Worms and chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mads Chicksens, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. Mads Chicksens

    Mads Chicksens New Egg

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    Oct 17, 2014
    Hi there I have 4 1-2 week old chicks and
    I've seen heaps of stuff about feeding earthworms to chicks and heard all about the risks of infection from parasites and stuff but the one thing I haven't found is how many worms can I feed each chick a day? 1 or 2 or 1 every 2 days??? Thanks in advance!! :)
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello and [​IMG]

    The reason you've not heard any guideline recommendations on feeding earthworms is precisely because of the risks, it's not recommendable.

    Generally, it will be fine until suddenly it's not, without any warning whatsoever.

    There's no specific safe level of earthworms to eat --- you're basically playing the lottery there. Will this one carry Blackhead? Will it not? Will this one carry tapeworm? No guarantees. Even just one earthworm carrying parasites or pathogens is enough to kill. And you won't know which one it is. Almost all chooks will over time wise up to this and refuse to ever eat earthworms again. Some won't, but they don't often pass on their lack of instinct there, for obvious reasons.. They die.

    Better to breed flies, or mealworms, for them instead. There's other worms you can also breed for them which are safe to feed.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. Mads Chicksens

    Mads Chicksens New Egg

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    Oct 17, 2014
    Thanks for the advice, do you know how many mealworms I should feed them? How many is to many?
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Well, chicks have very fast metabolisms and are growing rapidly, so if you let them pig out on mealworms once a day it shouldn't hurt them, but that said some breeds are easily nutritionally imbalanced by having ad lib access to anything other than their premixed feeds. Mealworms can be too fatty for some, but for growing chicks I think it'd most likely just provide energy rather than make a problem. If they're meat breed chicks, then I don't know how that will impact them. Breed matters in a whole bunch of ways that are sometimes nigh-incomprehensible, you can find greater differences between breeds of chickens than exist between some species, lol.

    I haven't fed mealworms, but have fed moths, and they're sometimes up to 80% fat, and chicks scoff them down like there's no tomorrow without having problems, but mine are mongrels not purebreds and they free range and are brooded naturally so they burn a heck of a lot more energy than chicks sitting in an artificial brooder or run can.

    Other good sources of treats include hard boiled eggs, extremely nutritious and can add that extra protein boost many animals need even if on 'correct' feeds already.

    Best wishes.
     
  5. Mads Chicksens

    Mads Chicksens New Egg

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    Oct 17, 2014
    Thanks so much for your help! Greatly appreciated :)
     

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