Can Chickens Eat Crickets?

By Chicken Pets on
Can Chickens Eat Crickets?


Yes, chickens can eat crickets. Crickets are a natural source of protein, and in a wild setting, chickens would consume insects as part of their diet. Crickets provide essential amino acids and can be a healthy snack for chickens when fed in moderation.

Quick Summary

  • Chickens can eat crickets.
  • Crickets are a high-protein snack that chickens would naturally consume in the wild.
  • Key benefits include protein supply, while risks are minimal if fed in moderation.
  • Recommended as an occasional treat, not as the main component of diet.

Overview of Crickets

Crickets are small to medium-sized insects that are a part of the order Orthoptera. Nutritional content of crickets includes high levels of protein, essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that can support a chicken’s diet.

Benefits and Risks of Crickets for Chickens

Feeding crickets to chickens can promote their overall health due to the high protein content, which is vital for muscle development and egg production. However, overconsumption may lead to nutritional imbalances, and there is a small risk of disease if crickets are sourced from unsanitary conditions.

Feeding Guidelines

Crickets should be provided as a supplemental treat and not replace a balanced poultry feed. Live or dried crickets can be given, but it is recommended to limit the number to a few crickets per chicken a couple of times a week to prevent reliance on them.


If crickets are not available or suitable, other insect treats like mealworms or black soldier fly larvae can also be a nutritious snack for chickens, offering similar benefits.

Expert Opinions

Poultry nutritionists generally agree that a diverse diet including insects like crickets can benefit chickens. However, they should be part of a balanced diet. Veterinarians suggest ensuring the crickets are sourced from a clean environment to reduce the risk of disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions and answers related to feeding crickets to chickens that might help clarify any doubts after reading about the topic.

Can I feed my chickens live crickets?

Yes, feeding live crickets to chickens is fine and can also provide enrichment as they mimic natural foraging behaviors.

How many crickets can I give my chickens?

Chickens can have a few crickets each as a treat, a couple of times a week. It’s important not to overfeed to maintain a balanced diet.

Are there any types of crickets that should not be fed to chickens?

Generally, all common crickets are safe for chickens, but it’s crucial they come from a clean source. Avoid wild crickets that may have been exposed to pesticides or other chemicals.


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