red worms?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by steelerfan, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. steelerfan

    steelerfan New Egg

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    are red worms ok for chickens to eat. they're easy to multiply in a compost and can keep them outside but haven't read where anyone has said they're good for them. will try the mealworms when summer comes around again
     
  2. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    My girls don't care for them. Go figure. [​IMG] Oh, BTW, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    There are many kinds / species of red worms. They do not appear equally tasty. So answer to your question is in part a function of what type of red worms you have. As a treat, I see know problem, although as a staple it is not to be recommended. My experience with red worms as an animal feed is that they do not provide a balanced diet by themselves. Most experience with fishes.
     
  4. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    I'll clarify that I tried giving Eisenia foetida from my vermicomposter as treats. They don't care for them. They also don't care for the native worms in my garden.
     
  5. Boo-Boo's Mama

    Boo-Boo's Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]

    Black Soldier Fly Larvae can be found in a compost pile; they contain lots of protein and calcium. Am working right now to try and get them going. Last week found that some had started in a container of used coffee grounds and chicken manure I set up trying to get earthworms. Learned they will process the kitchen leftovers better than the chickens and make a very nutritious treat for the chickens. Also read BSFL poo is good for vermicomposting.

    Do a search for BSFL or Black Soldier Fly Larvae to learn what they look like and how to attract them.

    Just started mealworms for them, too.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  6. Organics North

    Organics North Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Chickens have been eating ground worms since there were chickens! Free ranging chickens will find and eat worms.

    With that said... Be aware of, study up on, make an "informed" decision on feeding them on purpose to your chickens...

    Why??????

    Gape worm... It is a parasitic worm that could be carried by ground worms. It does not seem to be very common in most areas, have only heard of a few cases, may be more of a threat to large commercial flocks all jammed together than the backyard flock... never less still a potential problem

    I choose to not raise redworms as a source of protein. I still give my birds "treats" out of the worm bin, and there is NO way I could stop them from eating lots of worms while out free ranging.


    Gallo del Cielo, ?? I have some that give worms a odd look if presented to them, but if they scratch them up they eat it. I grow lettuce indoors, the organic soil has worms in it. Spent plants would go to week old chicks, even they would go nuts for the worms. I wonder if it is just because worms are a "new" food for them??

    BBM...Black Soldier Fly Larvae! yes they look interesting...(Must study up..[​IMG])

    Me for now, am using venison as the primary source of added protein in the winter months.

    ON
     
  7. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    Quote:The funny thing is, they did eat some of the smaller red wigglers when they were about a month of age or younger (at least all but the BOs). My birds are grown now and the BA and CM will occasionally take a worm, but not often. I suspect it's because I have so many better things to eat. At certain times I let the chooks into the garden to dig around and I pull back the mulch for them to get to the bugs below. To say that I have a lot of worms in the garden would be an understatement, but there are even more sow bugs, ear wigs and the like. Biblical plague sorts of numbers. They really like those. I suspect that if my girls were confined to the run for most of the day, a worm might start to look good to them after a few days, particularly one they found. I think that if you have a surplus of your preferred bugs, bugs lower down on the preference scale rarely get eaten. Classic foraging theory would also bear that out.
     
  8. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Geeze, when I'm rototilling the garden I have to kick the chickens out of the way--they dart in to get every worm and bug I dig up.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Mervin

    Mervin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    steelerfan,

    First, I assume that you're probably from the Quaker state or nearby as I am. I feed mine the red worms and night crawlers that are common here. I figure that they'd get them when the free range anyway or even scratching around in the run. Some seem to like them, others not so much.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010
  10. Organics North

    Organics North Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I love it.. You are a hoot... Indeed classic foraging theory.. (Choicest items first then work down the list.)

    I applied that this morning when trying to seed some pasture. I put my rye's and clover down then wheat, oats and corn over it. I am hoping they get distracted with the grains and let my seeds grow![​IMG]

    woodmort,
    I am with you. Mine go nuts for anything in the dirt. I have to lock them up if tilling or they would get chopped up. It is bad enough using just a spade and trying to get the shovel in the ground without chopping a chicken.. Heck the tractor does not even scare them off. The birds stand right under the front end loader waiting for me to dump the contents, totally oblivious to the ton of soil about to be dropped on their heads..

    ON
     

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