Can You Feed Too Many Meal Worms for Bluebirds? August 26 2018
Yes! It's absolutely possible- and probable if you're a crazy bird lady like me. Check out this simple hack to add calcium to your meal worms!
So you've discovered the sheer joy of bluebirds and really adore watching them in your yard. You've managed to entice blues to your place and know their favorite is live meal worms. By end of summer there's two or three broods (hopefully) and siblings are all feeding from your mealworm dish on their own.
But too much of a good thing can be harmful- like sugar for kids. Except with meal worms the culprit is protein, which is calcium-depleting. For both adults and nestlings, the lack of calcium can cause serious health issues.
For nestlings- bones may not develop fully or correctly. For female adults- a condition known as egg-binding may occur. Shells are softer than normal which makes it difficult if not impossible to pass the egg. In the wild, birds may die of exhaustion and/or infection.
There's a quick and easy way to add calcium to your meal worms. It's a powdery substance called Calcium Carbonate, and you just sprinkle/dust the worms prior to feeding.
Food grade calcium carbonate is readily available online and very inexpensive. Local health food stores may also carry the supplement.
Easiest and cleanest way to use the powder? Save a spice jar, the kind with holes in the plastic cap.
Prior to feeding, just shake, shake and gently toss the worms around in the cup. They'll appear grey-ish in color, you may even see small white clumps if worms are very moist.
It's okay though- because your bluebirds' worms are now fortified with calcium!