Can Parrots eat Mealworms

Can Parrots Eat Mealworms? (Yes, Protein-Rich Snack)

Without a doubt, Parrots can eat Mealworms and be at no risk. Mealworms are enriched with protein, dietary fiber, essential amino acids, and fats- making them safe and healthy for parrots to consume. They can enjoy these larvae both ways- live or dried. However, keep in mind to combine this treat with a balanced diet of colorful vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts.

Why Mealworms are safe for Parrots?

As a caretaker, you’ll undoubtedly need to be cautious about what you feed your parrot. You cannot just rely on the claims of the internet (and anyone apart from avian veterinarians) that have hardly any truth supporting them. However, you can rest assure knowing that this article will guide you in truth.

First, let’s understand what mealworms are. They are the larvae form of the mealworm beetle. Yellow in color and squishy in appearance, a mealworm is more than what meets the eyes. Infused with various nutrients, mealworms can provide energy for birds as well as humans.

Their outer skin is less likely to choke the parrot, and they cannot attack the bird as a defense. It will be relatively easy for your parrots to bite the larva and drain the gut and juicy insides into their stomach.

A quick way to understand why mealworms are safe for parrots is by looking at their health benefits, which include-

  • Enriches the parrot with protein
  • Their fiber content enhances the parrot’s metabolism
  • Live mealworms increase the bird’s water intake and keep them hydrated
  • Their essential fats and amino acids maintain the bird’s stamina throughout the day.

Are live or dried mealworms good for parrots?

There is a clear difference between biting into a fresh apple and munching five sundry apple slices in one helping. Though delicious, both forms of apple will differ in their texture and taste to a certain degree. Plus, they won’t contain the same nutrient values. Furthermore, the fresh apple will get rotten far quicker than its dried counterpart.

Similarly, there is a great deal of difference between live and dried mealworms. With different texture and nutrient values, these two forms of larvae will have a diverse impact on the parrot. Hence, it is necessary to scale the pros and cons to see which weighs more before making a sound decision.

Safe to say, both live and dried mealworms are good for parrots.

Live mealworms

Pros

  • It is fresh with more nutrients and body juice.
  • It stimulates the instincts of the parrot.
  • It can be served to the baby parrots as well.
  • You can cultivate mealworms by yourself. Hence, making sure they are fed a rich diet.

Cons

  • There are chances where live mealworms can eat their way through the crop.
  • A 2018 study had shown that certain live mealworms can act as hosts for tapeworms.
  • You cannot store it for a long duration.

Dried mealworms

Pros

  • You won’t have to trouble yourself in handling the squirmy larvae.
  • The drying process kills any parasites that may have been living on the mealworm.
  • They are more affordable and can be stored for long periods.
  • Unlike popular belief, dried mealworms do not cause dehydration or any constipation problems.

Cons

  • Their nutrient value is lower by a bit of difference.
  • Most of the body juice is dried up.

Furthermore, you can also let your feathered friend decide their favorite form of the larva. 

How to feed mealworms to parrots?

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to feeding mealworms to parrots. However, for starters, you can follow these basic steps-

The dried larvae can be added to a mixture of seeds and grains. Parrots have a good sense of smell; they use it as a tool for detecting their prey. So, if you notice that your companion has gobbled only the seeds and avoided the mealworms, then you can withhold from giving them any more mealworms. Avoid forcing them to eat something they don’t wish to dig into.

Related : Can Parrots eat Jalapeños?

If dried mealworms don’t work, you can try introducing live ones to their palate. In the case of live mealworms, feed them separately without mixing any seeds or fruits. And if they fancy the squirmy larvae, then be prepared to spend more money on these treats.

You can feed mealworms to parrots throughout the year.

On the subject of feeding quantity, make sure you supply them in small amounts. Mealworms are treats rather than food.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should i soak the dried mealworms before feeding?

Soaking dried mealworms before feeding is not mandatory, as your parrot can enjoy the dry snack effortlessly. However, if you want to boost your parrot’s water intake, you can opt for soaked mealworms without any hesitation. The soaking process does not minimize the value of nutrients packed in the dried larvae. Instead, it makes them pulpy with excess water retention. You can also experiment to study whether your parrot prefers them dry and crispy or soaked and juicy.

How can i purchase safe and healthy mealworms for my parrot?

To ensure your parrot eats only healthy foods, you should know where the ‘healthy food’ comes from. Healthy mealworms usually are put on a diet that includes various grains, seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables. Hence, before purchasing, try to find what the cultivators had fed the mealworms during their growing phase.

Why are mealworms expensive?

Mealworms with all their benefits can be hard to cultivate. Plus, the larvae stage lasts for a short period of about two weeks. Hence, these squirmy treats tend to be pricey. However, if budget is your concern, then opting for dried mealworms may relax your expenses.

Can African grey parrots eat mealworms?

Your intelligent feathered friend can eat mealworms. Don’t worry, it won’t affect their skills in any way. Other parrot breeds like the amazon parrot, conures, budgies, etc., can also consume mealworms without consequences.

Can baby parrots eat mealworms?

Mealworms are safe for baby parrots to consume. However, avoid feeding the dried larvae because it can be heavy for their digestive system. Instead, provide them live mealworms that are crushed before reaching their tiny beaks.

In Summary

Mealworms are safe and healthy for parrots’ consumption in limited quantities. Available in both live and dried forms, these larvae are proven to be healthy and nutritious. Of course, they have their advantages and disadvantages. So, as a caretaker, you must weigh the cons and figure out the ideal solution for your parrot. And finally, by stating that mealworms are safe for parrots, the statement confirms for every breed under parrots.

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