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Can Parrots Eat Mealworms?

After publishing our article going over if parrots can eat chickpeas, we noticed a number of people reaching out and asking if their parrots can eat mealworms or not so we decided to publish this article dedicated to the topic to try and help as many of our readers as possible.

Although we wouldn’t consider feeding mealworms to parrots a controversial topic, there are usually people both for and against in the discussions that we see on social media so we feel that it is important to show both sides of the discussion.

Some parrots can eat mealworms both freeze dried and live but many parrots will not pay the mealworms any attention.

The majority of parrots kept as pets really don’t need much protein in their diet either and with mealworms usually being used as a source of protein for pets it defeats the purpose of giving your pet parrot the mealworms as a treat food.

Depending on the normal food that you give to your parrot, they may not understand that mealworms are food and we have seen people who have tried live mealworms with their parrots say that their parrot was actually scared of the mealworm if it moved.

In our opinion, just using some high-quality parrot treat options will be a better snack food for your pet parrot than mealworms due to being more nutritionally balanced and parrots usually really enjoying the food.

Can Parrots Eat Mealworms?

Parrots can eat mealworms with a small number of parrots seemingly enjoying mealworms, especially the freeze dried ones but many parrots will be indifferent and only eat a small number of meal worms with some parrots not eating them at all.

It really will come down to the particular parrot so picking up a large bag of mealworms may be a waste of money if you have never fed your parrot mealworms before.

As we touched on earlier, the vast majority of domesticated parrots don’t need much protein in their diet so if your parrot does eat mealworms then they should only make up a very small amount of their overall diet.

The bulk of their diet should be made up from a mixed parrot food that is nutritionally dense and covers as many of your pet parrots base vitamin and mineral needs as possible.

Depending on your area, you may be able to find wild mealworms to feed to your pet parrot but we would never recommend that you do this as there is a chance that the wild mealworms have pesticides or herbicides on them that may cause problems with your parrot if ingested.

If you are set on trying to feed your parrot some mealworms then be sure to only use mealworms that are from a reputable source that have been specifically bred for pet consumption.

Will Parrots Actually Eat Mealworms?

The majority of parrots tend to either be indifferent to mealworms and eat one or two if they are hungry or just ignore them all together.

This will come down to your parrots personality and eating trends but a small number of parrots will happily eat mealworms with some parrots seemingly really enjoying them.

There does seem to be a much higher chance of a domestic parrot eating freeze dried mealworms than live mealworms so if you are wanting to feed your parrot mealworms try to source the freeze dried variant that are usually easier to find and often much cheaper than live mealworms anyway.

In addition to that, freeze dried mealworms are often more nutritionally dense than the live mealworms due to the nutrition being lost to keep the mealworms alive while being shipped.

One common thing that we see people ask about is why their pet parrot will not eat mealworms when wild parrots will often eat a wide range of insects but this is all due to the upbringing of your pet.

The majority of domestic parrots are raised on commercial parrot foods so they are just not used to eating mealworms and some other types of insects so they may not understand that they are actually food at first.

Are Mealworms A Good Source Of Protein For Parrots?

Mealworms can be an excellent source of protein for pet parrots with the macronutrient breakdown of mealworms making them one of the better potential protein sources for a pet parrot.

The problem is that the majority of domesticated parrots simply don’t need much protein in their diets so there is often no need to specifically add food types that are higher in protein to a parrots diet.

We often see people asking about parrots eating cheese as a protein source too and the same point holds true, the majority of the time, there is just no need to offer your pet parrot a large amount of protein due to its body simply not needing it.

You will often see people worrying about feeding their pet parrot these high protein source foods on forums and social media only for the more experienced parrot keepers to come along and point out that their parrot will get all the protein their body requires from its current diet.

The majority of parrots will do much better with nuts and seeds as the key protein source for their diet anyway due to the food sources being higher in secondary nutrients.

This is why we usually just recommend that you stick to a decent primary food source for your pet parrots as they will almost always offer a much better all round nutritional profile.


That brings our article going over if parrots can eat mealworms or not to an end and we hope that we have been able to help you. Some parrots will enthusiastically eat mealworms but this does tend to be rare with most parrots only eating a small number of mealworms before going off and doing something else. Some parrots will just ignore the mealworms all together and not eat them, especially if they are live mealworms with this being normal for a parrot that has been raised on commercial parrot food.