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Do Parrots Eat Worms?

After we published our article going over if parrots will eat mealworms, we noticed a number of people reaching out to ask if parrots eat worms in general so we wanted to publish this article to help any of our readers who are trying to get their pet parrot to eat worms and insects.

Worms are surprisingly nutrient-dense so not only can they be a good source of protein but they can also be a good source of vitamins and minerals too.

Most parrots will eat earthworms with some parrots really enjoying them as a treat food but a large portion of parrots will not pay worms any attention, especially if they are live worms.

If you have a young parrot then you can have a higher chance of getting the bird to eat worms and other insects as it may not be stuck in its eating habits yet though but it can be more difficult to get an older parrot to eat worms if they are used to other foods.

Even if you do have a parrot that does enjoy eating worms, you should usually only be using them as a treat food with the worms making up a maximum of ten percent of their diet.

The rest of their diet should be made up of a mixed parrot food that contains a range of food sources to ensure that your parrot’s diet is nutritionally complete as worms are not a nutritionally complete food source for parrots.

Are Worms Safe For Parrots?

Worms that have been produced commercially to be used as a food source for animals or for use as bait in fishing are generally safe for a parrot to eat.

Wild worms that you collect yourself may have pesticides or herbicides on them presenting a potential risk to your pet parrot so it is usually not recommended that you use worms that you have found yourself as a food source.

Worms can be similar to feeding parrots chickpeas too where the way you prepare the worm for your parrot to eat it can play a large role in if your worm will actually eat the worm or not.

Most parrots tend to prefer crunch food and this includes insects so some people will cook the worms prior to giving them to their parrots but cooking a worm is actually much harder than it sounds.

If the worm is overcooked then it will quickly become hard and rubbery with this texture reducing the chances of your parrot eating it.

This is why we would usually recommend that you try mealworms over earthworms for your pet parrot as they tend to be crispy already but on the flipside of this, less parrots tend to eat mealworms over regular earthworms for some reason.

Can Parrots Eat Worms?

Parrots can eat worms with many parrots happily eating any worms that they are provided with as it can make a quick and easy change in their diet.

Many parrots will not eat worms though, especially if they are live worms and some parrots can actually get a fright from having a worm in their cage moving around if they are not used to eating live food.

Unlike many local birds in North America and Europe where the majority of our readers live, parrots tend to spend more time high in trees rather than down on the ground.

This seems to have tweaked the instincts of parrots to not be as interested in worms and other ground dwelling insects unless they are raised with them as a regular part of their diet.

You may have heard the saying, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, well there is a saying in the parrot keeping community that goes you can’t feed an old parrot new foods due to how habitual parrots, as well as some other bird species, can become with their food.

Some people who keep multiple parrots as pets may find that their younger parrots will happily take to any worms they are given to eat where as the older parrots will tend to avoid them.

Are Worms A Good Source Of Protein For Worms?

Worms can be a good source of protein for a parrot’s diet but the majority of pet parrots really don’t need much protein in their diets.

This can defeat the purpose of buying specialist foods such as worms for your parrot as the majority of parrot food mixes on the market offer all the protein your parrot needs via various types of seeds and nuts.

Some people have tried their parrots with cheese as a protein source but parrots are lactose intolerant even if they don’t show the symptoms of it after eating cheese.

This is why we almost always recommend that our readers just go with a mixed parrot food for the bulk of their parrot’s diet as they have been designed to be as nutritionally balanced as possible and provide all of the macronutrients that your bird requires.

There are some rare exceptions to this rule that all involve a range of health issues but your local veterinarian will be able to better advise you on what to feed your parrot in these situations.

Thankfully though, those health problems that will require a special diet for your parrot are very rare so the majority of our readers will never have to put their bird on a specialist diet anyway.


That brings our article going over if parrots eat worms or not to an end. Worms can be one of the more popular insect-based food items for parrots but there are still a large number of parrots that will not touch them. Feeding your parrot too many worms can cause issues with their overall diet too by putting their macronutrient intake ratios out of whack by putting too much protein into your pet parrots diet.