild songbirds, give them to someone who does.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,281
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Funny how that works isn’t it. Maybe every chicken in the whole wide world is not identical after all. I don’t mean that for you, sounds like you know that, but some people on this forum have a lot of trouble with that concept. We are all unique and all our chickens are individuals.

That actually sounds typical to me. I grow a diverse garden and give a lot of different stuff to my chickens. Often they don’t like stuff that are usually considered highly desirable treats, cabbage is one. Though they like broccoli leaves. Go figure.

I know you’ve tried different things but don’t give up too easily. Keep some available to them where the dog cannot get them and leave them for a while. If one ever tries one they’ll probably all swarm to them but getting that first one to try one may be challenging. I also like the idea of putting them in a bird feeder.
 

pinebarrens

In the Brooder
Jul 13, 2015
77
10
33
south NJ
Thank you, some good ideas :) for some reason it hadn't occurred to me that other people would want half of an opened bag of mealworms, but of course it makes sense that they would.

I wouldn't want to put them out for wild birds in my yard, because it would be basically luring the poor birds into the waiting jaws of our barn cat, who is 6lbs of pure predator.

I will try a little bit more to get my chickens to eat them, and if I can't get them interested, I bet I can ask around and find somebody happy to have 'em.
 

mountainbunny

Songster
May 26, 2016
341
380
151
Central Arkansas
Mine go nuts for them. They know where I keep them and come running when I go to the bin to get them. When they see the bag they surround me and jump for the bag. It's also my sure fire trick to round them up and get them back in the coop since I only let them out for short supervised periods instead of free ranging all day. Funny how they all have their liked and dislikes.
 

Bigbluefrog

Songster
Aug 9, 2019
203
390
137
Central Wisconsin
I know this an older post.
I just want to say my 3 week old chicks don’t eat mealworms either.

I read to give them scrambled eggs with a little sugar and think that changed their idea of what is delicious.

I may have to stop for awhile.
 
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