If you’re searching for a brand new meals to supply your birds, mealworms are an awesome alternative! They aren’t solely nutritious, however additionally they entice birds that don’t eat the standard feeder meals, akin to sunflower seeds and peanuts.
Sadly, not many individuals use mealworms. General, I believe there’s a normal lack of training about them. Some individuals hear the phrase “worm” and instantly resolve that it’s most likely gross (which isn’t true) and don’t give mealworms an opportunity.
In the present day, I’m offering every little thing it is advisable to learn about mealworms!
Try the desk of contents beneath. Be at liberty to leap straight to the part that pursuits you most.
What precisely are mealworms?
Curiously, mealworms aren’t truly worms! As an alternative, they’re the larvae of the darkling beetle. If you happen to left a mealworm to proceed maturing, ultimately, it will appear to be this:
Mealworms are extremely straightforward to boost, which is why they’re commercially obtainable. They’re used to feed every little thing from wild birds to chickens to reptiles to fish!
TWO the explanation why you ought to be utilizing mealworms
#1. Mealworms are wholesome!
Due to their excessive fats and protein content material, providing mealworms at your feeding station could be very nutritious for wild birds to eat.
Consuming mealworms throughout winter will be particularly useful since bugs and invertebrates are extremely laborious to find! The extra fats and protein present wanted vitality throughout these chilly, snowy nights.
#2. Mealworms entice distinctive and new birds!
There are numerous fowl species that by no means go to fowl feeders as a result of they don’t eat typical feeder meals like sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, peanuts, and many others.
Bluebirds are an awesome instance. These stunning birds naturally feed totally on bugs, snails, worms, and different invertebrates through the hotter months. Then, they swap their food plan to berries within the winter till the bugs come again.
So I’m positive you possibly can see the issue: Bluebirds don’t eat the standard birdseed buffet supplied in most fowl feeders as a result of the meals don’t align with what they naturally eat.
Nevertheless it’s attainable to draw bluebirds to your fowl feeding station with mealworms. And the most effective half is you don’t must go digging round your backyard for worms and bugs. 🙂
Dried vs. Residing Mealworms (and the place to purchase them)
Mealworms will be bought in two alternative ways:
Shopping for dried mealworms is cheaper and fewer problem than preserving stay mealworms. Dried mealworms additionally final a LONG time and will be saved simply with the remainder of your fowl meals.
This small bag (18oz / 510g ) is nice to buy to check dried mealworms in your feeders.
*Vitamin Data: 32% fats, 49% protein, 6.9% carbs
LIVE mealworms on the market on Amazon HERE!
Utilizing residing mealworms shouldn’t be as gross as it could sound. They aren’t slimy or stored within the filth. If you buy mealworms which are alive, they usually are available a small, plastic container stuffed with dry bedding, akin to wheat middling.
Most individuals preserve their stay mealworms within the fridges. Within the chilly, they go dormant and may survive for a couple of months!
*Vitamin Data: 22% fats, 18% protein, 2.5% carbohydrates
And right here’s the most effective half about LIVE mealworms:
Birds want them over dried! You may’t actually blame the birds for wanting a recent, juicy mealworm as an alternative of one thing that’s freeze-dried.
That is unlucky as a result of dried mealworms are a lot simpler to purchase and retailer. Preserving stay mealworms is extra work since it’s essential to present care to them. Some individuals additionally don’t like dealing with them and get a bit squeamish.
3 Bird Feeders You Can Use For Mealworms
Not each fowl feeder can deal with mealworms, particularly in case you are utilizing stay mealworms.
Listed here are a couple of choices to get you began.
#1. Cedar Hanging Mealworm Feeder
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- This feeder is designed with smaller birds in thoughts! The one solution to enter is thru the 2 holes on the ends. Bluebirds and chickadees can match, however greater birds that additionally take pleasure in mealworms, like starlings, can’t!
- Every sidewall is manufactured from clear and sturdy Plexiglass. This enables the birds to seek out the mealworms AND lets us observe them whereas contained in the feeder.
- Dwell mealworms might attempt to climb the wood sides to flee. If this turns into an issue, purchase a small glass dish to position contained in the feeder.
- Chances are you’ll want to coach your bluebirds to make use of this feeder. It’s beneficial to start out by eradicating one of many plexiglass sides to offer simpler entry to the meals. Change the facet as soon as they’ve discovered the meals and are utilizing the feeder.
#2. Kaytee Mealworm Mesh Feeder
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The mesh feeder is completely sized for mealworms. Your birds should not have any issues pulling them proper out!
The metallic roof is nice as a result of it can preserve the mealworms dry. You gained’t want to fret about changing the meals inside after each rainstorm.
This feeder solely works with DRIED mealworms. As you possibly can most likely think about, stay ones would crawl proper out. You could possibly additionally put peanuts inside this feeder, which might be nice for attracting woodpeckers.
#3. Erva Mealworm Feeder
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The very first thing you need to discover about this feeder is the metallic cage. As you possibly can see, this cage prevents bigger birds from having access to your mealworms. That is particularly vital when you purchase stay mealworms, that are extra pricey than freeze-dried.
Look carefully on the above feeder, and you will notice a dish within the center, which is the place you’ll place the mealworms. However, you may also put different meals in there too. For instance, grape jelly or fruit is a superb possibility to draw orioles.
It doesn’t matter what meals you find yourself utilizing, you possibly can relaxation straightforward realizing that solely smaller songbirds can get inside to eat!
5 Suggestions For Efficiently Feeding Mealworms
Tip #1. Practice your bluebirds to eat dried mealworms.
When many individuals begin utilizing dried mealworms, generally they initially have issues with birds consuming the brand new meals. This is sensible from a fowl’s perspective, as they’re used to their bugs flying or crawling round, not sitting there already useless!
Watch the 2 LIVE fowl feeder cameras in my yard HERE!
If you’re having this drawback, attempt coaching your birds with this method:
- First, begin by utilizing LIVE mealworms. Consuming a stay mealworm is way more pure for birds.
- As soon as your birds are constantly and eagerly consuming these scrumptious treats, add in only a few dried mealworms. We hope they unintentionally eat one of many dried choices and notice it’s not so dangerous. Daily improve the variety of dried mealworms and reduce the stay ones.
- Ultimately, you’ll have educated the bluebirds solely to eat dried mealworms! 🙂
Tip #2. Purchase mealworms in bulk!
Whether or not you select to make use of dried mealworms or ones which are alive, it can prevent cash when you purchase in giant portions.
For instance, try how a lot this 10 pound (metric) bag of DRIED mealworms prices on Amazon:
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Or do you know that you would be able to purchase 5,000 LIVE mealworms at one time? Nicely, now you do!
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Tip #3. Add calcium to mealworms
Whereas mealworms are wholesome, they don’t supply full vitamin and may trigger issues if that is the one meals that your birds are consuming. Particularly, mealworms don’t present sufficient calcium, which may cause bone points in younger birds.
And calcium is a crucial nutrient for nesting birds. First, it takes a substantial quantity of calcium to supply eggshells. And nesting moms additionally must have sufficient calcium to go on to their younger in order that their bones develop robust.
Fortunately, you possibly can simply present additional calcium to mealworms!
Strive making a calcium complement out of hen eggshells.
- Collect your eggshells
- Boil the eggshells for five minutes to sterilize them
- Bake the eggshells at 250 levels F (120 levels c) for 10 minutes to dry them out
- Crush the eggshells
- Combine the eggshell powder into mealworms
And when you don’t like that technique, you may also purchase calcium carbonate powder and sprinkle some on the mealworms earlier than feeding. It’s very cheap!
Lastly, I wouldn’t fear about including calcium to your mealworms in case you are not providing a variety of mealworms to your birds. I’d solely be involved when you feed mealworms in bulk and the birds by no means cease consuming them!
Tip #4. Supply mealworms on the similar time every day.
If you’re according to whenever you put the mealworms in your feeders every day, the birds will begin to study when to indicate up.
Sure, it’s attainable to coach your birds!
Simply be constant. Feed them on the similar time and place every single day. Quickly they are going to be eagerly ready to your arrival.
Tip #5. Be careful for starlings!
I’m not a fan of European Starlings. Chances are you’ll disagree, however I attempt to preserve these invasive birds away from my feeders.
And sadly, European Starlings LOVE mealworms.
If you happen to stay in an city or suburban space, you’ll most likely must take care of these blackbirds coming to your mealworms. Sadly, I’ve many starlings in my space, and they’re a continuing annoyance at my feeders. For instance, I don’t see many bluebirds at my home, who love mealworms, as a result of starlings are dominant over them and preserve them away.
To assist, you possibly can attempt placing mealworms in a “starling-proof” fowl feeder!
Birds You Can Entice With Mealworms
Theoretically, nearly any fowl that eats bugs will pattern and eat a mealworm. Dwell mealworms are particularly widespread and can entice the widest number of species!
Listed here are the most definitely birds you will notice consuming mealworms in your yard. If you wish to see the particular species of every fowl household that lives close to you, click on on the hyperlink to see an inventory (consists of vary maps).
How do you feed mealworms to birds in your yard?
Tell us what’s working greatest beneath within the COMMENTS part.