Yet Another Funky Question: Feeding Live Worms To Quail....

SavageChick

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
206
18
83
Savage, MN
Really trying not to be such a pain in the arse with so many questions here, but since I am hoping to raise some healthy buttons that lay healthy eggs for hatching, I'm looking at some different brands of feed and dietary supplements for them. One of the concerns I've been reading about deal with feeding birds live meal worms. I've been feeding live meal worms to both my buttons and other aviary birds. When my other birds eat these worms, I notice they do bite the heads off first before swallowing them (I've also seen them do this when they feed them to their chicks.) Yet, when my buttons eat them, they swallow them whole, without biting the heads off the first. I read where meal worms have a stronger head/jaw that can burrow through soft tissue if not removed before they are ingested. Has anyone found this to be the case? Do most of you (or maybe all of you) cut the heads off first, and I am the only one who didn't know that I was supposed to be doing this?
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Sycamore27

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 12, 2013
234
12
88
Durham, NC
I had an existing colony of meal worms from rehabilitating geckos and my one adopted gecko when I got quail so my coturnix get them for treats too. I've heard the discussion of this fear for ages and have personally never seen any issues arise from feeding them live to various animals over the years. I have seen problems from superworms, but they are a different species of beetle and probably too big for a button to eat anyway. (My personal suspicion for the basis of most of these fears is rumors spread by people who had an animal die of other causes and an escaped meal worm take advantage of the easy meal) Even the quickest of my cots thrashes the worms and turns them over in their beak a few times before swallowing them, if I watch closely I see the bug bleeding before it's eaten, so I doubt they are alive when swallowed anyway.
While I haven't seen most creatures who enjoy them take to them, you could try the freeze dried ones if you're still worried about it. I have seen them in feed stores in decent sized bags for a good deal compared to pet stores.

Cheers,
Jessie
 

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