Can Chickens Eat Armyworms?

By Chicken Pets on
Can Chickens Eat Armyworms?

Yes, chickens can eat armyworms. Armyworms may serve as a natural source of protein for chickens, but care should be taken to ensure these worms have not been exposed to pesticides which can be harmful to your flock.

Quick Summary

  • Chickens can eat armyworms.
  • Armyworms provide a good source of protein.
  • There is a risk of pesticide exposure which can harm chickens.
  • Ensure armyworms are sourced from pesticide-free areas.

Overview of Armyworms

Armyworms are the larval stage of moths and are known for their voracious appetites, particularly in agricultural communities. They are high in protein, which is essential for the growth and egg production in chickens, yet these worms can sometimes consume crops treated with pesticides which can pose a risk.

Benefits and Risks of Armyworms for Chickens

Armyworms, being protein-rich, can benefit chickens by contributing to their dietary needs. However, the risk lies in the potential for these worms to have been in contact with pesticides or toxins which can be detrimental to the health of chickens. Ingesting contaminated armyworms may lead to poisoning or other health issues in chickens.

Feeding Guidelines

If you’ve verified that the armyworms come from a safe, pesticide-free environment, they can be offered to chickens either as a free-range snack as they forage or in controlled amounts as part of their diet. There are no strict guidelines for quantity, but they should not replace a balanced poultry feed.


If there’s any doubt about the safety of feeding armyworms to chickens, or if they’re not readily available, you can opt for other protein-rich feed options like mealworms, black soldier fly larvae, or high-quality commercial feed formulated specifically for poultry.

Expert Opinions

Poultry nutritionists and veterinarians agree that while insects like armyworms can be an excellent source of nutrition, they must be free of contaminants. Reliable sources such as poultry industry research recommend ensuring all chicken feed, including live insects, are safe and appropriate for their diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

After reading about the possibility of chickens eating armyworms, you might have some questions about their dietary impacts and safety concerns. Here are the answers to some common queries.

Are armyworms safe for all chickens?

Armyworms are generally safe for all chickens, provided they have not been exposed to any harmful pesticides or chemicals.

How often can I feed my chickens armyworms?

Armyworms can be a part of your chickens’ diet, but like all treats, they should be given in moderation alongside a complete and balanced poultry feed.

Is there a risk of disease transmission from armyworms to chickens?

While not common, there is a slight risk of disease transmission if the armyworms come from a contaminated source. It’s crucial to source from an area that is clean and pesticide-free.

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