Mealworms For Chickens: Is It Healthy For Chickens? 2021 Guide

Every time I enter the chicken coop and bring a bag of mealworms along, my chickens chatter with excitement and follow me around like I’m the Pied Piper!

Mealworms for chickens are certainly a popular treat, but are they good for your feathered friends and how often should you feed mealworms?

To help you feed your chickens, ducks, and other poultry a healthy and balanced diet, we’ll take a look at the reasons to introduce mealworms, the best range of mealworms to feed, and how to choose the right products so your chooks stay healthy and happy.

The Best 3 Mealworms From The Review

Top Pick

Kimoe 100% Natural Non-GMO Dried Mealworms

100% natural mealworms that do not contain additives or preservatives. It is a great source of protein and vitamins, especially for laying hens in winter.

Kimoe 100% Natural Non-GMO Dried Mealworms

Kimoe is the top pick in the mealworm product category because it is well-packaged, all-natural, and is a wonderful supplement for chickens.

It has valuable nutrients for chickens such as protein, fat, and fiber.

Non-GMO

What I like about Kimoe mealworms are the fair pricing and GMO-free production.

These mealworms also don’t contain any preservatives or additives, so feeding chickens an organic diet is easy and economical.

Feeding mealworms to chickens will support egg layers because of the extra nutrition.

Quality

Kimoe is transparent about raising its mealworm farm in a clean environment.

Always be sure to check the practices of your mealworm manufacturer.

It can prevent exposing chickens to harmful contamination and disease.

Specs

  • Non-GMO: Yes
  • Type: Dried
  • Natural: Yes

Pros

  • The dried mealworms maintain their flavor, texture, and nutrition
  • It is all-natural and free from additives, preservatives, and GMO’s
  • Feed to your chickens by tossing in bedding or outdoors

Cons

  • Freeze-dried worms can create dust inside the bag
  • Attracts wild birds to the garden

Best Value

Appetizing Mealworms for Chickens

Produced without preservatives or additives. It is an affordable and simple way to let your flock enjoy a mixed, natural diet.

Appetizing Mealworms for Chickens

Whether for your small coop or your large flock, you can give your chickens natural treats with Appetizing Mealworms for Chickens.

The range provides birds with protein and fat that can easily supplement their diet.

Nutrients

Appetizing Mealworms for Chickens makes the best value category because it provides a high amount of protein to feed your chickens.

If you are searching for natural treats that are also affordable, these valuable mealworms are just what chickens need.

Affordable

Feeding mealworms to chickens, no matter the size of the flock, is more cost-effective with Appetizing Mealworms for Chickens.

Farm-grown grubs contain essential vitamins to encourage the formation of feathers, strong muscles, and improved egg quality.

Best Dried Mealworms For Chickens

Mealworms By The Pound Bulk Dried Mealworms

A bulk pack of large dried mealworms with a crunchy texture that chickens love.

Mealworms By The Pound Bulk Dried Mealworms

Mealworms By The Pound makes our best-dried mealworms for chickens category! The grub variety contains a very high amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

You can feed hens and wild birds their favorite bugs that are a great, natural source of nutrition.

Nutrients

The MBTP mealworms contain fats, calcium, and fiber.

It has a dry consistency for scattering inside the coop or placing right in a feed dish.

You can save time and save money when you choose the MBTP range of mealworms for chickens.

Flavor

The quick-drying methods used to produce the mealworms maintain the nutrition, flavor, and crunchy texture that chickens are always happy to eat.

The Top 5 Mealworms for Chickens

Hatortempt 10lbs Bulk Non-GMO Dried Mealworms

Non-GMO nutritious, tasty, and 100% safe mealworms for birds to eat.

Hatortempt 10lbs Bulk Non-GMO Dried Mealworms

The non-GMO dried mealworms by Hatortempt are a great addition if you want to give chickens a natural treat.

The worms are raised in a clean farm environment to prevent contamination.

They are also fed an exclusive vegetable and wheat bran diet.

Ingredients

The Hatortempt mealworms are nutritious, tasty, and 100% safe for birds to eat.

If you are feeding chickens an organic diet, you’ll be happy to know that the Hatortempt dried mealworms are non-GMO.

Non-GMO

Non-GMO means that they do not contain genetically modified organisms.

You can rest assured that you’re giving chickens and ducks mealworms naturally grown without chemicals

The product is also free from preservatives.

Quality

The mealworms are quick-dried and come in resealable bags to lock in their freshness.

The quick-drying process serves to boost the flavor, nutrients, and crispness of the mealworms.

You can toss a few dry mealworms into the bedding of chickens to encourage foraging.

FDA Approved

This way chickens can turn their own litter, saving time and the cost of turning and aerating the bedding yourself.

If you are looking for a certified product, Hatortempt has received FDA approval in the US. The food also undergoes quality testing in China.

Specs

  • Non-GMO: Yes
  • Type: Dried
  • Natural Ingredients: Yes

Pros

  • It is a natural mealworm range free from additives and preservatives
  • The worms are quick-dried to produce a crisp texture and enhance flavor
  • The mealworms are raised in a sterile environment to prevent contamination

Cons

  • Low protein composition

Top Pick

Kimoe 100% Natural Non-GMO Dried Mealworms

100% natural mealworms that do not contain additives or preservatives.

Kimoe 100% Natural Non-GMO Dried Mealworms

To supplement chicken feed with a protein and calcium source, you can choose the Kimoe Non-GMO Dried Mealworms.

These Kimoe mealworms grow on a farm in China in a controlled environment.

They are fed a vegetable and bran diet to raise large and healthy worms that all chickens will love.

Quality

Kimoe has focused on providing 100% natural mealworms that do not contain additives or preservatives. It is a great source of protein and vitamins, especially for laying hens in winter. Hens benefit from the extra protein intake when temperatures drop and they need to maintain their weight.

Nutrients

The source of protein provided by worms is an inexpensive way to encourage fussy chickens to eat their food.

The protein is good for healthy feathers during molting and encourages hens to produce eggs. The grubs are dry, but they provide the vitamins that chickens need to stay fit and strong.

Storage

Feeding your chickens mealworms is a wonderful treat.

Kimoe has included resealable bags, making it easier to keep the dried mealworms fresh.

The protein-packed treat should be stored in a cool and dark environment to protect it from spoiling.

Specs

  • Non-GMO: Yes
  • Type: Dried
  • Natural: Yes

Pros

  • The dried mealworms maintain their flavor, texture, and nutrition
  • It is all-natural and free from additives, preservatives, and GMO’s
  • Feed to your chickens by tossing in bedding or outdoors

Cons

  • Attracts wild birds to the garden

Best Dried Mealworms For Chickens

Mealworms By The Pound Bulk Dried Mealworms

A bulk pack of large dried mealworms with a crunchy texture that chickens love.

Mealworms By The Pound Bulk Dried Mealworms

Mealworms By The Pound (MBTP) is a dried mealworm variety for chickens and wild birds.

It is a bulk pack, making it more economical for backyard chicken keepers with large flocks. 

Quality

MBTP includes natural dried mealworms that grow in China.

The fact that these mealworms contain a high protein content of 51% is great for feeding laying chickens.

During the colder months, the mealworms help chickens maintain their weight and beat the chill.

Treat

For the backyard flock or birds on a farm, you can sprinkle the dry worms on the ground so they can scratch through the healthy treats.

It is a simple way to prevent boredom.

What is most favorable about the MBTP Dried Worms is the large size of the worms. Chickens, ducks, and even wild birds will love the crunchy texture!

Storage

Although it doesn’t come in a resealable bag, you can add a tie or empty it into a container with a lid so your worms stay fresh and packed full of goodness.

A potential drawback of this feed is that it does not provide any information about GMOs or preservatives.

Specs

  • Non-GMO: No
  • Type: Dried
  • Natural Ingredients: Yes

Pros

  • Value for money
  • High protein content
  • Large size mealworms as supplements or treats

Cons

  • It does not mention whether it contains GMO, preservatives, or additives

FLYGRUBS Superior to Dried Mealworms for Chickens

A safe alternative to mealworms, these are fly larvae that possess up to 85x higher protein than regular mealworms.

FLYGRUBS Superior to Dried Mealworms for Chickens

Although Flygrubs is not a mealworm, it is a fly larva that has a higher protein content compared to regular dried mealworms.

It is a safe alternative you can feed to chickens whether they’re young pullets, roosters, or laying hens!

Calcum

What is beneficial about the Flygrubs range is that the black fly larvae offer a high amount of calcium.

You can add the calcium-enriched larvae as a supplement to support egg production in hens.

Because of the higher calcium, black fly larvae shouldn’t be fed to growing chicks and pullets.

Nutrients

The black soldier fly larvae consist of extra crude fat and lauric acid for healthy weight and digestion in chickens.

Flygrubs offer a natural protein intake for the healthiest eggs in hens.

The Flygrubs larvae are raised on a farm in China.

Their mealworms benefit from a vegetable, grain, and food waste diet.

Sustainability

The use of leftover food is part of the Flygrubs sustainability practice to reduce landfill waste.

Whether you feed chickens a little or a lot, the fact remains that they will be happy with their daily treats!

Specs

  • Non-GMO: Yes
  • Type: Dried
  • Natural Ingredients: Yes

Pros

  • It is a good protein, calcium, and fat source for the diet of laying hens
  • It is sustainably sourced
  • Is a supplement for chicken feed and a treat for wild birds
  • The dried consistency makes it easy to feed to chickens

Cons

  • Not all poultry or garden birds will eat the insects
  • Only a little amount can be fed to chickens
  • Not suitable for chicks and pullets because of high calcium

Best Value

Appetizing Mealworms for Chickens

Produced without preservatives or additives. It is an affordable and simple way to let your flock enjoy a mixed, natural diet.

Appetizing Mealworms for Chickens

Appetizing Mealworms for Chickens makes feeding your chooks incredibly entertaining! The backyard flock will love the large-sized worms as tasty treats.

If you are raising hens for egg production, mealworms can boost protein and calcium levels. It is an affordable and simple way to let your flock enjoy a mixed, natural diet.

Quality

Appetizing Mealworms for Chickens is a non-GMO range.

It is also produced without preservatives or additives, making it ideal for raising an organic flock.

What is unique about Appetizing Mealworms for Chickens is the extra large bag size.

Chickens will love the natural ingredients.

Usage

The large bags of mealworms for chickens are suitable for all types of birds.

As these mealworms are carefully dried, it provides a crisp texture for chickens to crunch and munch.

Usage

The dry mealworms are easy to add to regular chicken feed or toss on the ground for rummaging.

If you need to supplement the diets of chickens for eggs, these natural treats are safe to boost chicken health and overall vitality.

Specs

  • Non-GMO: Yes
  • Type: Dried
  • Natural Ingredients: Yes

Pros

  • FDA approved as a safe mealworm range for chickens
  • Natural ingredients and non-GMO
  • Extra protein source for egg layers

Cons

  • It is not locally produced

Why You Should Be Feeding Mealworms to Chickens

Mealworms are the most popular natural treats for birds.

Personally, I thoroughly enjoy providing my chickens with safe and healthy treats that get them excited about their feed time, and mealworms certainly top the list!

Nutrients

It is a great protein source that encourages the production of eggs.

By tossing a handful of grubs into the coop as food, you can keep chickens stimulated and active.

My birds love mealworms so much that I’ve used chicken mealworms to teach my oldest hen a few simple tricks!

Treats

While feeding insects to chickens can certainly create a happy flock, it is important to stick to healthy limits.

Knowing how much to give your chickens or how to choose the best products, can make all the difference for the long term health of every chicken.

Let’s learn more about feeding mealworms to chickens…

What are Mealworms?

Mealworms are the larvae of mealworm beetles.

The larvae are commonly called golden grubs because of their color and because they’re so irresistible to birds!

Mealworms have become insanely popular treats for chickens…

Mealworms have become insanely popular treats for chickens because it is a great source of protein.

Protein supports muscle formation and the development of feathers in birds. It also improves the condition of eggs.

Feeding

Mealworms are great food supplements for when you give your chicken choice of treats, but they should be fed in moderation.

If you are raising chickens, it is essential to learn about feeding mealworms to chickens…

Live Mealworms vs Dried Mealworms

Commercial mealworms are bred on a farm, quick-dried, and packaged to feed to chickens or wild birds.

For chicken keepers, the question is whether feeding living mealworms is better than their dried alternatives?

The problem with raising larvae from beetles is the matter of cost.

Cost

Farmers who produce mealworms must include a controlled environment, prevent contamination, and compete with cheaper imports.

Dry mealworms are easily packaged, transported, and have a long shelf life. The drying process maintains the protein, calcium, fat, and fiber content.

How to Raise Mealworms for Chickens

If you are interested in feeding mealworms to chickens, raising live grubs to feed to chicken flocks can be done on a small or a large scale.

It all depends on the time and cost you’re able and willing to put in.

You’ll need to start with mealworm adult beetles or larvae.

What You’ll Need

Create a secure and well-ventilated container with a substrate for bedding.

Feeding mealworms is easy, all they eat is bran and vegetable matter.

Here is an overview of a mealworm farm setup…

MEALWORM FARMING FOR BEGINNERS – My Mealworm Farming System (to Supplement My Chickens’ Diet)

Kept in the right conditions, mealworms can be harvested in as little as 2 months.

Once the larvae are mature, they can be fed to your chicken or wild bird flocks in flat saucers.

Can You Overfeed Chickens?

Feeding chickens treats is a sure delight.

When they run across the yard clucking and shaking their tails to the sound of their food bag, it’s easy to “accidentally” toss more food out than necessary!

Chickens will generally stop eating when full; however, insects such as mealworms create a feeding frenzy!

NOTE

Chickens may not be satisfied with a little number of mealworms, which can lead to overeating and many physical complications.

Nutrients

Mealworms are high in protein.

They are the best supplements for quality eggs and feathers; however, feeding in excess can cause health problems.

High protein over a long period leads to increased water consumption, diarrhea, and wet bedding.

Health Risk

Moist bedding increases the risk of foot ailments.

Excess protein can also hinder growth and longevity.

Understanding when and how much to feed chickens can help you avoid such problems.

What Size Mealworms for Chickens?

Mealworms of all sizes can be fed to chickens.

The standard size of a mealworm is 1 inch.

How Many Mealworms for Chickens

You can provide about 1 cup of mealworms for 2 to 10 chickens or less than 10% of their daily feed.

Feeding mealworms to chickens is best every alternate or third day of the week.

TIP

It should only be used to supplement chicken feed or serve as tasty treats.

Can Chickens of all Ages Get Mealworms?

Yes, you can start feeding a small number of mealworms to chicks of only 6 to 8 weeks old. Only a few mealworms will go a long way for chicks.

Are Mealworms Good for Eggs?

Yes! Because of their protein, calcium, and fat content, mealworms are ideal for producing strong and healthy chicken eggs.

The grubs are also packed with vitamins and organic material to support the development of eggs and feathers.

NOTE

Mealworms can aid the production of eggs when fed as a supplement. Be sure to feed in moderation, as this will encourage tasty eggs without the risk of overfeeding.

Conclusion

For free-range or coop-bound chickens, mealworms are a cheap, nutritious supplement.

Feeding mealworms to chickens supports healthy eggs and the growth of feathers during molting.

Nutrients

Let them scratch at the insects to encourage foraging!

The fact that every chicken loves mealworms also makes it a suitable treat.

You can start feeding mealworms to young birds, pullets, and hens in lay.

Added protein from products such as Kimeo Dried Mealworms or Appetizing Mealworms for Chickens encourages strong development at all life stages.

Frequency

Be sure to feed treats in moderation.

Chickens can become fussy and pause their regular diet in exchange for mealworms.

For chickens in the coop, you can use mealworms to naturally turn their bedding.

Feeding

Toss a few mealworms into the bedding at the start of the day.

Watch your chickens rummage through the materials to find their favorite mealworms.

Their scratching and pecking will aerate and turn the bedding so you don’t have to!

Supplement

The fact that these tiny grubs support the protein intake of chickens makes it the ideal treat or supplement for hens laying eggs. 

No matter the size of your flock, mealworms remain a popular choice.

It contains vitamins and minerals makes it a healthier option for their daily diet.

A little will go a long way for the well-being and happiness of chickens!

References

Featured Image – Mealworms by Hans Splinter

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Jess Woods
Jess Woods
Founder of Chickens & You. I love raising chickens and creating a self sustainable homestead for my family. I like to spend my time writing and teaching skills for homesteading and self sufficient living. 🐓 👩‍🌾