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Why Live Mealworms Make a Great Addition to Your Chicken Feed

Posted by Crickets Direct Team on 6/5/2014

Like many birds chickens are naturally omnivorous, and they are typically willing to try just about anything they can get their beaks on. In addition to vegetables, grasses, and grains, chickens need an excellent source of protein—such as insects—in order to be good layers and good eating, and pet chickens can't resist them as treats. Live mealworms provide a powerful protein source, whether you are looking to maximize your egg production or just keep your pets in prime health.

Chickens Raised for Meat Production

Chickens raised as a food source typically need a bit more protein as they grow in order to build healthy muscle. In addition to providing a protein boost, mealworms and other live insects contain essential vitamins, oils, and amino acids needed for good overall health. There is also recent evidence that the polysaccharide chitin found in insect exoskeletons may improve the immune system, reducing the need for potentially harmful antibiotics.

Increasing the Egg Count

Young chickens in the prime of their laying life greatly benefit from a high-protein diet in order to maintain excellent production. While pre-ground grain mashes typically contain about 16-20% protein, mealworms contain more than half the daily requirement per worm.

Pampering Your Pets

Even if you just raise chickens as pets or to help control your backyard insect population, mealworms make a tasty treat that chickens love. Many chicken owners use them as a simple way to train pets to follow when called and become more willing to be handled for holding or petting. A diet that includes mealworms also increases protein consumption during the crucial molting period, when birds need the extra nutrients to re-grow new feathers.

Ordering Mealworms Online

While dried mealworms are often readily available, you can also easily order live insects online. Mealworms generally come in small, medium, and extra-large sizes, and many enthusiastic hobbyists enjoy keeping their own live farms as a ready source of protein for their chickens—and a welcome treat!

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