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Why are Crickets great for Chickens?

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Why are Crickets great for Chickens?

Crickets are well known as a great reptile food.  They are loaded with protein, which is great for growing reptiles and amphibians.  They are creepy and crawly and jumpy, which is great for stimulating prey-drive in predators.  And they breed quickly, which is great for pets that need to feast on a lot of crickets.  

But did you know crickets are a great food supplement for chickens?  Most chicken keepers provide their chickens with the typical chicken feed from their local farm store.  There is nothing wrong with that.  The chicken feed is designed to provide the balanced nutrients your chicken needs depending on his or her age.  And this proper ratio will help yield great tasting eggs and meat.  But there's a reason free range chickens are well known for the high quality eggs - their diverse diet which includes many insects like crickets

Crickets are Good for a Variety of Reasons

Crickets can be a beneficial addition to a chicken's diet for several reasons:

  1. Protein: Crickets are a good source of protein for chickens, which is essential for their growth, development, and overall health. Protein helps to build and repair muscles, tissues, and organs, and also provides the necessary energy for the birds.  
  2. Nutrients: In addition to protein, crickets contain other important nutrients, such as calcium, iron, and magnesium, which are vital for chickens' health and well-being. These nutrients help to support bone health, blood function, and nerve function.  And if you’re keeping hens, this nutrient boost will promote a healthy eggs with quality shells.
  3. Enrichment: Chickens enjoy foraging and hunting for insects like crickets, which can provide them with mental and physical enrichment. This type of activity can also help to reduce boredom and stress in the birds, which can lead to better overall health.  Improved health yields more eggs, and better eggs during the duration of the hen’s life.
  4. Natural diet: In the wild, chickens would naturally consume insects like crickets as part of their diet. Adding crickets to their diet can help to mimic their natural feeding behaviors and provide a more varied diet for the birds.


Everything needs abundant protein to grow.  And chickens are no exception.  Crickets are loaded with lean protein, which is critical for growing reptiles and chickens.  When your chickens are pullets, they'll benefit from a diverse diet of crickets and chicken feed.  This combination will provide the protein they need to grow into long-living hens.

Better Quality of Life

Free-range chickens yield better eggs and meat, because they have a better quality of life.  And introducing crickets can help stimulate the natural drives your chickens have to get them there.


Wild chickens will forage for food.  They will scratch, peck, and dig, hunting for grubs, crickets, and other insects.  This produces a diverse diet, which allows your chickens to get the nutritional diet they need to yield the best quality eggs.  

Mental stimulation

Foraging provides chickens with mental stimulation, which can help to reduce stress and boredom. Chickens are naturally curious and enjoy exploring their environment, and foraging allows them to engage in these behaviors.  Additionally, foraging keeps their eyes alert, looking for prey.  This is another reason why introducing crickets can be beneficial for the health of your chicken.

Foraging is a natural behavior for chickens, and allowing them to engage in this behavior is important for their overall welfare. Chickens that are not able to forage may experience stress and behavioral problems, such as feather picking and aggression. 


Foraging provides chickens with exercise, which is important for their overall health and well-being. Pecking and scratching at the ground engages their muscles and helps to keep them active and mobile.  This mobility increased important chemicals in their body that keep their muscles healthy, and bodies strong.  

Chickens that are confined to a small space without adequate opportunities for exercise may become bored, frustrated, and even aggressive.  Introducing crickets to their habitat will promote exercise, by stimulating their prey drive.  Crickets are jumpy and mobile.  They will run from the chickens, which will trigger their instincts to hunt.  

Commercial Raised Crickets are Best

Although it’s natural for chickens to hunt for crickets in the wild, wild crickets are notorious for being vectors for parasites and other diseases.  It’s well known in the reptile community to never feed your pet crickets caught in the wild.  And the same rule of thumb should apply to your hens as well.

We breed our crickets in clean rooms, which have limited access to outside people.  It is super critical that our crickets are raised healthy.  This provides safety for our customers and their pets.  So when looking for crickets for your chickens, but them from The Critter Depot, or any other commercial cricket farm.  This is how you can ensure your chickens don’t get parasites, or other diseases that can adversely harm their health.  


There’s no question that crickets are great for chickens.  The protein they provide will help your chickens grow strong.  And a cricket’s fast movement will help stimulate your chicken’s prey-drive, which will give them great exercise and stimulation.  

1 comment

  • What is the best way to feed live crickets?

    Debra on

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