There’s no real comparison between live and dried mealworms. Live mealworms are packed with protein, fibre, and fat but also critically – water. This is really important especially when most water sources are frozen and in particular when adult birds are feeding their young – as they have no way of drinking except the liquid that is contained in the food the adult brings. Seed has no water in it and so live food is critical.
Dried mealworms are handy for when you don’t have live food and obviously don’t wriggle away. You can rehydrate with water.
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