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Author Topic: mealworms  (Read 1522 times)

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
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    • North Fife Blog
mealworms
« on: June 17, 2021, 03:34:20 pm »
I bought some Robin mix instead of the usual wild bird seed as an occasional treat for the hens and ducks and now back home faintly remember an issue with mealworms but not what it was...
Any thoughts or wisdom here?

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
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Re: mealworms
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2021, 04:41:28 pm »
Technically it's illegal to feed them to hens.  I bought mealworms alone from Chubby Mealworms, and was told on here that it was illegal to sell them for hens, but Chubby said they just sold them for wild birds.  It's not that clear on their website though

I think teh problem was there were contaminated ones coming in from the middle east

They are like 'speed' for birds though  so I still feed them but only occasionally as a treat

I won't be buying more when these run out
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
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Re: mealworms
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2021, 04:46:07 pm »
Bum, I knew there was something , wish Iíd remembered in the store! I can pick them out, feed the wildies before chook/duck breakfast time and just let them have the sunflower seeds as a treat :(

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: mealworms
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2021, 05:54:54 pm »
Personally I wouldn't feed anything designated for wild birds to the hens as you don't know exactly what's in the mix and there may be other stuff that isn't certified as safe for the hens.  There are plenty of hens treats on the market that would keep your flock safe.  Feeding inappropriately can result in illness and as most zoonotic diseases affecting humans originate in either hens or pigs, they can go on to cause epidemics or pandemics ... do you really want to be the cause of the next one?

It is illegal to feed dried mealworms to the hens, but you can feed them live mealworms providing they've been reared in the UK in a manner appropriate to their use.  Easiest way is to buy in a starter pack and grow your own!  It's easy, cheap and the hens will love you for it!
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

northfifeduckling

  • Joined Jan 2009
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Re: mealworms
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2021, 06:56:46 pm »
Firstly, thank you for the tip to grow them, will check it out.
Secondly, the guilt tripping lecture about diseases and the law was a bit uncalled for. Words can be very triggering in these times, especially when thrown at you in print. The feed merchant I discussed this with (who is a farmer btw) didnít mention it, if he had I wouldnít have bought them and Iíve already replied before that I wonít ☝️.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: mealworms
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2021, 07:38:02 pm »
Chubby mealworms are very well reared to high standards and they also produce insects for human consumption. However, the law's the law so my poor hens go without.  As they are totally free range though they have a wide ranging diet which includes worms, flying insects, the occasional mouse and whatever else they can catch, as well as their pellets and grain.


I tried live mealworms once for the wild birds at nesting time as the dried ones are apparently too hard for nestlings, but the stink and the rummaging noise turned me right off  :yuck:  They're only beetle larvae but I prefer not to grow my own in that department  ::)


There was some word on the jungle drums that making mealworms legal was being explored but perhaps that referred to those raised in the UK
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: mealworms
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2021, 09:37:43 am »
Firstly, thank you for the tip to grow them, will check it out.
Secondly, the guilt tripping lecture about diseases and the law was a bit uncalled for. Words can be very triggering in these times, especially when thrown at you in print. The feed merchant I discussed this with (who is a farmer btw) didnít mention it, if he had I wouldnít have bought them and Iíve already replied before that I wonít ☝️.

You're welcome.

It wasn't meant to be a guilt tripping lecture for you specifically but many people read threads and learn from them.  Many people (like you) get duped into buying inappropriate feed for their pet livestock thereby potentially putting everyone's livestock at risk.  If my comment stops just one person from making the same mistake, then I think it was warranted and will have achieved my intention - which was certainly not to upset you!

My personal view is that if it's not safe to feed livestock in the UK, we shouldn't allow it to be imported to feed pets or wildlife either... we all know what happens with bird flu lockdowns so we know there is a high risk of disease transfer between wild and domestic birds.  Don't feel bad that you got caught out, I've seen a number of feed merchants deliberately place products in such a way as to attract customers who keep hens.  Unfortunately no action can be taken against them for deliberately endangering us and our fowl because "technically" they're selling it for wild birds.  I've also seen people purporting to be experienced keepers in other forums advocating feeding them (along with other banned animal byproducts such as sardines, scrambled eggs, cat food etc) during a moult to help the girls feather up and continue laying.  They either don't understand the legislation, or are choosing to advocate breaking a law they disagree with and don't realise that less experienced keepers may not know the advice they've been given is to break a law designed to protect the health of their animals.

I realise a number of people have criticised me in the past (and probably more will in the future) for my hard line adherence to the rules in this area because "it's just a few mealworms/eggs/sardines/leftovers from the casserole we had...and it's a pet/isn't well/my granny did it...so the legislation doesn't apply to me".  What they don't seem to realise is that:
- when granny did it, likely everything in the pot was grown on the croft/in the garden or within a 20 mile radius of the same rather than flown in from some far flung region where it was either grown or processed;
- the fact it's a pet means the handler is more likely to be in close contact with the animal therefore there's a greater chance of zoonosis than in a commercial unit where handling is minimised or automated;
- there's likely someone in Wuhan that was 'a little sloppy' with their biosecurity somewhere along the line and look where that's landed. 

I think it's a miracle we have so few of these outbreaks given everything that goes on around the world.  There have been several other outbreaks of potential killers that were caught early enough to save us from the current situation.  We've just been lucky in the past.

I tried live mealworms once for the wild birds at nesting time as the dried ones are apparently too hard for nestlings, but the stink and the rummaging noise turned me right off  :yuck:  They're only beetle larvae but I prefer not to grow my own in that department  ::)

There was some word on the jungle drums that making mealworms legal was being explored but perhaps that referred to those raised in the UK

I know what you mean about the rustling noise the beetles make, the mealworms themselves are quiet.  The only time I've noted a smell from them is when they're overdue for sifting - so that's my fault for not "mucking out" on time (usually every 4-6 weeks)... and no different from how the coop will go if not cleaned regularly.  My girls get the added benefit of "watching telly" now that they've found the tower they're kept in.  They'll often go up and tap the drawer box pointedly when they see me!

I've also heard of consideration being given to legalising UK raised dried mealworms, but last I heard it was unlikely to get the go-ahead because it was going to be almost impossible to prevent unethical traders importing from abroad and selling as "UK reared".
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: mealworms
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2021, 12:12:31 pm »
Ever thought of joining Greenpeace or Peta, or even becoming a politician? :coat:
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: mealworms
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2021, 03:46:47 pm »
Ever thought of joining Greenpeace or Peta, or even becoming a politician? :coat:

If that's directed at me then "No, I haven't".
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: mealworms
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2021, 07:43:30 pm »
To get  things in perspective - is it ok for hens to eat earthworms that haven't been passed for domestic poultry consumption?
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: mealworms
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2021, 08:45:43 pm »
To get  things in perspective - is it ok for hens to eat earthworms that haven't been passed for domestic poultry consumption?

I guess that depends on whether they're:
1) live - in which case the answer is yes providing they've either been grown naturally on the property or else been raised in the UK on a suitable diet for poultry (e.g. 'vegan' compost); or
2) dried - in which case the answer is no.

 ;)
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: mealworms
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2021, 09:37:54 pm »
Good answer SD.  :thumbsup:
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Perris

  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Gower
Re: mealworms
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2021, 06:15:40 am »
sardines are not an animal by-product. Where in the relevant legislation are they banned? and why?
They contain lots of good nutrition, including significant quantities of protein, calcium, and all the amino acids chickens need.
Meanwhile commercial operations can dump the cheapest by-products they can find at any given time into their feeds, and given the inability of anyone to identify those ingredients from the homogenized mass extruded, go unchallenged. We now recognized that highly processed foods are bad for us, so why should we believe that highly processed feed is good for our chickens, who are not (in most cases of people reading this site) being kept in food factory conditions, for the most productive and shortest time?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: mealworms
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2021, 01:02:07 pm »
I can't say it's ever entered my head to feed my hens with sardines  ???  I believe sand eels have been fished to rarity by using as fishmeal for feed, in fact fifty years ago my father used to add that to the pigmeal mix. But sardines?
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: mealworms
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2021, 02:14:14 pm »
So someone reading this is going to report us all for having at some point in time fed dried mealworms to our hens  :roflanim:
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

 

mealworms and other insects

Started by Perris (8.64)

Replies: 1
Views: 371
Last post July 01, 2021, 12:25:52 pm
by Fleecewife

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