Do Parrots Eat Worms and Mealworms? (Is it Healthy For Them?)

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Parrots are very entertaining creatures that can also be a lot of fun to watch, especially when they discover a new food item. But you probably have the same question I did. Do parrots eat worms like other birds eat worms?

I did some research and this is what I found..

As your parrot becomes comfortable in its environment, you might find it spending more and more time investigating your kitchen or pantry areas in an effort to see what new treats it can find.

One such treat commonly found outside though is the humble earthworm. So, let’s answer the question; do parrots eat worms?

The answer is “yes.” Earthworms are nutritious for parrots, but only in moderation. They contain important nutrients such as protein and calcium, along with vitamin B12. They generally don’t eat them in the wild and prefer vegetable protein like nuts. You should also be wary that besides protein, worms also contain fat, so using it as your main parrot feed could cause health and digestion problems.

Do Parrots Like to Eat Earthworms?

As omnivores, most parrots will eat earthworms (and other animals) if they’re given the chance but it’s rare for parrots to eat live worms.

Some birds eat worms while others don’t like them because they can be tough to chew or unappetizing in appearance—especially if they’ve been dried out during storage!

If you have a picky eater at home and want to give them something new and exciting, try feeding them a worm, or varied fresh vegetables every now and then, instead of just dry pellets all day long (or even chicken breast on the odd occasion).

This will help keep their diet varied while still providing all of the necessary vitamins needed for growth/health maintenance over time.

Can Parrots Eat Meal Worms?

The short answer is yes, mealworms are actually preferred by parrots and a good substitute for earthworms.

The longer answer is that the diet of parrots should be primarily made up of fresh vegetables, fruits and grains.

Mealworms are not a good substitute for their main diet staples or any other foods they like.

Some worms can contain lots of fat, as well as the beneficial protein, and that can cause digestive problems in birds, especially parrots.

Mealworms are more likely to be eaten as live feed than earthworms by parrots, but be careful, as mealworms have the ability to bite if the bird fails to crush the mealworm’s head first with its beak.

This can cause an injury to the birds crop if the mealworm is still alive inside the birds mouth or throat. It’s best to crush the head for your bird first.

Do Parrots Eat Worms in the Wild?

Even though you might think that your parrot is just a little bit like a parakeet, it’s actually more closely related to an eagle.

This means that your bird has some very interesting and unique characteristics in terms of behavior, diet and activity.

Parrots are not gallinaceous birds – meaning they don’t feed from the ground like ground-dwelling birds, for example quails or pheasants.

This means worms don’t feature much in their normal diet out in the wild.

Though parrots will of course eat earthworms and other insects if hungry and there is no other protein source.

They also eat mealworms (or “mealies”) which are similar in texture but come from different sources than earthworms.

Parrots are adapted for eating all kinds of things since they’re omnivores.

Can Parrots Get Worms?

Yes, parrots can get worms.

Just like humans, parrots can get worms from any of the following:

  • Their environment—parrots will pick up parasites from the ground and air.
  • Their food—parrots that eat raw meat or vegetables may be exposed to certain types of worms.
  • Other birds—parrots can be infected with other birds’ worms if they share a cage during breeding season or if they’re housed in an aviary (a large enclosure used for keeping many birds). This means that it’s very important not to mix species of parrot unless you know exactly how clean your bird is!

A worm infection in a parrot can lead to them becoming malnourished and eventually anemia, which can be fatal if not solved as possible.

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Even keeping their environment as clean as possible might not be enough to prevent them from getting worms or other parasites.

Parrots can get worms from their environment or by eating food that was contaminated with parasites in the first place.

Therefore, no matter how careful you are about keeping your bird’s environment clean and safe for him to live in, it still may be exposed to some type of parasite through food sources.

Do Parrots Need Worming?

Yes, parrots do need to be wormed in order to stay healthy and safe from parasites.

Symptoms of Worms in Parrots

Parrots are susceptible to worms, so it’s important that you keep an eye out for signs of infection. You might not know if your bird has worms, but here are a few things to look out for:

  • Diarrhea, which is often yellowish or greenish in color.
  • Weight loss. If your parrot looks thin and isn’t eating as much as usual, this could be one sign of worms.
  • Loss of appetite and lethargy—parrots will sometimes stop eating because they feel sick!


In short, yes. Whether it’s the case with mealworms or live (less preferable) worms, most parrot species are fine with eating them as feed.

While they aren’t a main food source, like fruit, vegetables and different seed types, they can be incorporated into a balanced diet in moderation providing protein and other nutrients.

Parrots aren’t generally fussy eaters as omnivores and can even eat small invertebrates, insects and tiny mammals in nature if they’re really hungry.

Mealworms and live worms are not a parrots staple food when compared to some other plant-based proteins, like seeds, beans and nuts, but they can still make a solid contribution to parrot’s diets nonetheless.

We hope this answers your questions about this gorgeous, colorful, feathered animal and whether it eats worms.

Curious about other birds that eat worms? Read our guides: