Unfortunately for our UK wild birds, natural sources of calcium are becoming harder and harder to find. With the heavy use of pesticides in agriculture and the reduction of wild land, birds are finding healthy calcium sources few and far between.
But luckily for our garden visitors, Calci Worms are here to help!
What are Calci Worms?
Calci Worms are the larvae of the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens). They typically have up to 50 times the amount of calcium than other insects or worms and are suitable to feed to a wide variety of birds, insects, and mammals. They’re also particularly popular as a source of calcium and protein for fish!
The high calcium content offers wild birds a variety of healthy benefits such as:
- Good bone strength in growing and adult birds. Bone breakages are a leading cause of fatalities in wild birds so strong bones help to reduce this risk.
- Birds with a healthy calcium intake are likely to lay more eggs. This is true for a wide variety of native birds but in particular woodpeckers, tits and wrens.
- Helps in the development of strong eggshells. A sturdy eggshell can provide developing chicks protection from disease as well as healthy hatching and sturdy, rapid bone growth.
How to Feed Dried Calci Worms
Calci worms can be fed in the same way you would feed Dried Mealworms. They work well in specialised worm feeders or trays, and you can keep your ground feeding birds happy by simply throwing handfuls of Calci Worms on the ground.
As with all types of bird food, Calci Worms are best fed as part of a balanced diet. We recommend mixing Calci Worms into a high-quality seed mix, like our Ready Peck 5-A-Day Seed Feeder Mix, so your garden birds are getting a fantastic variety of healthy oils, protein and calcium.
Try soaking the Calci Worms in warm water for 30 minutes before you put them out to pack in extra moisture and hydration for your wild birds.
The Science Behind Calci Worms for Wild Birds
Calcium is an important ingredient for the development of wild birds. In fact, wild birds need more calcium in their diet than any other mineral. Not only is it required for bone and eggshell development, it’s also a vital aid in muscle contraction, nerve impulse transmission, and many other metabolic processes.
According to research, calcium and vitamin D3 deficiencies in wild birds are often the result of poor dietary supplementation and can manifest as bone and joint deformities throughout generations of birds.
An excess of calcium or phosphorus in wild bird diets can cause problems for wild birds, however, calci worms have balanced levels of both nutrients, providing your garden birds with just the right amount of each.
How do Calci Worms Compare to Dried Mealworms?
Dried Mealworms are typically higher in protein; however, Calci Worms are much higher in fat and, of course, calcium. In order to keep your wild birds happy and healthy throughout the year you can either alternate between the two types of worms during different seasons, or mix the two together all year round.
Calci Worms are ideal to feed in the weeks leading up to breeding and egg laying seasons. The added calcium can aid in producing healthy, thick egg shells to keep growing chicks secure. Many birds don’t store extra calcium so it’s important that Calci Worms are offered as close to this season as possible.
During fledgling season and leading into the summer months, the high protein content in Dried Mealworms gives birds much needed extra energy whilst they moult and for growth.
Can I Feed Calci Worms to Hedgehogs?
The healthy balance of calcium and phosphorus in Calci Worms means that, unlike mealworms, they are perfectly safe for hedgehogs to eat. The high levels of calcium, fat and protein in Calci Worms make for a nutritious and tasty meal for our spiky friends.
Packaging: Our 1.5kg & 5kg options come in a fully recyclable plastic bag. Our 10kg option comes as 2 x 5kg bags in a recyclable box. Our cardboard boxes are also made from recycled materials and our gum tape and labels are all recyclable.
For some brilliant information on how wild birds in the UK find their calcium, click here.
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