The question on everyone’s mind is, “can chickens eat crickets”…
The answer is a resounding YES!
Crickets are a nutritious source of protein and other vital nutrients for chickens ― but using chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers threatens their safety.
Hop on to learn about crickets’ joys and how they can become a chirpy meal for chickens…
Table of Contents
- Nutritional Benefits: Crickets are a high-protein food source for chickens and provide essential vitamins and minerals.
- Safety Considerations: While crickets can be a healthy addition to a chicken’s diet, it’s important to avoid feeding them crickets exposed to pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
- Popular Food Source: Chickens will happily eat crickets if available, making them a popular food source for backyard chicken owners and farmers.
Is It Safe To Feed Crickets To Chickens?
“Crickets are high in protein and other nutrients, and can be a sustainable alternative to traditional protein sources like beef,” says Nutrition Expert Jillian Kubaba, MS, RD .”
Crickets are an insect that you can find right in your backyard.
These insects are plentiful during the warmer months of the year. During these times, if you let the chicken roam, you may wonder if chickens can eat crickets.
Crickets don’t contain any toxins, so chickens are safe to eat. However, you should avoid feeding wild crickets to them.
Wild crickets don’t contain any toxins, but they may have harmful chemicals. These chemicals can be from pesticides and herbicides that you or your neighbor might use to treat the garden and backyard.
Therefore, if you allow the chickens to roam freely in the yard, ensure the crickets are free of chemicals.
If there are and the chickens eat the crickets, the chemicals can be passed down to them.
Chemicals such as those found in pesticides and herbicides can harm the chickens; even death can occur if the chickens overeat them.
If you or your neighbor treated the yard or garden with chemicals, it’s best to buy crickets if you plan to feed chickens with this insect.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Crickets?
Crickets are an excellent source of food for chickens. Not only that, but it’s incredibly healthy for them too.
Below are some of the health benefits the chickens can get from eating crickets:
#1 Crickets Help Improve Digestion
Crickets have a lot of fiber content, and fiber is necessary for a healthy digestive system.
When chickens consume a lot of food that contains fiber, it will help promote regular bowel movements. This, in turn, will help move foods through the digestive tract smoothly.
Also, you can expect the chickens to have fewer issues with their digestive system when they have sufficient fiber in their diet.
#2 Crickets Help Promote Bone Health
Cricket is a good source of calcium. What calcium does for the chickens is keep their bone strength and prevent them from becoming weak and brittle.
#3 Crickets Help Improve Quality Of Eggs
For the hens to produce quality eggs, they will need plenty of proteins in their diet.
When hens are laying eggs, you should provide them with many proteins. Layer feeds contain a good amount of proteins, but additional protein content won’t hurt them.
Therefore, in addition to feeding them layer feeds, add crickets to the diets to boost the protein, calcium, and other nutrition needed to produce giant and great-tasting eggs.
Hey, that’s not all ― Explore the health benefits of crickets in this eye-catching video:
Can Baby Chickens Eat Crickets?
Yes, baby chickens can eat crickets, and however, you should first ensure they are at least 3 weeks old.
Chicks that are under 2 weeks old should be fed grits primarily.
Also, their digestive system hasn’t developed yet, which could cause them to have digestive issues.
When feeding them, buy the smallest-size crickets. Medium and large-sized crickets could cause the baby chickens to choke on them.
How To Feed Crickets To Chickens
You’ve learned the answer to “Can chickens eat crickets?” but now it’s time to dive deeper. How exactly do you feed these insects to your feathered friends?
If you allow the chickens to roam freely, they can eat as much as they want. Since crickets are good at hiding, there will not be enough for the chickens to eat, which it will cause them harm.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to feed crickets to the chickens, there are a couple of methods you can try depending on if it’s live or freeze-dried crickets:
Feeding Chickens Live Crickets
Get ready for a wild and wacky adventure as you explore the 2 superb methods of feeding live crickets to your feathered friends:
Method #1: Toss live crickets onto the ground for your chickens to find.
This quick and straightforward method provides your chickens with a fun hunt and keeps them active. It’s one of their favorite foods so it won’t last long.
Method #2: Hand-feed the crickets to your chickens.
This approach allows you to bond with your chickens and make them feel at ease around you and others. Be cautious, though, as they may peck your hand during feeding.
And now, let’s move on to the following technique…
Feeding Chickens Freeze-Dried Crickets
Satisfy your chickens’ hunger and boost their nutrition with the delight of freeze-dried crickets as follows:
Method 1: Toss and Let Them Peck
Throw some freeze-dried crickets on the ground and watch as your chickens gobble them up in a flash.
Method 2: Feed Mix
Mix some crickets into your chickens’ feed for a nutritious boost. This is especially beneficial for egg-laying hens, providing them with the extra protein needed to lay giant, delicious eggs.
How Much And How Often To Feed Crickets To Chickens
If chickens are allowed to free roam, you won’t need to worry about them eating too many crickets.
In the wild, crickets are not found that easily, and they will mostly stay hidden underground and under rubbishes.
As the crickets see the chickens coming, they will go into hiding. Therefore, the chickens won’t be able to catch and eat a lot of them.
If crickets are bought at pet stores or online, they can be fed to the chickens, but only in moderation.
This is due to the high amount of protein that it has. Therefore, crickets should be given to them as treats. Too much protein can cause health problems, especially damage to the liver.
Other Insects That Chickens Can Eat
Roaches are loaded with protein and other nutrients.
These insects are an excellent treat for chickens. When feeding them this insect, it’s best to buy them. Don’t feed roaches found in yards and your home, as they can contain disease and chemicals.
Grasshoppers are an excellent treat for chickens due to their high nutritional value, and chickens will usually catch and eat them whenever they can see them.
Mealworms are another excellent treat to give the chickens. These worms are protein-packed and can benefit chickens and egg-laying hens. An additional boost in protein will make the eggs bigger and taste better.
1. How beneficial are crickets for chickens?
Crickets provide essential nutrients and protein, making them a highly nutritious supplement to a chicken’s diet.
They also entertain as chickens love to chase and peck at them.
2. Can feeding crickets improve egg production in chickens?
Yes, crickets are a rich source of protein, which can aid in improving egg production in chickens as they need protein for healthy egg production.
The answer to “can chickens eat crickets” is an astounding YES, and it provides nutritional benefits for their diet.
Chickens are omnivores and have a diverse diet, making them capable of eating various foods, including crickets .
Amazingly, crickets pack a jovial source of protein and essential nutrients, making them a nutritious addition to a chicken’s diet.
Whether fed live or freeze-dried, crickets provide an easy and sustainable way to supplement a chicken’s nutrition.
Not only do they add nutritional value, but they also provide an entertaining treat, as chickens love to chase and peck at them.
If you want to diversify your chickens’ diet and give them a tasty treat, consider adding crickets to their menu.
1. Kubala J. Eating Crickets: Benefits and Downsides [Internet]. Healthline. 2021. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eating-crickets
2. Poultry Nutrition: A Comparative Approach [Internet]. researchgate.com. The Journal of Applied Poultry Research; 2005. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228351823_Poultry_Nutrition_A_Comparative_Approach
Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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