Poultry: Insect feed for chickens!

Why should you feed your chickens insects if you're not already?

It's cheaper and more convenient for you!

Traditional forms of feed such as soy, corn and fishmeal may seem cheap but you have to consider the environmental cost of shipping and harvesting as well as the rising prices of some of these types of feed. Considering that feed accounts for about 60-70 percent of production costs for some poultry producers, it is important to keep these costs as low as possible.

Fishmeal prices are rising due to a high demand in 2010 and they still remain high so small farmers are on the lookout for better alternative. Soy production is causing widespread deforestation and displacement of small farmers so is not a sustainable option for animal feed and growing corn requires lots of pesticides and fertilisers which run-off causing soil and water pollution. 

Insects could provide the perfect cost efficient, sustainable and nutritious  alternative to these feeds. Growing insects takes up no room and can be done in your own home so you don't have to pay for shipping or worry about the rising costs of other feeds. 

Are you already feeding your chickens dried mealworms? Though, this does still provide them with key nutrients, it is much cheaper and more environmentally friendly to grow your own as usually dried ones have to be shipped over from China where there is little regulation over what the mealworm is fed. So why not give it a try with our mealworm growing pod!

It's sustainable!

As we mentioned earlier soy is a popular feed for chickens but the amount of space this takes up is becoming an environmental concern. 1m2 of insects can produce the same amount of protein as 1500m2 of soy making it a great solution to deforestation. 

Not only are insects more sustainable than soy or fishmeal, they actually have a positive impact on the environment because they help reduce food waste from landfill. If you grow mealworms at home you can feed them any veggie or fruit cut offs you have spare instead of wasting this and they will turn this into a useful protein for your chickens!

Mealworms ability to convert low-nutritive waste products into a high-protein diet without causing harm to the environment, is what makes them such an attractive alternative to traditional feeds.

It's better for your chickens and their produce!

Chickens naturally feed on insects so why not feed them insects? If you let chickens roam free they will start to forage for insects but they would never start trying to catch fish even though fishmeal as a feed is often labelled natural.

Studies have found that when chickens are fed live insects they spend less time pecking at each other and more time foraging as it encourages these natural practices. Others have shown that chickens offered live insects had higher body weight and calmer behaviour than those fed dried insects. 

Having healthier happier chickens can benefit you. You might notice that once you start feeding them insects you not only get more eggs, but also brighter, creamier, and tastier yolks. The high protein levels of insects means that chickens can grow their feathers faster keeping them warmer throughout winter months so they continue to have enough energy to lay eggs.  So if you want delicious and nutritious eggs all year round, it's time to switch to live insects.

But insect feed goes further than just improving the quality of produce from chickens but also can protect us from diseases and drug resistant illnesses. This is because insects contain chitin which can strengthen their immune systems. They also have a higher composition of amino acids than soy which also contributes to chickens over all health. Healthier chickens means less antibiotics are used and therefore we are less likely to develop resistance to them. 

Insects are a win for your chickens and a win for you!