7 Reasons Why You Should Feed Your Chickens Mealworms

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 15 July 2020

They may not look very appealing to you or me, but from a chickens point of view dried mealworms seem as tasty as a home cooked meal prepared by someone you love. Though they have the texture of crumbly corn chips, these tasty little morsels will drive your flock wild with temptation. Just a small portion of these formerly wiggly wonders is enough to boost your ladies health and well-being so they can live life at their flip-flappity best! Stick your beak into this easy to digest article with the top 7 reasons to feed mealworms to your hungry feathered friends.


1. Just a few mealworms goes a long way.

Make sure you don’t make an entire meal out of your mealworms. Just a small handful of mealworms, averaging around 1-10 per chicken, is enough to help boost their protein intake. Generally speaking, adult laying hens should have a diet of approximately 16% protein. Younger chickens and pullets of course have extra protein in their chicken feed, or extra mealworms in their diet for that matter, to help them as they grow big and strong. Your laying ladies will of course eat the whole bag if you let them, but make sure you restrict their intake to the recommended serving size. In an eggshell, don’t go overboard when you feed your ladies mealworms.

2. Power your laying ladies with protein.

Protein is an essential part of any living creatures diet, especially chickens. Think about it, chicken eggs are one of the most popular sources of protein available! Not to mention chickens need to have plenty of protein so they can grow lustrous plumage to keep them warm in winter. So, it only makes sense that any Chicken Lady needs to ensure that her girls have plenty of protein in their diet. Mealworms are of course the natural choice, as each meal worm is nearly 50% protein - HOLY HEN! But, if you are looking for more protein treat ideas, just check out this interesting article here.

3. Mealworms will help your girls through moulting season.

During moulting season, which generally occurs throughout autumn and spring, it’s essential that every chicken owner boosts their flock's protein intake in one way or another. Mealworms are an especially good choice, as they are a dense source of protein, which will help your chooks grow their feathers back in no time. It’s also important to note that your flock’s immune system will be reduced throughout moulting season, so it’s imperative that you fortify their diet with some tasty mealworms, to help them through this difficult season. For more ways to help boost your flock’s immune system just click here.

Dried mealworms out of the packet.

4. Bulk up your eggs with mealworms.

Naturally, when your chicken has enough protein in their diet, they’ll be able to produce eggs at their peak. There have been many accounts of chicken lovers noticing an improvement in flavour and size of their eggs after they started to feed their flock the recommended serving size of mealworms. Remember, eggs are almost entirely protein, so mealworm are the perfect eggstra treat in any laying hens diet.

Find out the top tips for getting more eggs from your laying ladies here.

5. Helps to turn the bedding in a deep litter system. 

This may seem slightly left of centre but anyone who uses a deep litter system is always on the look out for an easier way to turn the bedding. Let me explain, chooks absolutely love mealworms - in fact it sends them a little loopy with excitement. By scattering an appropriate serving size of mealworms mixed in with feed over the deep litter system, your chooks will start to scratch and peck at the bedding, consequentially mixing it through. Long story short, you won’t need to get the shovel out and mix that hot and heavy bedding through. I can hear some of you mumbling, “what’s a deep litter system”. Stick your beak into this guide to creating your own deep litter system here and wonder no more.

6. You’ll love watching your chickens munching on the mealworms.

You think your chickens are excited when they lay an egg - just wait until you see how they act when they find out they are having mealworms for dinner. Sit out on the deck with a cup of coffee and laugh yourself silly when you see how nuts your chooks go when you treat them to a few mealworms. Your girls will go wild in the best possible way for mealworms. Like many a Chicken Lady has said before, “if my chickens are happy, I’m happy”.

7. Your chickens will love you for it. 

As many chicken lovers already know, chooks are very responsive to food. There are countless anecdotes of chooks charging across the backyard when their doting owner comes out of the house holding a feeder full of chicken feed, with maybe a few mealworms mixed through. Food is one of the great joys in any chickens life, so it is only right that any chicken lover should offer some treats and variety in their diet. Mealworms are quite simply something that all chickens are going to love. Don’t be a scrooge. Make sure you treat your ladies to mealworms every now and then.

Packaging of Backyard Chicken Coops mealworms

Let’s be honest, most Chicken Ladies buy chooks under the pretense they want to save money on eggs, but, in reality we are just looking for something cute and cuddly to take care of and spoil every now and then. If you’re looking to treat your chickens to something special, and mealworms are simply not going to cut it, why not check out our range of premium coops, including Taj Mahal, Penthouse and Mansion. Chickens with personality need a coop with character!

Now you know the benefits of mealworms, why not find out about other wholesome foods for your flock. Preparing nutritious mealtimes for optimal chicken health can be stressful and confusing. Many health issues experienced by our girls are due to an imbalanced diet. You might find yourself asking: what to feed, when to feed, how to feed, and why?! 

Cluckily, there is no need to be overwhelmed by all the options because our friends at Chickenpedia can help you find out what’s best for your flock at all ages. This is why I recommend their Feeding Pecking Chickens Course to all my readers. Through their course, unearth nutrient-rich foods to help your chickens stay healthy, live longer, and produce the best eggs. Keep those yolks nice and yellow! The course shares advice and information on the best food for your flock as well as quantity control, storage, and timing for feeds.

Feeding time is also a great one for entertainment and this course provides bonus content filled with DIY boredom busters, toys, and treats for your flock. Become an eggspert and gain the confidence needed to choose the right chicken feed and know which ones to avoid.

Be sure to click here to visit Chickenpedia today to check out ALL of their amazing courses.

Sources and further reading