Do finches eat mealworms? The answer is yes; finches eat mealworms, and owners typically feed them to their finches when they are molting or breeding. Mealworms are an excellent source of protein, but they are high in fat, so you do need to be careful how many you feed a finch.
A good average would be about ten mealworms per bird daily, and remember, the birds that are breeding or molting have higher nutritional requirements than a non-breeding finch. If your bird is not undergoing the stress of breeding or molting, then it should only be fed mealworms as an occasional treat.
What Are Mealworms?
Mealworms are the larvae of the darkling beetle. They are about 1 inch long and are bright yellow/orange in color. Mealworms are high in protein and fat and are frequently fed as food for reptiles, birds, and small mammals.
Most pet stores carry mealworms in the reptile section. I have also found them at Walmart and other big stores that sell pet food. You can purchase mealworms either prepackaged live or dried. Dried mealworms are just as good as live mealworms, and you can keep them for months. Do not freeze the dry mealworms, or else they will turn black when you thaw them out.
Raising Your Own Mealworms
You can also raise your own mealworms by purchasing a small batch of live mealworms from a pet store. Put the mealworms in a small bowl and add bran, cornmeal, or crushed cereal.
Do not use the kind of cereal with frosting on it, as that will mold. Do not add water; just keep moist by spraying down the mealworms every day or so. The mealworms will turn into beetles that lay eggs, and the cycle begins all over again.
After about two weeks, you should have your own stock of mealworms!
How Many Mealworms Should You Feed Your Finch?
A good average would be about ten mealworms per bird daily, and remember the birds that are breeding or molting have higher nutritional requirements than a non-breeding finch. If your bird is not undergoing the stress of breeding or molting, then it should only be fed mealworms as an occasional treat.
A high-fat diet is not good for your finch. Feeding them too many foods high in fat, and you could end up with a sick bird on your hands.
What Should You Feed Your Molting Or Breeding Finch In Addition To Mealworms?
Your bird should not have a diet that is strictly mealworms. There are certain seeds, millet, and fresh veggies that can also be added to the diet of a molting or breeding finch.
Here is a list of foods you should add to your bird’s diet:
- Millet – This is usually sold in a small package near where the bowls for food and water are sold at pet stores.
- Seeds – Black oil sunflower seeds are a good source of fat but should only be given to your bird in moderation. Do not give him too many or he could get sick and stop eating the other foods you provide. You can also try safflower seeds which contain less fat than black oil sunflower seeds.
- Vegetables such as mustard greens, watercress, parsley, and dandelion leaves are good for your bird. Do not feed him iceberg lettuce as it is made mostly of water and does not have many nutrients in it. A finch likes to nibble on veggies, so you should try to give him a small piece daily.
- Fruit that are not mostly water content, such as apples and bananas can also be given to your finch.
Do Not Overfeed Mealworms To Finches
Do not overfeed mealworms to finches, as high-fat diets are not good for them. Just use common sense when feeding mealworms to finches. Do not feed a ton of mealworms, and make sure your bird eats other foods along with the mealworms as well.
Tips For Feeding Mealworms To Your Finch
When you are feeding mealworms, spray them with a mixture of honey and water before adding the calcium dust. This will help to make the worms more appealing for your bird as well as increase their nutrient value by allowing it to absorb the manganese present in mealworms into its body better.
Live Mealworms Vs. Dried Mealworms
Both of these have advantages and disadvantages.
|Do not contain added preservatives.||If you don’t like storing creepy crawlies (or rather – squirmy wormies) then you don’t really want to order these.|
|Are always fresh until your bird eats them up.||Uneaten ones do not stay mealworms forever…|
|Do Not Have To Be Refrigerated||Can be quite expensive unless harvesting your own|
|It can be left in a dish for days, unlike dried mealworms which need to be refrigerated after they are opened.|
|Can be bought in bulk for less money (if you feed a lot of birds or just one bird and give him mealworms as treats often) Can be left out in a dish for days.||Contain preservatives.|
|Can be left out in a dish for days||Are not fresh|
|Can be quite expensive if purchased in small amounts.|
Just For Finch-Lovers!
In conclusion, I hope this has answered your question Do Finches Eat Mealworms?
If you are still not sure on what to feed your finches, I suggest that you contact a bird store and speak to one of the workers about how to care for your specific type of finch. They should be able to provide appropriate mealworm food suggestions for your particular finch.