Yes! The idea of giving mealworms to ducks is not a new trend. Because of their high protein content, mealworm has always found their way to the feeder of ducks and humans. So if you are wondering whether or not to give mealworms to your ducks? The simple answer is, Yes, carry on with the idea.
Mealworms are super rich in protein and other essential nutrients that contribute to the healthy development of ducks. However, many people take mealworms as being actual worms. Is that true?
What Are Mealworms?
Mealworms are the larvae of a darkling beetle called Tenebrio Molitor. These insects are protein-dense; they contain about 22% protein, comfortably meeting ducks’ 14 to 22% protein requirement.
Ducks seem to enjoy eating these worms, as you can find them roaming around and pecking the soil for mealworms whenever they have the chance. Additionally, earthworms, slugs, and bloodworms are other similar insects like earthworms that ducks would happily scavenge.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Mealworms For Ducks?
Mealworms have peculiar health benefits for ducks, so before adding to their diet, you may want to find out about them.
Rich source of protein
Waterfowls need protein all-year round and particularly in the winter and breeding season. As I stated earlier, mealworms are super-rich in protein. And with their addition to the diet of your ducks, they will be able to maintain their body protein without problems.
Protein is also necessary for the repair and growth of body cells and tissue, healthy reproduction, and ducks’ overall growth and development.
Mealworms contain about 28% fat. And it helps ducks in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K. it’s also valuable for providing ducks with the energy needed to complete their day-to-day activities.
Vitamins hold significant importance for ducks. And mealworms are a rich source. However, inadequate levels of Vitamin D can cause weak bones and osteoporosis in ducks.
Ducks will enjoy improved digestive health if they are fed fiber-rich foods. For example, mealworms contain about 10% fiber content. So, you can prevent constipation and other digestive issues in ducks.
How Often Should I Feed Ducks Mealworms?
Mealworms are far more nutritious than other treats, so they should appear more often in your birds’ diet. Make things easier by following this rule—one mealworm per age (weeks) of ducks.
Read also: can ducks eat cabbage
Can Ducks Have Dried Mealworms?
Yes, ducks can eat dried mealworms. This is because mealworms are even richer in protein when dried than in their live form. It’s also a cheaper option for you as you can store them in large quantities in your place, unlike the case of their live counterparts, which may become messy and expensive to get and store.
Can Baby Ducks Eat Mealworms?
Yes, but it’s safer if they are at least two weeks old before including it in their diet. Also, ensure the ducklings have the number of mealworms equivalent to their age in (weeks). So, a one-week-old would have no mealworms, but a two-week-old would have two mealworms.
It gets more interesting. Controlling your ducklings’ diet per mealworm consumption helps to prevent Angel swings, a condition that occurs due to excessive mealworms in baby ducks.
Now, because the ducklings haven’t yet fully developed, their digestive system might be unable to fully digest the mealworms because of their hard exoskeleton. Therefore, it would be best if you aid the development of their gizzard by including grit and sandy stones in their diet before they start feeding on mealworms.
How Many Mealworms Do You Feed A Duck?
For ducklings, a handful in a bowl is okay for a large number of them to share. But for grown ducks, there is no harm in giving them mealworms more frequently and in larger quantities, but of course, don’t make it into their exclusive treat because ducks need other nutrients apart from protein, and it’ll be a disservice on your part if you deprive them.
Can Ducks Eat Live Mealworms
Yes, ducks can eat live mealworms. In their live form, mealworms are also safe and easier to digest for ducks. This is because they have a higher moisture content, fat, and protein density than the dried form. And the moisture even makes it easier for the ducks to digest the mealworms.
How Do You Know When Ducklings Are Old Enough to Eat Mealworms?
The best thing to do is to wait for the ducklings to be at least four weeks old before exposing them to treats. Although, you can start giving them mealworms from their second week if you have given them enough grits beforehand to aid digestion.
How To Get Mealworms For Ducks
There are two ways of getting consistent supplies of mealworms to meet your ducks’ needs. First, you can visit a local store that is not sustainable long-term because the cost would be significantly high. As an alternative, you can consider raising mealworms by yourself. This is deemed cheaper and safer for you.
Farming mealworms is quite simple; you can have millions of them in a space without strenuous work. The simplest way to farm mealworms is to get a breeder’s kit. It contains everything you need to breed mealworms, and after the initial setup, the only thing left on your part is to pick the mealworms and serve them to your ducks’ fill.
On the other hand, you may find the second alternative attractive if you are more of a DIY kind of person. With this approach, you will need an aquarium and some substrate to find a means of keeping the mealworms during winter.
Whichever way you choose is acceptable, and you will never have to worry about anything else. So please sit back and relax and watch the mealworms multiply in so far their environment remains conducive for their growth.
Ducks are quite the omnivorous bunch of birds, never shying away from gobbling any food so far they find it palatable. They will conveniently swallow insects, vegetables, fruits, and other greens down their esophagus, and mealworms are one of their favorite insects to enjoy.
So, don’t be perturbed about whether ducks will eat mealworms because they will. The only thing that should concern you is how to ensure a consistent supply and the right amount to feed them. One more thing, we would love for you to share any experience you have feeding mealworms to ducks in the comments section.