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Can Ducks Eat Mealworms? What You Need to Know!

Dean Eby

If you ask most kids what to feed the ducks at the park, they’ll probably tell you to feed them bread. While this seemed to be common knowledge for a long time, bread is actually a terrible food to feed to a duck. Still, ducks are omnivores, and they can eat a wide range of different foods. If you’re raising ducks, you might be wondering just what foods make the cut and which don’t.

Mealworms are an easy food to keep and they can provide a lot of protein. Across the world, even many humans eat mealworms, but are they safe for ducks? They’re a great feeder food since raising mealworms is such an easy task. Luckily for duck owners everywhere, mealworms are a great food for ducks and can provide plenty of nutritional benefits for them.

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What Kinds of Foods Can Ducks Eat?

Ducks can eat a varied diet that consists of a wide variety of foods. Fruits are great for ducks, including stone pit fruits, berries, and more, but not citrus. Vegetables are also healthy for ducks, loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. Ducks can also eat quite a few other plants, including many common weeds, flowers, and herbs.

Moving on from plants, plenty of proteins are edible for ducks as well. They love to eat seafood, including small fish and the shells of shrimp or lobsters. Ducks can even munch on leftover meat from your meals or live insects like slugs, earthworms, and more.

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Image Credit: egschiller, Shutterstock

What’s In a Mealworm?

We know that ducks can eat insects that are similar to mealworms, including slugs and earthworms. But what exactly is in a mealworm? Well, these insects are filled with a lot of protein. On average, a mealworm is about 17%-22% protein and 13%-18% fat. Like most insects, mealworms are low in carbohydrates, containing just 3%-8% carbs total, with about 1%-2% fiber.

How Much Protein Do Ducks Need?

Now we know how much protein mealworms contain, but how much protein do ducks need? It’s dependent on their age, but on average, ducks require 14%-22% of their diet to be made up of protein. That’s remarkably close to the 17%-22% protein that makes up each mealworm.

close up mealworms
Image Credit: Robert Gunnarsson, Unsplash

Are Mealworms Safe for Ducks?

Just like other insects that ducks love to eat, earthworms are safe and nutritious. You can feed your duck mealworms regularly as they provide plenty of nutritious protein for your ducks. But you don’t want to use mealworms as your ducks’ exclusive feed. While these insects are highly nutritious for a duck, they don’t provide all of the nutrients that a duck requires to be in full health. Instead, every duck should be offered a diverse and varied diet of foods, including proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

Feeding Mealworms To Your Ducks

Once you’ve decided to feed your ducks mealworms, you have to determine how you want to feed them. You can offer them to your ducks live, just like any earthworm or other insect. Ducks love eating mealworms live. But keeping mealworms can be a hassle, and this would require constant trips to the pet store to get more live mealworms. Plus, this is a rather expensive way to feed your ducks mealworms.

An alternative is to feed your ducks dried mealworms instead. Dried mealworms are far easier to keep as you don’t need to feed them or worry about their health. Additionally, dried mealworms tend to be a more affordable way to feed your ducks. You could even order them online for convenience.

fried mealworms
Image Credit: Freepik

Farming Mealworms

One of the reasons that mealworms are such a popular food for ducks is that they’re easy to raise. If you have to purchase all of the mealworms you feed your ducks, it could get prohibitively expensive rather quickly. Keeping live mealworms between feedings can also be a hassle. But when you farm your own mealworms, it will be a very cost-effective and simple way to feed your ducks.

If you would like to start farming your own mealworms, you have two options. First, you could purchase a mealworm breeder kit. These kits contain everything you need to get started raising mealworms. You won’t have to search for anything, it’s already gathered for you.

For those who are more the DIY type, you can make a mealworm farm of your own. All you need is an aquarium and some substrate with some way to keep the worms warm in the winter months.

The best thing about farming mealworms is that it takes practically no work. Once you set it up, the mealworms will keep multiplying, keeping you armed with a steady supply of nutritious food for your ducks.

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Conclusion

Ducks are adaptable creatures that eat an omnivorous diet consisting of a wide range of different foods, including foods from almost every group, such as fruits, vegetables, seafood, insects, and other proteins. When it comes to insects, ducks are happy eating all manner of worms and slugs, including mealworms. Mealworms are highly nutritious for a duck, packed with protein that ducks need. But the best thing about mealworms is that they’re easy to farm, allowing you to keep an endless supply of nutritious insects ready for your ducks.

RELATED: Can Ducks Eat Corn? What You Need to Know!


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Dean Eby

An avid outdoorsman, Dean spends much of his time adventuring through the diverse terrain of the southwest United States with his closest companion, his dog, Gohan.  He gains experience on a full-time journey of exploration. For Dean, few passions lie closer to his heart than learning.  An apt researcher and reader, he loves to investigate interesting topics such as history, economics, relationships, pets, politics, and more.