Can Chickens Eat Hornworms?

Are you wondering – Can chickens eat hornsworms? 

Here’s the answer you’re looking for

Chickens can certainly act as a pesticide against hornworms to protect your tomato plants.You can let your chickens patrol the area for hornworms, and they can eat them as a tasty and nutritious snack. However, make sure your chickens don’t ingest too many of these hornworms as they can be toxic in large quantities.

In this article you’re going to discover the following

  • Are hornworms poisonous?
  • How to feed hornworms to chicken?
  • Can chickens eat tomato hornworms?
  • Are hornworms good for anything?

So if you want to know everything about chickens and hornworms, you’re going to love this article

Sound interesting?

Let’s get started!

Are Hornworms Poisonous?

Hornworms are a common sight to see in the spring and summer.

When tomato or tobacco plants grow in your garden, you might see a few of these caterpillars crawling around.

They are an infamous pest for plant growers as they are known to destroy an entire tomato plant in one day.

Since they are so annoying, as a chicken owner, you might wonder if it’s possible for your chickens to eat the hornworms.

Hornworms are not poisonous and they are completely safe to feed to chickens.

However, and this is a big one, these caterpillars feed on tomato plants which contain a toxin called solanine.

Since tomato plants are their main food source, it stands to reason that they have some of this toxin on them as well.

Solanine is toxic to chickens and other animals when ingested in large amounts.

As long as you aware of this and you wish to feed your chickens hornworms then by all means

So how do you feed it to your birds?

Let’s find out

How To Feed Hornworms To Chicken?

There are a few different ways to feed hornworms to chickens.

  1. Let the chickens patrol around your tomato and tobacco plants for hornworms. As they walk about, they may notice some hornworms feeding on your tomato plants and peck at them. They are a great snack for chickens in small amounts, so chickens work amazingly as pest control in this way.
  2. Put hornworms with their meal. Hornworms should never be the main part of a chicken’s meal, but they can certainly act as a great addition to the meal. If you find a few hornworms on your plants, pluck them out and flick them in your chicken’s direction.
  3. Buy hornworms from the supermarket. If you don’t own any tomato or tobacco plants, chances are you don’t have any hornworms to feed your pet. In this case, go to the pet store to buy some. Store-bought hornworms are a great and safe option to feed your pet as these hornworms are not fed the toxic tomato plant.

Can Chickens Have Tomato Hornworms?

Yes, chickens can have tomato hornworms.

In fact, this caterpillar is generally a healthy snack for chickens to eat.

The only issue with the hornworm is that it feeds on tomato and tobacco plants.

Both of these plants contain the toxin solanine, which can be fatal to animals if ingested in large quantities.

At the very least, it will cause health issues if your chicken eats too much of it.

So if you notice that your chicken is eating a couple of hornworms, there is nothing to worry about.

You should only intervene if your chicken’s diet solely consists of hornworms and it is eating too much of it.

Alternatively, you can purchase hornworms directly from a pet store.

If you buy them from a reputable seller, these hornworms are completely safe to eat as they aren’t fed tomato or tobacco plants.

Are Hornworms Good For Anything?

Hornworms are a great source of calcium and water – both necessities for your chicken to be healthy and lay good eggs.

A hornworm is made up of 85% water along with a good chunk of protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorous.

The calcium found in hornworms is absolutely essential for chickens.

Chickens not only need calcium to be healthy in their day-to-day lives, but egg-laying hens in particular need them to lay strong eggs.

Eggshells are made up of calcium, so it’s necessary for chickens to have a lot of calcium in their diet.

Hornworms also have a high water content, which helps keep chickens hydrated especially during the warmer months when the hornworms start crawling around.

Before I conclude, have a read of my articles about what chickens can

I’m sure you will find them interesting!

Can chickens eat rabbit pellets?

Can chickens eat parakeet food?

Can chickens eat mustard greens?

Can chickens eat poison ivy?

Wrapping Up 

Chickens need to have a varied diet in order to be happy and healthy.

If you are having a hornworm problem in your garden, you can feed them to your chickens.

This way, you can kill two birds with one stone and feed your chicken something nice while ridding your garden of the pests.

It’s good to know that chickens can definitely eat hornworms as a nutritious snack.

Just be careful not to feed them too many wild hornworms as they can be harmful in large quantities.

We at write about bird health and diet however it should not be taken as medical advice. For advice on your bird you need to seek out an avian vet. The information you find on is for educational purposes only. At we are not liable for any information that you may find on here. Birdcageshere is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice about your bird.