Can Hamsters Eat Mealworms?

If you are a hamster lover, I am sure you are aware of the fact that they need a variety of food to thrive. In that aspect, if you had ever thought of providing some protein sources, how about feeding some mealworms to the hamsters? Is it safe for you to feed mealworms to the hamsters? So, in this article, we have looked at this topic in much more detail. I am certain that this article would be quite useful for you if you are a hamster owner or someone who is planning to breed hamsters at home.

To briefly explain this, it is okay to provide mealworms in moderation. In fact, it would be a healthy addition for the hamsters. Hamsters that grow in the wild feed on small insects. So, when you feed mealworms from time to time, hamsters will love it. In fact, it would be a tasty treat for them. Also, keep in mind that you can feed mealworms both live and dried. If you are eager to find out about some different ways of feeding them, you could keep reading this article.

What are mealworms?

Mealworms are the larvae of mealworm beetles. These are some holometabolous insect types that would usually have four stages in their lifecycle. They are known as the egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages.

Mealworm's length

A mealworm is typically about 2.5 cm long.

On the other hand, an adult mealworm would be about 1.25 cm to 1.8 cm. In fact, many pet lovers tend to use mealworms as pet food to feed reptiles, birds, fish, etc. These are noninvasive species that you may come across all over the world. Mealworms, according to research findings, are friendly and rarely bite. These are not worms but larvae of the flour beetle.

Can hamsters eat live mealworms?

Live mealworms

Yes, hamsters can eat live mealworms occasionally. Usually, mealworms would not bite or hurt anyone. However, it would be best to avoid feeding live mealworms to the hamsters. In fact, some hamsters may opt to keep the mealworms in their cheeks without killing them. So this would turn out to be problematic for the hamsters in the end. So, if you are going to feed mealworms, you need to ideally crush the mealworms’ heads and then offer them to the hamsters.

In fact, when you feed live mealworms to hamsters, it acts as a great source of protein for them. Mealworms are enriched with fresh, nutritious protein, which would be quite beneficial for the hamsters. Having said that, finding live mealworms would be somewhat tough. However, if you manage to feed them live mealworms, you can be assured that they will not find it difficult to digest them. On another note, it would be more like you were replicating the way they fulfill their dietary requirements when they are in the wild.

Furthermore, when you feed mealworms to hamsters, you need to ensure that you feed them one at a time. Once you feed the mealworms, you can allow them to go back to the cage. However, ensure that they don’t keep any worms inside their cages. If they keep live mealworms burrowed in the cages, they would just perish for no reason. Not only that, but it would also result in a buildup of bacteria in the pet’s cage as well.

If you suspect that they are keeping those live mealworms in their cheeks, I suggest you crush their heads and then let them eat. In addition to that, when you obtain mealworms, make sure that you obtain them from a reputed seller. Furthermore, they are available for purchase online. Ensure that you obtain them in the required amount only, unless they grow up to be beetles.

Can hamsters eat dead mealworms?

Dead mealworms

I recommend feeding dead mealworms to the hamsters. I strongly advise all inexperienced hamster owners to use this method. That being said, if you are an experienced hamster owner, you could try feeding them live mealworms.

Can hamsters eat dry mealworms?

Yes, it is fine to feed dry mealworms to the hamsters. In fact, if you want to make the hamsters’ diet more interesting, consider feeding dry mealworms to the hamsters. As the name implies, these are dried mealworms. Keep in mind that these are not that healthy when compared with the live mealworms. However, they would provide some amount of protein or vitamins for the hamsters.

In addition to that, you could easily store the dried mealworms, and they would last for a longer period too. So, if you want to keep some stock of mealworms to feed hamsters, I suggest you go ahead with dried mealworms. You can easily find dried mealworms in pet stores.

However, make sure that you go through their ingredient list before you make any purchases. In fact, chances are that some of the dried mealworms may contain salt or any other chemicals that would turn out to be fatal to the hamsters. On another note, you can even get your local vet doctor’s opinion on whether he will recommend any particular brand of dried mealworms.

Nutrient Value of mealworms

Health benefits of nutrients which are found in mealworms

There are numerous health benefits to feeding mealworms to the hamsters. To start off, mealworms would be a great source of protein for the hamsters. Those protein contents would help the hamsters grow healthily and vigorously. Not only that, but mealworms would also contain fatty acids.

Fatty acids are a crucial element that would be beneficial for cardiovascular health as well as overall mood. However, it is best to feed mealworms only as an occasional treat since they contain high fat levels. To be more precise, you can feed mealworms once every few days. In addition to that, you need to feed mealworms in small amounts when you first introduce them to the hamsters. Once you feed them, observe them closely and see how they react to it.

Apart from protein and fatty acids, mealworms contain iron as well. Iron is required for the bodies of hamsters to function properly. Lastly, mealworms contain potassium too. Potassium is an important element that would be quite useful for the hamster’s blood.

Health risks (disadvantages) of mealworms

In addition to the aforesaid health-related benefits, hamsters may suffer from health risks from feeding mealworms. However, these risks may mainly arise from either oversupplying mealworms or feeding them incorrectly. To name some examples, if you overfeed mealworms, chances are that the hamsters may experience nutritional imbalances. Hamsters prefer to feed on a wide array of foods. So, if you keep feeding them mealworms only, it would result in nutritional imbalances.

If you choose live mealworms to feed the hamsters, chances are that they may end up biting the hamsters. It would ultimately result in health-related issues. Lastly, there is a potential for the hamsters to choke when eating the mealworms too. This was commonly observed in dwarf hamsters.

How many mealworms to feed a hamster?

When it comes to the number of mealworms you should feed the hamsters, always keep in mind that you should provide this as a treat only. Mealworms contain many fats. As a result, if you continue to feed these on a regular basis, the hamsters will become obese. In addition, it would result in fat buildup in the hamster’s digestive system too. Furthermore, an oversupply of protein would also be problematic for the hamsters. As a result, I recommend that you feed the hamsters one or two mealworms every now and then.

On another note, keep in mind that you should select the size of the mealworms depending on the hamster’s age. For example, if you have young hamsters, I suggest you choose tiny worms. On the other hand, if you have larger worms, it would be best to go ahead with worms that are somewhat larger.

How often should I feed my hamster mealworms?

When it comes to the frequency of feeding the hamsters mealworms, it would thoroughly depend on the hamsters’ age. That said, generally, you can feed about one or two mealworms twice or even three times a week. On another note, I suggest you refrain from feeding mealworms to the baby hamsters. The reason for that is because the mealworms’ thick exoskeleton would result in digestive issues for them.

Best Mealworms for Hamsters

You should ideally go for small mealworms, which are specifically designed to feed small pets. It is noteworthy that not all mealworms are equal, as some are better than others. So, the mealworms that are available to feed the small pets are smaller in size. More importantly, they also comprise less fat.

Mealworms for larger animals typically have higher fat levels than those for smaller animals. Furthermore, you should always use pesticide-free mealworms to feed the hamsters. Not surprisingly, pesticides would be harmful to the hamsters. So, it is safer to choose mealworms that are free from pesticides. In a nutshell, you should always go for small, pesticide-free mealworms to feed the hamsters.

Where to get mealworms from?

If someone is wondering where they can get mealworms, you could easily purchase them from local pet stores or even online as well. That way, you can rely on the fact that those mealworms are trustworthy. That way, you can avoid any potential effect that may take place. Always, you need to buy clean, healthy mealworms so that you can avoid any unnecessary issues that could arise.

On another note, how about harvesting mealworms directly from your backyard or from farms? If you manage to do this, you can be sure that they are healthy and nutritious as well. However, you could do this only if you are patient. In addition to that, you should be able to put some effort into doing this as well.

How To Feed Mealworms to Hamsters

The best way to feed mealworms to hamsters would be with your hands.

Feed mealworms

Since you are now aware of the benefits of feeding mealworms to the hamsters, it would be worth knowing the right way to feed the mealworms. So, as aforesaid, you need to feed them using their hands. If you are doing it for the first time, you will find it a little tricky. However, once you keep doing this, you will be able to do this quite easily. So, let’s find out in detail how you should do it.

First, take one or two mealworms and place them between your fingers. I suggest you get a hold of them close to the head so that they will find it easy to eat those mealworms. Now you can gently place the mealworms in the hamster’s mouth. If the hamsters don’t seem to be eating, try placing them in the food bowl. Once they finish eating, ensure that you remove the uneaten mealworms.

Keep following this process. However, if they still don’t want to eat the mealworms, I suggest you sprinkle some of them on their food. Make sure that you don’t overfeed them, as that would turn out to be unhealthy for them. So, that is about it, and feeding them mealworms is quite easy when you get used to it. Once your hamsters get the hang of eating the mealworms, they will love it.

Can hamsters eat mealworm pupa?

Mealworms Pupa

Certainly yes. You can serve mealworm pupa to the hamsters. Pupa is more like the non-feeding form of the mealworm beetle. They are inactive and resting at this stage. Pupa shell is not that hard. As such, your hamsters can digest the mealybug pupa quite easily. Hamsters are fond of eating slimy food. However, when you purchase these, ensure that you purchase from a trustworthy seller.

Even though you can feed mealworm pupa, it would not give the same benefits as feeding the hamsters with ordinary mealworms. In fact, mealworm pups contain less protein levels and less nutrients when compared with the mealworms.

Can hamsters eat worms?

Worms

Yes, hamsters can eat worms. In fact, they love feeding on a wide array of insects. These are omnivores and would prefer some protein in their diet. So, in addition to earthworms they would prefer to eat earthworms, flies, crickets, termites etc.

Can hamsters eat super worms?

Superworms are a variety of darkling beetle larvae. They are a typical and well-liked food for all kinds of animals. Because of the superworm’s powerful bite, it is occasionally necessary to smash the head before giving it to any pets.

And yes, hamsters can eat superworms, and many hamsters like them. However, make it an occasional treat rather than daily food.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can hamsters eat mealworm beetles?

Mealworm beetle

The answer is no. Hamsters cannot eat mealworm beetles. Mealworm beetles usually have rich protein levels. That said, they would contain low fat levels. However, I don’t recommend you allow your hamsters to eat the mealworm beetles, and it would be best if you could avoid serving those. Having said that, there could be some hamsters who are big fans of munching on mealworm beetles as they have crispy shells as well as a crunchy texture. However, don’t ever try to feed the mealworm beetles.

Final words

So, is it okay to serve mealworms to the hamsters? Yes, you can feed them mealworms, but in moderation only. In addition to that, you need to ensure that you prepare them in the right way as well. They contain so many benefits. So if you feed them in the right quantities, it would be beneficial for the hamsters. So, experiment with feeding mealworms to the hamsters and see what happens. I am certain that they will love it!

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