live mealworms

The Nutritional Benefits of Adding Live Mealworms for Your Chicken

Keeping chickens is a popular pastime for many people around the world. Not only do they produce fresh eggs, but they also provide excellent fertilizer and entertainment.

However, it’s important to make sure that they are getting the chicken nutrition they need to stay healthy and happy. One way to do this is by adding live mealworms to their diet.

Not only do chickens love them, but they are also packed with essential nutrients. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the top nutritional benefits of adding live mealworms to your chicken diet.

Surprising Health Benefits of Live Mealworms for Your Chickens

Live mealworms are a delicious and nutritious addition to any chicken diet. They give a variety of benefits that contribute to the health and well-being of your feathered friends.


Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass, promoting healthy growth, and supporting health and vitality. Live mealworms are an excellent option for protein as they contain high levels of essential amino acids that chickens need for proper muscle function.

These small insects have a high protein-to-fat ratio. It makes them a healthier source of protein compared to many other feed options. By incorporating this into the chicken diet, you can ensure they get the protein they need to thrive and stay healthy.


Calcium is an essential mineral for chickens as it helps in bone development and health, eggshell formation, and muscle and nerve function. Live mealworms contain three times more calcium than other common chicken feed sources.

This makes them an ideal supplement for improving the health of your feathered friends. This vital mineral not only aids in egg production and stronger bones but helps in the prevention of common calcium deficiencies that can lead to health problems in chickens. 


These tiny creatures are packed with essential vitamins such as vitamins B1, B2, and B6, which are important for a chicken’s health and immunity. Vitamin B1, known as thiamine, helps with energy metabolism and nerve function.

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin aids in the production of red blood cells. Vitamin B6 is essential for the synthesis of amino acids and plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy immune system. 


Mealworms are a great source of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. These minerals are crucial for maintaining strong bones, healthy muscles, and bodily functions. Calcium, in particular, is important for egg-laying chickens as it helps their shells form. Live mealworms are also rich in iron, which is necessary for the production of hemoglobin and oxygen transport in the blood. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega3 fatty acids are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and promoting well-being. These healthy fats have been linked to reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and supporting brain function.

By including mealworms for chickens, you are not only providing them with a protein-rich snack but increasing their intake of Omega3 fatty acids. This can result in healthier and more productive chickens.


Fiber plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy digestive system for chickens, just like it does for humans. Mealworms are an excellent source of fiber, containing 12 grams per 100 grams. This is important as chickens are omnivores and need a balanced diet that includes both proteins and fibers.

With the addition of mealworms, chickens can get their daily dose of fiber. This helps promote regularity, improve nutrient absorption, and support gut health.

How to Safely Introduce Live Mealworms to Your Flock

Introducing live mealworms to your flock can provide a nutritious and protein-rich treat for your chickens. However, it is important to introduce them safely to ensure the well-being of your flock.

There are ways to introduce live and dried mealworms to your chickens.

Gradually Increase the Amount of Mealworms in Their Diet

Start with a small amount and watch their reactions. If they handle it well, increase the part size. This will allow their bodies to adjust to the new food and prevent any gastrointestinal issues. 

Mix Mealworms With Their Regular Feed

This method ensures that the mealworms are incorporated into their diet without causing any sudden changes that may upset their stomachs. This allows for the flock to adjust to the increased protein intake from the mealworms. 

Hand-Feeding Mealworms

By feeding the mealworms by hand, you can ensure that no bird is being aggressive or territorial with the new food. Please ensure that each bird is getting their fair share. This gives you the opportunity to bond with your flock and build trust with them. 

Common Mistakes When Feeding Chicken Live Mealworms

Feeding live mealworms to chickens can be a great source of protein and nutrition for them. However, there are some common mistakes that owners make that can be harmful to their chickens. 

Not Regulating the Amount of Mealworms Given

Many people believe that since mealworms are a nutritious and protein-rich snack for chickens, they can be fed in unlimited quantities. However, this can lead to overfeeding and can cause digestive issues for the chickens. It’s crucial to properly measure the amount of mealworms to prevent excessive consumption. 

Not Providing Enough Fresh Water for the Chickens

While mealworms can be a nutritious treat for chickens, they also have a high protein content which can cause chickens to become dehydrated if not balanced with enough water intake. This can lead to health issues such as impacted crops and decreased egg production.

It is important to always make sure that chickens have access to plenty of fresh, clean water when feeding them live mealworms. This will not only keep them healthy and hydrated but ensure that they can properly digest the mealworms and reap their benefits.

Not Keeping Mealworms Clean and Fresh

Mealworms should be stored in a cool, dry place and sifted to remove any dead or moldy worms. It is important to provide a clean and fresh substrate for the mealworms to live on, as they can become contaminated if left in dirty bedding. Failure to keep the mealworms clean and fresh can lead to bacterial growth and potential health issues for both the mealworms and the chickens consuming them.

Enhance Your Chicken’s Diet With Live Mealworms

Adding live mealworms to your chicken diet can provide numerous nutritional benefits that can improve their overall health and productivity. From boosting protein levels to promoting gut health, incorporating these natural treats is a simple and effective way to enhance your flock’s nutrition.

So why wait? Try adding live mealworms to your chicken diet and see the difference for yourself!

To dive into some of our topics, check out our other great articles.

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