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Can Parrots Eat Mealworms? (Benefits & Risks to Know)

Mealworms are an excellent source of protein and calcium. They make a great treat for many pets, including wild birds.

As a bird parent, I’ve been wondering can parrots eat mealworms

Yes, parrots can eat mealworms OCASSIONALLY, whether live or dried. Mealworms are quite healthy for parrots, providing them with a good source of protein and other nutrients.

Let’s look at everything you need to know about feeding mealworms to your parrot!

CHECK: What Fruit Can Budgies Eat?

Is It Safe For Parrots To Eat Mealworms?

mealworms for parrots but can parrots eat mealworms

YES, mealworms are safe for parrots to eat. However, before making this decision, you should be aware of some risks associated with feeding them to your bird.

Mealworms are the larval form of the mealworm beetle called Tenebrio Molitor. They are often a food source for many pet birds, including parrots.

Mealworms can be purchased from pet stores or online, and you can easily raise them yourself. Always ensure you buy your worms from a trusted supplier or pet store that sells clean worms.

They’re inexpensive and nutritious, with the best protein sources and other nutrients.

The biggest concern is that mealworms can carry Salmonella bacteria, making your bird sick if he eats enough of them. If you notice any signs of illness in your bird after feeding him mealworms, contact your veterinarian immediately!

Another concern is that mealworms may be infested by mites or lice that could cause itching or irritation in your bird’s skin if ingested by him.

If you notice any signs of irritation on your parrot’s skin after feeding him mealworms, contact your veterinarian immediately!

The best alternative to mealworms is frozen crickets and grasshoppers.

3 Benefits Of Mealworms For Parrots

Mealworms are a great occasional treat for your pet parrot. They have tons of health benefits. [1] These creepy crawly are high in protein content, low in fat, and provide a boost of calcium and other nutrients.

Mealworms have little taste or aroma, making them an excellent nutritional supplement choice.

They can also be used as part of a balanced diet for your parrot by feeding them along with other wide variety of foods or as a healthy snack between meals.

Below are some of the nutritional benefits of feeding mealworms to parrots:

1. High in Protein and Low in Fat

Mealworms are a rich source of additional protein for pet parrots, containing up to 70% protein requirement.

They also contain essential fatty acids that help promote good health and maintain the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in their diet.

2. Provides Boosts of Calcium and Other Nutrients

Mealworms are rich in minerals, including iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, and selenium, which are needed to support optimal health in birds. They also provide vitamin B12, which helps prevent anemia (low red blood cell count).

3. Easy to Feed Your Parrot

Mealworms are easy to feed to your pet parrot because they can be fed whole or ground into powder form when mixed with other foods.

Can Baby Parrots Eat Mealworms?

can parrots eat mealworms

The answer is yes and no. It depends on the bird’s age and whether or not it’s been weaned yet.

If the bird is less than 12 weeks old and has not yet been weaned, it shouldn’t eat mealworms because it’s too young to digest them properly.

Adult parrots can eat mealworms because their digestive systems are mature enough to process them.

If you want to give your baby parrot some mealworms as a treat, ensure they’ve been thoroughly cooked first so that they don’t contain any harmful bacteria or parasites that could make your pet sick or even kill him (although this is rare).

How To Feed Mealworms To Parrots?

Mealworms are an essential part of a parrot’s diet and can be fed as healthy treats or as part of the daily diet. [2] (Do not forget leafy greens and bird seeds as part of a proper diet)

The best way to feed mealworms to your pet is in their natural form, but you may need to grind them up if they’re too large for your bird’s mouth.

If your parrot is new to eating mealworms, start by offering just one first and see how he reacts. Some birds will gobble them right up, while others may be more cautious.

If your bird doesn’t like them immediately, try offering a smaller piece or hiding them in other food like pellets or seed mix.

You can also try freezing them for an hour or two before offering them again — this tends to increase the flavor, so they taste better!

Check out this video of a parrot eating mealworms.

How Often Can Parrots Eat Mealworms?

The answer depends on several factors, including your parrot’s species, age, health, and more.

Budgie owners feed their birds mealworms daily, some only once a week. The best way to find out how much your parrot should be eating is by researching the bird species you have and how much they should be eating.

It may be best to give your budgie mealworms every other day or once a week, as they are small birds who need less food than larger ones like cockatoos or macaws.

Mealworms are high in fat content which can lead to obesity in parrots. [3]

If you have an overweight bird or one that has been sick recently, feeding them too many mealworms could lead to further complications, so it’s best to speak with your vet before doing so.

READ MORE: What Do Budgies Need in Their Cage?

FAQs

Do parrots like dried mealworms?

dried mealworms for parrots but can parrots eat mealworms

Yes, parrots are like dried mealworms. They are nutritious and have a balance of fiber, protein, and fat. To serve, mix them with bird seed.

Should I refrigerate mealworms?

Yes, you should refrigerate mealworms but only for two weeks.

Conclusion

Can parrots eat mealworms? Yes, Mealworms are an excellent treat for your pet bird, but they should only be given in moderation.

So next time you want to impress a colorful bird with a healthy treat, don’t hesitate to offer some mealworms.

can parrots eat mealworms

So, do you feed mealworms to your parrots? Let us know in the comments section!

Resources

  • 1. Hong J, Han T, Kim YY. Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor Larvae) as an Alternative Protein Source for Monogastric Animal: A Review. Animals. 2020;10(11):2068. doi:10.3390/ani10112068
  • 2. Brightsmith DJ. Nutritional Levels of Diets Fed to Captive Amazon Parrots: Does Mixing Seed, Produce, and Pellets Provide a Healthy Diet? Published September 1, 2012. https://bioone.org/journals/Journal-of-Avian-Medicine-and-Surgery/volume-26/issue-3/2011-025R.1/Nutritional-Levels-of-Diets-Fed-to-Captive-Amazon-Parrots/10.1647/2011-025R.1.short
  • 3. Avian Obesity. Avian Avenue Parrot Forum. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://forums.avianavenue.com/index.php?threads/avian-obesity.166632/
Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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