Do parakeets eat worms? It seems like a strange question, but it is one that many people ask. This may be due to the fact that mealworms are so readily available in pet shops, and you are wondering if they are a good treat to buy your parakeet. Or, it could be because you have so many in your backyard and do not know what to do with them – either way, in this article, we cover all of this and more.
Do Parakeets Eat Mealworms?
Firstly, let's clarify what mealworms are. Mealworms are the larvae form of beetles and are sold in pet shops either dried (dead) or live as pet food. They are very high in protein but also contain high levels of fat and should be fed in moderation.
They do not make great pets themselves but are a common way to feed and tame birds, lizards, and other small pets.
However, all birds are not a fan of this delicacy, and the parakeet is one of them. Though he may eat it, he isn't a huge fan. As stated by Sciencing, “birds have specific diets, and only a small number of birds can safely eat worms.”
If it isn't obvious now, these are not the same worms turning over soil in your backyard; those are earthworms.
Do Parakeets Eat Regular Backyard Worms?
The common worms found in your backyard are likely what you are inquiring about, earthworms.
Earthworms are usually the size of shoelaces when fully grown, but you will find them much smaller before they pupate into maturity. These worms are high in protein. However, parakeets in the wild do not typically eat earthworms; that does not mean they will not eat them at all, though. There are just so many other things on the menu for them to choose from instead, such as berries, seeds, and all sorts of more readily available (sitting on leaves and not inches into the earth) insects.
Simply put, parakeets will start eating earthworms if there is nothing else to eat.
If you still wish to give your parakeet a protein treat, you could try them on mealworms. However, they will more than likely ignore them if they have never eaten anything but seeds in their diet.
How To Feed A Parakeet Mealworms
Mealworms can be fed to parakeets whole or crushed up in a dish for them to eat. It is best to introduce them with something like their usual seed mix or crushed and mixed or sprinkled on a fruit they like.
In general, do not feed them more than a few at one time. It may not seem like much when you buy a 1lb bag of mealworms. but for your little bird, it is more than enough.
If your parakeets do not eat them, do not force or feed more. They may just be too full from the other food they ate, or they do not like them. You can always give them another treat, such as millet spray or grapes.
Reasons Why You Shouldn't Feed Your Parakeet Worms
Some reasons you should feed your parakeet neither earthworms nor mealworms:
– both worms are high in fat and should be fed sparingly
– worms do not make a good treat for parakeets, specifically
– worms can be difficult to digest and may cause your parakeet issues internally
– mealworms contain high levels of protein which is great, but this should also be fed in moderation. This means that it shouldn't constitute the entire diet.
Bird mom, blog writer and children's books author. My first ever pet bird was a parakeet, and now I am a proud “bird lady” and even enjoy writing about them!