Over the recent years the number of invertebrates have massively declined, which is mainly down to humans using pesticides, pollution and also climate change. Feeding live mealworms, especially during the breeding season, has great benefits even more so for the fledglings.
Mealworms are the larvae of the beetle known as the Darkling beetle. These live worms are a perfect natural food for chicks and fledglings when fed to them by their parents as live worms have two very important things; liquids and protein. Mealworms are high in protein and full of moisture content.
How and when should I feed live worms? The best time to feed them would be around breeding season so that the chicks have the best chance of survival. You can still feed them all year round if you wish, as they are still beneficial to any adult bird which come across them. During dry weather and low rainfallound feeding birds don’t always find the sufficient food they need, so the moisture from the live worms is very much appreciated.
Although live worms are very popular, dried mealworms can get over looked, as they still contain protein that the birds need, and when soaked , for 10-15 minutes double in size which is thought to be easier for the fledglings and other birds to eat. Even though the worms are dried they only loose the moisture, so this is a great way to replenish them and get them plump again.
How should I feed live mealworms? The best way to feed these would be in a specific mealworm feeder as this gives them less chance of wriggling away. Alternatively, a ground or hanging tray would also work well.
Overall live mealworms are a fantastic, nutritional food for all garden birds all year round. With a high protein content and moisture content, which is perfect for fledglings and during the winter but remember to feed your other foods such as sunflower hearts, suet pellets and jumbo peanuts. These give your birds all the energy, protein, oils, and nutrition they need to stay happy and healthy.