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Robin feeding on dried mealworms

Are dried mealworms good for birds

Simple process of drying our mealworms increases there healthy nutritional value, well no added harmful ingredients are added, including salt.

Dried mealworms are an healthy source of protein, enriched oils and high in calories to help maintain high levels of energy throughout the day, as they seek out food and water. No quality or nutritional value is lost during the drying process, well they keep for months on end if stored in a cool, dry place.

Probably the most natural food you can supply to visiting garden birds with value within a single mealworm approximately 51% protein, 29% fat and 6.5% fibre.

Mealworms contain about 5% water, but that has no effect on whether dried mealworms are good for birds or not.

High levels of protein is what they're seeking out at any one time, and its this nutrition that will keep them going for the day as they feed themselves, or during nesting season.

Fat contents is perfectly expectable to wild birds due to all that fat mass they lose quickly when not maintaining a steady high intake diet.

Fibre contained within dried mealworms happens when live mealworms feed on other insects and plantation in there natural habitant.

And its this level of fibre that will help keep there digestive system in working order. Well less so in birds, but still goes towards making up a balanced diet.

All that is needed to maintain body fat and calories where a diet of insects is specific to certain birds.

Dried mealworms are good for birds with the health benefits certainly outdoing all that is bad, which is very little we might add.

Now its over to you, feed wild birds that like to eat mealworms, you'll be surprised how popular they're, well you'll be interested watching the birds that do eat them.

Perfect for birds, not safe for human consumption under any circumstances.

Are store-bought as healthy

Yes it is possible store-bought dried mealworms as appose to home grown ones can loose nutritional value during the storage, packing and transportation process.

Comparably, there's very little difference between the two options, and who wants to breed mealworms any way when store brought are so convenient to buy.

If you're looking for a reliable supply of mealworms, you should look to the RSPB's own branded mealworms.

But don't stop there, with specialty mealworm growers offering a better product with service - so shop around.

Number of suppliers for packaged dried mealworms in the UK include:

  • RSPB
  • Chubby
  • Extra Select
  • Happy Beaks
  • Britten & James
  • Busy Beaks
  • Maltby's
  • Gardeners Dream

What are dried mealworms?

Mealworms are a Mealworm beetle; first comes the egg, then the larva - which is the stage the mealworms are acquired - then pupa, before growing into an adult.

Mating like crazy results in hundreds of eggs being laid before they turn into juicy mealworms for birds to pray on.

During the larva stage the mealworms will feed on dead insects and vegetation around them - they are considered pests - so don't feel guilty.

Difference between live and dry

Obvious reasons we don't need to go into, mealworms bought alive are just that; still breathing, living insects that need feeding.

Well a dried mealworm is taken through the drying process.

You'll first need to pat them dry with a piece of kitchen paper, then store them in a sealed container, before putting them in the refrigerator for up to 20 minutes to kill them.

Next process includes spreading them evenly on a baking try in the centre of a pre-heated oven on 200 degrees for an hour or two, or until they are dry and crispy.

No artificial ingredients or nasty fats are added, just natural mealworms dried out in oven.

Smell of cooking mealworms can be unpleasant, so make sure there's no one in the house who like to complain, or are rather squeamish to cooking fish for example.

And remember, they're for wild birds only, not for human consumption, so try not to give into temptation by trying them out yourselves.

Higher nutritional value in DRIED mealworms

Incredibly, drying out live mealworms increases the nutritional value by more than 50%, resulting in a healthier wild bird snack than if they were eaten alive.

Alive and well the protein contents is valued at 20%, rising to a huge 53% when fully dried out, well the fat contents goes from 13% to more than double at 28%.

Fibre goes up three-fold from 2% up to 6%.

Drying out mealworms results in its moisture being dried out in a hot oven, and that's verified with its water contents of a whopping 62%, falling to just 5%.

Live vs Dried Nutritional Value:

Nutritional Info: Live: Dried:
Protein: 20% 53%
Fat: 13% 28%
Fibre: 2% 6%
Water: 62% 5%

Summarise

Are dried mealworms good for birds is a resounding yes, they're incredibly good for wild birds from a dietary standpoint and should be part of a balanced diet.

What we're saying is every time you fill up the mealworm bird feeders, make sure there's a healthy supply of dried mealworms to go around.

Wild birds also like to eat off the grass, so it won't do any harm to throw a handful on the lawn, which is ideal if they are not biting on the feeder.

High in fat so high in a calories, they're also high in protein so give your visiting garden birds a boost before flying away.

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