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Dried Mealworms

Motte

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Josh Sidebotham
Hello! I have a Meyers and was wondering if it's safe to give him dried mealworms as treats? His usual treats are almonds, dried papaya, and safflower seeds. The ones we purchased are packaged and are meant for bluebirds and other songbirds.

Just to clarify these mealworms will NOT be in his feed or chop and are only a treat, or a once a day protein supplement.
 

flyzipper

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Canada
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Steve
These are the notes I took from avian nutrition webinar with Dr Jason Crean...

mealworms (live prefered) - great for all birds, really healthy fat (omega 3's) and protein profile, leave them in the sun and they produce D3, freeze dried keeps 90% nutrients (avoid dehydrated).

... although I haven't yet sought out a source for my own guys.
 

Destiny

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Destiny
Parrots in the wild do eat insects, but they do not make up a large part of their diet. They are more likely to eat them while raise young, because insects are high in fat and protein. Nestlings require a lot of energy and protein to grow quickly. In captivity, we need to be careful about offering too much fat and protein to our companions, as it can cause weight gain and trigger hormonal behavior. Pet birds tend to be a lot less active than their wild counterparts, so rich foods need to be limited for health reasons. And many of them will show little or no interest in dead bugs.

It is also important to realize that the quality of feeder insects varies quite a bit. I have kept lizards in the past and the nutritional benefit received from the insects they consume will vary quite a bit depending on how the feeders are raised and the diet that they are fed prior to being eaten. Drying the insect also changes the profile a bit, because they are harder to eat and lack body moisture.

Ideally, offering insects that you have raised, fed, and killed yourself would be best, because that allows you to control their diet and offer them to the bird as "fresh" as possible. With dried product, you are just hoping they were fed properly and raised under clean conditions. And the dried insects are harder to eat, with a harder and sharper carapace (outer shell).

However, unless you have an insectivourous softbill species (or a pet lizard, sugar glider, hedgehog, etc), it is almost certainly not worth the trouble to raise feeder insects for your bird. The average pet parrot just doesn't need a lot of insects in their diet. As an occasional treat it is not bad, but any more than that is likely to be too much, unless the bird is molting or breeding.

So I would say "safe in moderation", but limit them as much or more than fatty nuts/seeds.
 

Mizzely

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I've never had a bird eat them lol. I have live ones on hand for my gecko so I'm able to gutload them with healthy foods for her... I would honestly never feed her dried! They can be part of a healthy diet but as stated most birds really don't need the extra protein and fat
 

camelotshadow

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I bought Fluckers dried for Penny. She sort of pecks at them. Not something I offer alot but Penny loves meat & chicken so I tried. Dried crispy meal worms...hmmm not sure but guess it can't hurt in moderation if they like it.
 
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