What are the benefits of mealworms for my chickens? For my flock of chickens to stay happy, healthy and productive I have to provide them with a balanced diet. This is because I understand the importance of all the nutrients found in different types of chicken feed. These nutrients are carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins, and proteins. Speaking of proteins, this nutrient plays a significant role in supplying my chickens with the necessary amino acids. And one great source of these proteins is mealworms. Let’s go through the benefits of mealworms for the chickens.
Mealworms are an affordable and easy way of providing chickens with proteins. Besides, these funny-looking bugs help my chickens through molting season and so on.
At first sight, mealworms look gross and unattractive but they are a real delicacy for my birds. Feeding these little creatures to my feathered friends is the best idea in the history of raising chickens.
But the only downside to supplying my chickens with mealworms is having to purchase them. Otherwise, everything else regarding these delicious bugs is good. Having said that, spending a few coins on mealworms is worth my effort and a dietary solution to my birds. This is the case to almost all chicken keepers who value their birds.
In fact, some have gone the extra mile to raise their own mealworms for their chickens. If you feel that you cannot raise them, you can stick with sourcing these treats from your local stores.
Regardless of the source of your mealworms, the results will remain the same. Read on to find out why mealworms are important to your chickens.
Benefits of Mealworms to My Chickens
Mealworms are a Great Source of Proteins
As I had mentioned earlier, chickens need proteins at their different stages of growth and development. Protein helps my chicks to grow fast and mature early. This is a common observation among chickens of different breeds.
A diet containing 20 to 22 percent protein is ideal for growing birds. Pullets need between 14 and 16 percent of proteins to develop and be ready to start laying eggs. The layers require a diet with 15 to 18 percent protein to lay high-quality eggs.
In general, an all-purpose grain must contain at least 16 percent protein. This vital information calls for a reliable source of proteins. And this where mealworms come in.
On average mealworms contain about 50 percent protein. As such, they’re an excellent source of this nutrient and a great addition to my chickens’ diet. In addition to supplying proteins, mealworms are also known to be rich in fat, calories and carbohydrates.
Mealworms are an Excellent Source of Food for My Chickens
More benefits of mealworms for chickens are apart from providing my birds with proteins, mealworms are also a good source of food. Even though there are different types of commercial feed, most chicken owners don’t have to strive to calculate nutrient percentages. This is due to the fact that these feeds have the right quantities of each essential nutrient for all chickens.
But giving your chickens one nutrient in large amounts is not a sound idea. Likewise, providing your birds with another nutrient in addition to a balanced diet can throw their diet off-balance. As a result, excess nutrients can become harmful to your birds.
Small treats that add a few nutrients to your chickens’ protein intake is not a problem at all. Such treats help young birds to grow healthy and become productive. So if you are free-ranging your feathered friends, you should try to supplement their usual diet with mealworms.
Mealworms Aid in Molting
Molting is part of every chicken’s growth cycle, especially layers. From my observation, most chickens molt in spring and fall. This is the right time for them to get rid of older feathers in preparation for growing new ones.
If you a new chicken owner, molting can send you in a moment of panic. You may end up thinking that there’s something wrong going on with your feathered friends. But I can assure you that this physical transformation is perfectly normal for all chickens.
However, this is the time when molting birds need proteins the most. For this reason, mealworms can be a good source of protein for your molting birds. After all, the molting process needs more protein to help your hens to replace older feathers. For that matter, these benefits of mealworms for chickens, added to their normal diet to act as a protein supplement.
These little worms have a reputation of adding dense amounts of protein to your chickens. A few days of subjecting your birds to this type of diet will create a huge difference in their physical appearance.
Mealworms Contribute to More Nutritious Eggs
The quality of eggs is determined by what layers eat. That explains why most chicken keepers free-range their layers. When free-ranging, chickens forage and dig up the ground to find bugs, insects and small rodents to eat.
Such a combination of different diets keep your chickens healthier and more productive. This means their eggs or meat are rich in minerals, proteins, fat, and carbohydrates. All these are essential nutrients not only to your flock but to humans as well.
A better and easy way of providing your birds with a balanced diet is by feeding them mealworms. This diet increases their nutritional value and that of their eggs or meat. That is the reason most people prefer eggs and meat from free-ranging birds as opposed to the confined ones.
Mealworms Can Help in Turning Bedding
You may opt for the deep litter system when turning the bedding or use mealworms to accomplish this task. If you choose the deep litter system, you may find it a little bit tedious and time-consuming. Stirring the litter requires a lot of manpower. I’m sure you will not like it in the long run. Why bother yourself with this task when you can use your birds and a few mealworms?
Your chickens will more likely scramble for mealworms than anything else. Therefore, you can take advantage of this situation to make your work easier and timeless. Just sprinkle some mealworms on the bedding and wait for the unfolding events.
The presence of mealworms will send your birds scratching all over the bedding to find these delicious bugs. In the process, they will help you do the turning of bedding in a desperate attempt to find more mealworms.
Mealworms Can Help You Create a Strong Bond with Your Chickens
All animals, including human beings, are responsive to food. The same case is true with your chickens. These lovely feathered friends will get attached to you if you make a habit of feeding them regularly. This is evident from countless stories of chickens charging across the yard whenever they spot their owner with a feeder.
Perhaps those feeders contain a few mealworms that send chickens into a frenzy upon seeing their keeper approaching them. Food is essential for chickens and they will be glad to see you coming with some treats to entice them.
Nothing brings joy to your chickens’ life more than a variety of treats in their usual diet. One of those treats is a diet with several mealworms. Chickens love mealworms and will do anything to have a taste of them. When you make a habit of bringing your birds some mealworms, they will definitely become your trusted friends.
Mealworms Promote Organic Egg and Meat Production
There has been an increase in demand for organic food. This trend follows people’s idea of becoming conscious about what they consume in terms of food. Eggs and chicken meat are some of their favorite delicacies.
These two poultry products are a good source of protein and other essential nutrients for humans. That’s why different groups of people advocate for products produced organically.
In this regard, mealworms are a perfect meal for chickens that are raised for their organic eggs and meat. They are organic and natural food for chickens and they deliver outstanding nutrition results within a short time.
How many mealworms should you feed your chickens? Mealworms or other treats should not be more than 10 percent of the total daily chicken feed. This amount is just right for your birds because too much protein can bring a lot of health problems.
How often should you feed your birds mealworms? In addition to providing your birds with 10 percent treats in their diets, you also need to know when to give them those treats. It is recommended that you provide your chickens with mealworms and other treats twice per week.
Why are some people against feeding chickens mealworms? Quite a number of people are against the idea of feeding chickens mealworms as part of the chicken diet. They feel that mealworms are produced on an industrial scale under questionable processes. Some of these processes involve the use of animal and human waste.
Mealworms make a great choice of treats for my chickens because they are rich in proteins and other useful nutrients. Besides, these treats promote the production of eggs and meat not to mention keeping my flock active and happy.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!