Do Chickens Eat Worms? Is It OK To Feed Your Chickens With Worms?

You may have seen colorful birds holding wriggling worms in beaks.

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Yes, they are going to eat them. Worms are one of the favorite food of most birds, and chickens are no exception.

If you pet chickens or own a firm for business, then worms can be an excellent nutritious platter for them.

Are worms safe for chickens? Can worms kill a chicken?

Chicken owners often think about it. A variety of worms are available, and some can really cause trouble as all species of worms are not meant for consumption.

Worms can be a severe concern for chickens. Extreme cases can result in infection, malnourishment, internal hemorrhage, etc. In some cases, chickens have also died due to worm infestation.

However, if you can take precautions, your chickens won’t be affected. Trouble-causing worms swim into the digestive system of the birds, live there, grow, and cause harm. 

Types of harmful worms are as follows:

  • Roundworms
  • Hair worms
  • Tapeworm
  • Gizzard worms

Benefits of feeding worms for chicken

Great source of protein:

Though all worms are not suitable for any birds, some are meant for birds’ feeding. So, you can treat your chickens with nutritious worms like mealworms. Chickens can get enough protein from a few worms. 1-10 worms per chicken are recommended.

Adult laying hens:

These birds should get 16% of protein daily in their diet. You can give mealworms accordingly. Do not let them eat a bagful of delicious worms.

Besides, chicken eggs are one of the sources of proteins that humans intake. So, you should be sure that your laying ladies are getting an adequate amount of protein in their diet.

It also helps them in growing enough lustrous plumage that can keep them comfortably warm in winter. One mealworm is approximately 50% protein, and hence it is one of the leading food for chickens.

Younger chickens:

Mealworms are good for boosting the growth and strength of younger chickens as well as pullets.

Worms help chickens in molting season:

During autumn and spring, or, you can say, molting season, increase the protein intake of your birds. Feed the mealworms as their high protein content can help the chickens to grow healthy feathers quickly.

Usually, the immune system of chickens remains low during molting season, urging the need of fortifying their diet with tasty worms.

Chickens having the right amount of protein lay more eggs:

Obviously, if your chickens get enough protein in their daily diet, they will produce more eggs.

As per a survey, chicken lovers have noticed an improvement in the size and flavor of eggs aid by the chicken feeding worms every day. Healthy chickens lay healthy eggs-Simple.

Earthworms and vitamins can make a balanced diet for chickens:

Earthworm and vitamins together make up a proper commercial diet for chickens and help them grow stronger and healthier. Earthworms’ amino acids fulfill the requirement of amino acids for chicken.

Related Read: How To Treat Worms In Birds Poop And Cage? Symptoms | Prevention | Deworming

How old do chickens have to be to eat worms? Can baby chickens eat worms?

If you wonder whether you can give worms to your chickens to eat from day one, then start doing it. They can have worms since they are little cute babies.

In fact, mother hens show and teach their chicks how to find and eat worms and insects. So you need to worm your flock regularly.

How to feed worms to chickens?

Get worms from local dealers, online shopping sites, bait shops, etc. Also, local chicken feed suppliers can deliver good-quality worms for your chickens. 

Related Read: What To Feed Chickens Raised For Meat?

How many worms do chickens eat a day? Can chickens eat too many worms?

Full-grown chickens can eat 50 worms a day. However, many poultry owners prefer giving 50 to 150 worms, including earthworms and others per bird, depending on their size.

This amount is recommended in the case of worm only diet.

Free-range chickens find 10 worms per day. Worms such as earthworms are a good source of protein, fats, and minerals.   

What kind of worms do chickens eat? Can they eat live worms?

Chicken eat:

  • Mealworms
  • Red wriggler worms
  • Earthworms

     They eat live worms. You can see a flock of chickens picking up live worms from the ground and swallowing them.          

Do chickens eat dried mealworms?

Dried mealworms are a mouthwatering treat for chickens. These are not actual worms. Instead, dried mealworms are beetle larva. Free-ranging hens and roosters love eating them.        

Do chickens eat grub worms?

Grubs, power-packed with necessary nutrition, are one of the favorite worms of chickens.            

Do chickens eat jumping worms ?

No, chickens don’t prefer eating jumping worms. 

Do chickens eat mealworms?

Yes, they eat mealworms. In fact, mealworms are their favorite snacks.            

Do chickens eat tomato worms?

Chickens love eating tomato worms. These worms are like candy to them.

Do all chickens eat worms?

Yes, all chickens love to swallow juicy worms.

Do free-range chickens eat worms?

Free-range chickens usually eat earthworms and insects they find from the ground or are given. Owners must take proper precautions can the flocks of chickens get gapeworm from insects and intestinal parasites.

Do backyard chickens eat worms?

Definitely, backyard chickens eat worms, including mealworms, red worms, earthworms, etc.

Do wild chickens eat worms?

Wild chickens commonly feed worms and worm eggs, grass, plants, insects, seeds, fruits, nuts, bamboo seeds, young leaves, and so on. They are omnivores and eat almost anything edible found on soil. 

Related Read: What Not To Feed Wild Birds? ( Harmful Foods For Wild Birds )

How to produce earthworms for chickens?

Ways to produce earthworms for chickens are as follows:

  • Create a compost pile that can supply fresh worms for the birds. Earthworms also help in plants’ growth.
  • Place a worm bin at your home. Collect active top layer for bedding. Usually, worms thrive within the top 3 inches of composite materials.  
  • Worms can be harvested during castings’ collection. It serves a dual purpose as you can feed the birds and use the castings as plants’ fertilizers.
  • Harvest earthworms from vermicomposting bins.

Some issues of feeding worms to chickens

Worms are a great meal for chickens. But, infected worms, snails, and other food can pass certain parasites or harmful worms to the chickens.

Again, gapeworm is a nasty parasite that harms chickens when they pick them up from bugs and earthworms.

Predominantly, backyard chickens suffer from gapeworm infestation that attaches itself to the chicken’s trachea and suffocates the rooster, hen, and pullet.