I was out at the pet store the other day thinking of new snacks that I could buy for my parakeet.
I think he’s been getting a bit bored of the same old treats and snacks, so I want to change it up a bit for him.
Feeling uninspired by the parrot food section, I decided to go and check the bird feeding aisle.
There, I saw a big bag of mealworms, and I began to wonder whether these would be safe for parakeets.
They said they were meant as outdoor bird feed, but I decided to look into it.
So, can parakeets eat mealworms?
Yes, parakeets can eat mealworms, though very sparingly. They shouldn’t eat them very often, and they aren’t a necessary part of their regular diet. If they seem to enjoy them, they make a good treat, but only give them mealworms occasionally. Excessive feeding of mealworms can cause problems.
The short answer, then, is yes, parakeets can eat mealworms.
However, they don’t need to eat them very often, so you really shouldn’t make them a regular fixture in the parakeet’s diet.
Once in a while, say once every two weeks or so, is plenty, and will make a nice change to their routine.
Let’s look further into this.
Are mealworms good for parakeets?
Yes, they are, in a number of ways.
For one thing, they are a great source of protein.
Insects like this are always good sources of protein since they are living creatures, and even when dried out that protein is really good in your parakeet’s diet.
All parakeets are different and this may not apply to all, but generally speaking, parakeets love mealworms as a treat.
The addition of something tasty in their diet, that is different from what they normally eat, can do wonders for their health in many ways.
Mealworms are also rich in monounsaturated fats.
In the right amounts and as part of a balanced diet, these can be really beneficial to your parakeet’s health.
Mealworms also contain a lot of omega 3 fatty acids, which are really helpful to your parakeet’s diet.
It can be difficult to get a good source of these fats and acids, so mealworms are really great in that sense.
As you can see, then, there are a lot of benefits to eating mealworms for your parakeet.
However, the most important thing when it comes to mealworms is moderation, as I’ve said.
They can quickly become a problem if eaten too much, so let’s look into the caveats.
Are mealworms bad for parakeets?
No, mealworms are not inherently bad for parakeets.
They are not toxic or dangerous, and in the right quantities can be really beneficial to their diet.
However, the quantity question is really important.
Parakeets in the wild subsist mostly on seeds and vegetation.
While they may eat the occasional insect here and there, they are really not essential to their diet.
They can get by just fine without them.
They are so nutrient-rich that your parakeet really only needs to eat a tiny amount to get all the benefits that they need out of it.
If they overgorge themselves, they will be oversaturated with protein and other nutrients.
Like I said, perhaps once a fortnight is plenty of mealworms for your parakeets.
Swap them out for plenty of other plant-based and seed snacks during the rest of the time.
This provides both the best balance in their diet and will keep them from getting bored of the same snacks.
Mealworms come in a few different forms, though, so let’s look into what’s the best kind of mealworm to give your parakeets.
Can parakeets eat live mealworms?
They can eat live mealworms, and will have no real problems with doing so.
All of the same caveats about moderation still apply, though.
For convenience’s sake, though, it’s probably not the easiest option.
Live mealworms will be much harder to find, and you will have to keep them alive while you have them.
Live mealworms are just as nutritionally rich as dried mealworms.
The only real benefit of parakeets eating live mealworms is that they may enjoy the enrichment a bit more, but you can provide for this need in other ways.
Live mealworms are not the easiest way to feed your parakeet mealworms.
Can parakeets eat dried mealworms?
Yes, they can, and this is certainly the easier option.
Dried mealworms are easy to find in bulk and are effectively non-perishable.
This means you can throw them in the cupboard and get them out when needed.
They are crunchy and your parakeet will enjoy them for that reason, being more like a seed or nut that they are used to than a live insect.
Dried mealworms are, as I said, just as good and provide all the same benefits as live mealworms, too.
So, they are certainly the easier option.
Virtually any department store or pet store will sell them, often in bags meant to be used in outdoor bird feeders.
This is your best bet for giving your parakeets mealworms.
Mealworms are a good snack for your parakeet, then, but moderation is still the most important thing.
Too much of a good thing quickly becomes a problem, so you need to be very careful of just how often you feed them mealworms.
If they eat too much, it can cause all sorts of issues for them, not to mention the fact they will probably get bored quite quickly.