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The Benefits of Feeding Mealworms to Poultry

Updated: Jan 7



Mealworms can be a beneficial food source for poultry, as they provide a good source of protein and fat. In addition, mealworms have a high digestibility rate which means that poultry can easily digest them and convert them into energy. Furthermore, mealworms are high in essential amino acids which are essential for poultry growth and development.


Mealworms can also be a great alternative protein source to traditional feed options, such as soybeans, which can be costly and have a large environmental impact. Additionally, mealworms can be easily grown in a controlled environment and can be produced year-round, making them a reliable food source for poultry.


It is important to note that mealworms should be offered in moderation and should not be the only food source for poultry. It is also important to consider the specific dietary needs of the poultry species you are keeping, as some species may require a more varied diet.



  1. High Protein Content: Mealworms are a protein powerhouse, making them an excellent supplement for your poultry's diet. Protein is crucial for muscle development, feather growth, and overall health. By introducing mealworms, you can ensure that your birds are getting the essential amino acids necessary for their well-being.

  2. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Mealworms aren't just about protein; they are also a great source of vitamins and minerals. They contain essential nutrients like B vitamins, iron, and zinc, contributing to improved immune function, better egg production, and overall vitality in your flock.

  3. Enhanced Egg Production: The high protein and nutrient content in mealworms can positively impact your poultry's egg-laying capabilities. When included in their diet, mealworms can stimulate increased egg production, ensuring a more prolific and consistent supply of eggs for your farm.

  4. Improved Feather Quality: Feathers play a crucial role in protecting your poultry from the elements. The nutrients found in mealworms contribute to stronger, shinier, and more resilient feathers. This not only enhances the overall appearance of your birds but also ensures better insulation and protection.

  5. Natural Behavioral Enrichment: Feeding mealworms to your poultry can also serve as a form of natural enrichment. The act of foraging and hunting for these wriggly treats engages your birds' natural instincts, keeping them active and mentally stimulated. This can lead to happier, healthier, and more contented poultry.


Use in young birds:




Mealworms can be a suitable food source for young birds, as they provide a good source of protein and fat which are essential for growth and development. Additionally, mealworms are high in essential amino acids which are important for the development of healthy muscles, bones, and feathers.


In addition to providing a nutritious food source, mealworms can also be used as a way to introduce young birds to different types of food, encouraging them to try new things. They can also be used to encourage young birds to forage, as mealworms can be scattered on the ground to mimic natural foraging behaviors.


However, it is important to note that mealworms should be offered in moderation and should not be the only food source for young birds. It is also important to ensure that the mealworms are gut-loaded (fed a nutritious diet) before feeding them to the young birds to provide them with optimal nutritional benefits. Additionally, it is important to consider the specific dietary needs of the young birds species you are keeping, as some species may require a more varied diet.


  1. Feeding Methods:

  • Hand Feeding: For a more interactive experience, hand-feed your poultry by offering mealworms from your palm. This allows for bonding and encourages natural foraging behavior.

  • Mixing with Feed: Sprinkle mealworms over their regular feed. This ensures that your birds get a balanced meal and provides an opportunity for them to peck and forage.

  1. Frequency of Feeding:

  • Treats: Consider mealworms as special treats rather than a primary food source. Offering them once or twice a week is generally sufficient.

  • Regular Inclusion: If you're using mealworms as a supplement, mix them with their regular feed a few times a week to provide a nutritional boost.

  1. Monitor Consumption: Keep an eye on how your poultry responds to mealworms. While most birds love them, individual preferences may vary. Ensure that the mealworms are eaten promptly to avoid attracting pests.

  2. Provide Fresh Water: Always have fresh water available for your poultry, especially when offering mealworms. This helps them stay hydrated, and it's essential for proper digestion.

  3. Storage: If you're using dried or freeze-dried mealworms, store them in a cool, dry place to maintain their quality. Check for expiration dates and avoid feeding expired mealworms.


Live vs Dried Mealworms:


Live and dried mealworms are both suitable food sources for poultry, but they have some key differences.


Live mealworms are more nutritious than dried mealworms, as they contain more protein, fat and moisture. They are also more appealing to poultry, as they move and make noise, encouraging birds to forage and stimulating their natural instincts. However, live mealworms have a shorter shelf life and must be kept in a cool, dark place to prevent them from drying out. They also need to be fed and cared for to ensure they are healthy before being fed to the birds.


Dried mealworms are more convenient to store and can be kept for a longer period of time without refrigeration. They are also less messy than live mealworms, as they do not move or make noise. However, dried mealworms have less nutritional value than live mealworms, as they have been dehydrated and have lost some of their protein, fat and moisture content.


It is important to note that regardless of whether you use live or dried mealworms, it is important to consider the specific dietary needs of the birds species you are keeping, as some species may require a more varied diet and you should always supplement their diet with other food sources.



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