Do Chickens Eat Worms

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Chickens are essentially herbivorous animals, feeding mainly on seeds and grains. However, worms are animals; do chickens eat worms? If they do, does that make them omnivores, feeding on animals and grains? Should chickens eat worms? As a keen observer watching chicken, you may have these questions.

Chickens eat worms. In addition to the grains, seeds, and grasses they feed on regularly, chickens also eat small insects. Chickens also occasionally take in sand, coarse dirt, and gravel and keep them in their gizzard to help grind food.

As a chicken rearer or a keen observer, you may wonder how chickens get their nutrients and why they always dig with their feet. Chickens need all the proteins they can get, so they tend to get it from any source, including worms.

Do Chickens Eat Worms

Yes, chickens eat worms. In addition to eating worms, they also eat other insects as a protein source. It is also not uncommon to see chickens feeding on remnants of household food and even rodents. Chickens are an essential source of protein to man, and as such, they need all the nutrients they can get to produce protein.

Chickens can also eat various other food items like cooked vegetables and cooked carbohydrates like rice and pasta. Oyster and egg shells provide chickens with calcium for bone and egg formation. Fish and its skin are a good protein source. Besides, bread, fruits, dairy products, and plants are also food for chickens.

Chickens do not have teeth for grinding food; hence they swallow small pebbles, coarse dirt, and gravel and store them in their gizzard. These coarse materials help to crush food substances that pass through the gizzard. This is especially common in garden chickens and chickens left to wander free-range.

chickens eating worms

Do Chickens Eat Earthworms

Yes, chickens eat Earthworms, and they are beneficial to chickens. They form a tasty and healthy source of nutrients for the chickens. Earthworms contain about 20 essential minerals to chickens, including calcium and manganese. Earthworms can also be dried and fed to chickens.

Are Earthworms Good For Chickens

You may have wondered if eating earthworms is good for chickens and if it affects them positively? Earthworms are good for chickens, and they provide chickens with protein in large quantities. In addition, trace nutrients like calcium, copper, iron, manganese, zinc and amino acids are present in earthworms, making them great for chickens.

Chickens in yards often scratch and peck the ground, searching for earthworms, insects, and slugs. This is an indication that chickens enjoy eating earthworms. When feeding them with earthworms, they show a level of excitement that is similar to when humans have their favorite snack.

Earthworms, redworms, and other worms are dried and sold to poultry keepers as a protein source for their birds. However, bird rearers also need not over-feed their birds. Chicken overeating can lead to fatalities and complications.

Nutritional Value of Earthworms

As earlier stated, earthworms are chickens’ favorite, such that they go all out in search of earthworms, digging and pecking the ground to expose them. Before going all out to feed your chickens with earthworms, you should understand the essential nutritional value.

Earthworm meal is similar to fish meals and other poultry protein sources in composition. When dried out, earthworms are made up of about 60 to 70% protein, 5 to 21% carbohydrates, 6 to 11% fat, and 2 to 3% minerals. Various vitamins are also present in trace quantities.

Dried Earthworm NutritionNutritional Value
Protein60 to 70%
Carbohydrates5 to 21%
Fat6 to 11%
Minerals 2 to 3%

It has also been discovered that earthworms have a higher concentration of essential amino acids when compared with other poultry protein sources like fish meal and meat meal. For example, methionine and lysine are notably higher in earthworms than other protein sources.

Can Baby Chickens Eat Worms

Yes, baby chickens can eat worms. Baby chickens, including earthworms and redworms, can eat various worms. They form an important source of protein for baby chickens. However, too many worms can cause more harm than good by overwhelming the system of baby chickens.

chicks eating worms

When pecking and scratching the ground in search of earthworms, many mother hens in the garden tend to give the earthworms to their children to eat. It is an evolutionary trait and survival instinct, showing that baby chickens eat worms.

Due to their need to grow and develop bones, flesh, and other parts of their systems, baby chickens require a more nutrient-dense diet than adults. Proteins, minerals, fats, and vitamins A, D, E, and K are essential to the growth and development of baby chickens.

Many people also ask if baby chicks can eat bread – If you are one of the many looking for that answer then be sire to give this post a read.

Worms For Chickens To Eat

Nature has a variety of worms, and the earthworm is just one of them.

Chickens eat a whole variety of other worms, such as redworms and mealworms, and they all serve as essential sources of protein for chickens.

Check out these dried mealworms (Amazon link)

The mode of production of these worms has to be investigated and taken care of. This is because harmful substances like heavy metals can get absorbed by worms and are passed down the food chain till they get to man. It is advised to feed your birds with only fresh and lively worms.

Chickens also feed on insects, slugs and worms, which serve as a protein source for chickens. In addition, some chicken keepers feed their birds with fish meals and meat meals to augment their protein intake.

How Many Worms Can A Chicken Eat In A Day

The number of worms a chicken eats a day varies. However, chickens have a form of self-control that makes them leave the food once they are satisfied. They can eat as much as possible and are willing to eat; once they are full.

They would walk away from the food source to rest. This step is essential in ensuring that the birds do not get overfed.

In summary, worms are a delight to chickens; they love it, and it is highly nutritional to them. It provides a large concentration of proteins and essential amino acids for the growth and well-being of the chickens.

An extension to this question might be how many times a day should I feed my chickens? It’s a reasonable question to ask and I covered it in detail for you here.

Wrap Up

So, do chickens eat worms? We found out in this article that chickens do in fact eat worms, they eat pretty much all worms. These include earthworms, redworms, and mealworms.

Worms are a great source of essential nutrition for your chickens, and it’s a great way for them to add variety to their diet.

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