The saying goes, variety is the spice of life.
This is applicable to all areas, but particularly when it comes to pets.
Changing up the food you feed to your furry and scaly friends can help keep them in optimal health.
If you haven’t caught on yet we’ll make it obvious, we’re talking about silkworms…as pet food!
For your pets the benefits are many, so if you’re ready to be a little adventurous to get the health benefits that come with it, here’s everything you need to know about feeding silkworms to your pets.
How Do Silkworms Compare To Common Worms?
#1: The Mealworm
Mealworms are not beneficial as food because of their low nutritional value and a hard exoskeleton.
If you opt for the mealworm as pet food, it is advised that you wait until the worm sheds its hard exterior and do not feed pets mealworms longer than a half-inch. Silkworms, in comparison, do not have any hard exoskeleton remaining soft both inside and out.
In comparison, your pets can eat more substantial portions of silkworms, and the size of the worm is not important.
Waxworms are quite common, easy to find and packed with nutritional value. Unfortunately, they have a high-fat content, so you should use these insects in moderation. It is possible to attempt to “starve off the fat” when using these insects before feeding them to your pet.
In comparison, silkworms are both nutritious and low fat, making them more beneficial.
#3: Butterworms Or Trevo Worms
One of the newer types of worms for feed is the butterworm. This insect has a soft, grub-like appearance and is high in calcium. This makes it a nutritional option, but it is also high in fat, similar to the waxworm.
Based on studies by experts, the silkworm is the most nutritional type of worm to be used as pet food. Silkworms are simple to care for, can live for over a week without eating and up to one month with food. They grow up to three inches before cocooning and eat mulberry leaves. Which means the only necessity to raise silkworms is a need for dry environments.
Why Should I Use Silkworms As Pet Food?
Feeding silkworms to your pets can seem rather odd, but they are one of the most nutritious, convenient and economical feeders available.
Silkworms provide a high source of:
- and other vitamins
Put simply, silkworms are one of the best pet food options. Moreover, the silkworm looks and tastes better to many animals when compared with other foods.
Silkworms are a soft-bodied insect that cannot hide, jump or escape. They are quite slow-moving, making it easy for your pet to catch the insect. While a soft body also makes it easier for the pet to eat, swallow and digest.
A fully-grown silkworm can reach the size of ten times the weight of crickets. Unlike some worms, the silkworm is unable to harm pets because their legs and jaws are soft and malleable.
This is important to acknowledge says animal chiropractor Keith Maitland, he notes “pets are part of our everyday life. Whether big or small, they play a major role in our physical and emotional health. However, our pets can’t always care for themselves. By choosing food that won’t pose a threat, you’ll be protecting your animals in the way they deserve.”
One of the most significant benefits to using silkworms as pet food is that they increase variety in meals and are suitable for picky eaters. How good is that?
Looking for a simple tip to house your silkworms as food? The removalists from Uplift Removals have a simple tip. They explain “next time you bring home a small box, whether a shoe box or something similar, hold onto it instead of throwing it out. These can make the perfect storage space for silkworms without having to invest any extra time or money.”
What Is The Nutritional Content Of A Silkworm?
According to many studies, the silkworm is considered the healthiest insect to feed pets.
As we touched on above, a silkworm offers different types of nutrition, but it is also a low-fat animal to use as feed.
In the wild, common pets (such as amphibians, reptiles, frogs, fish and snakes) will eat spiders, worms, moths, grubs and crickets. Some species may eat these insects in large amounts. If living in the wild, your household pet could have a variety of animals to eat and enjoy more than the average pet food. So it makes sense to offer a variety of feeding options for your pet too.
Remember, for a pet to remain happy and healthy, you must simulate their natural dietary resources.
The nutritional experts from Proactive Health explain that this is similar to our need to diversify food. They explain “just as we humans need a balanced diet to ensure optimal health, your pets need to eat a diet rich in nutrients too. Silkworms help to add variety to a diet and mimic the experience of eating food in the wild. And that’s going to be great for your pets.”
WHAT FOODS SHOULD I AVOID: Of course, while a plethora of insects can be beneficial for pet food, but certain insects should not make it to your pet’s food bowl. For instance, butterflies, centipedes, ants, houseflies, bees, wild maggots and fireflies can harm your pet’s health.
Feeding your animal different types of food found at the pet store can help to improve your pet’s diet. Healthy items can also be found online and are often seen as a treat. Silkworms are more advantageous than feeding your pet crickets because they are easier to care for, less costly and much hardier.