Yes, cockatiels can eat mealworms. The benefits of eating mealworms for cockatiels are that they aid with keeping their beaks trim, aid with their digestive system (with the help of High-fiber Foods), and provide birds with needed protein.
Mealworms specifically can also aid in preventing your cockatiel to pluck itself due to holding stress too much.
Mealworms are a very common food to feed pet birds, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t be given to cockatiels.
The only possible concerns one might have with mealworms for their cockatiel would be the reactions from other family members or visitors.
Mealworms do carry a resemblance to something “creepy” and “disgusting,” but the mealworms at pet stores are much different than these.
Mealworms come in a can, and they resemble Cheerios (oat cereal) in size and shape, only they are made up of dark-colored beetle larvae.
They smell like bran flakes and need to be fed to your cockatiel with a special utensil just for feeding live food.
Mealworms are usually given to birds in the morning when they are most active and might have not eaten anything yet.
You can feed your bird by opening up the mealworm can, getting out one Cheerio-shaped worm, and putting it in the special utensil.
Slide the mealworm to a perch near where your bird is, and let them eat it with their beak.
This method is put in place so that your bird can eat the mealworm without being at risk of being bitten by another pet with an attitude problem, such as a cat or dog.
The mealworm is so big and hard to chew, another animal might kill your bird by trying to eat it.
Some owners do choose to feed their cockatiels mealworms directly from their hands, but this opens up the possibility of being bitten.
Some birds may be too afraid of mealworms that they won’t eat them no matter what. This might be a reason to not feed mealworms.
Can mealworms also be bad for cockatiels?
In some cases, it is possible that if your bird eats too many mealworms they will start to pluck themselves from having anxiety or stress about the mealworms.
Some people might think this is a good thing for a cockatiel to do since they are getting rid of extra feathers so they don’t have to worry about them, but it’s actually very bad.
Feathers are important for helping the bird regulate its body temperature, so when they pluck themselves they can get chilled easily and become ill or die from exposure.
How to prepare mealworms for cockatiels?
To prepare mealworms for your cockatiel, put them in a colander and run water over them to wash the dirt off.
When they are wet, pick up each individual worm and make sure there’s no extra debris (dirt, etc.) coming off of it and hanging from its body.
Remove all dirt and worms that have dirt on them and put those ones back in the can of mealworms so they don’t go to waste.
After you’ve washed all the mealworms, place them pesticide-free potting soil or paper towel to absorb any excess water left on the worms as this will damage their skin and body.
Leave enough space between each mealworm so that they can move around.