Can Rabbits Eat Mealworms?

Can Rabbits Eat Mealworms?

Rabbits and Mealworms

It’s no secret that rabbits are herbivores. They’re naturally inclined to eat plants, grasses, and other green things. But what about some non-traditional plants like mealworms? Can a rabbit eat mealworms? Not intentionally at least.

An accidental bite or two probably won’t harm your rabbit, but it’s not advisable to feed them directly on mealworms. There are plenty of plants and vegetables that you can feed your rabbit in place of mealworms as an alternative source of protein. 

Here is everything you need to know about whether can rabbits and mealworms before adding them to their diet. 

Can Rabbits Eat Mealworms? 

Mealworms are an insect-based protein source that can be fed to rabbits. But, they are not suitable for human consumption, nor are they recommended for rabbits.

The larvae of the mealworm are valuable as a protein supplement for rabbits. It’s a good protein source, but it’s very high in fat and protein toxins (the same toxins your body produces when it’s being overfed).

Simply put, mealworms are not a good “food” source for rabbits. They are too fatty, and rabbits are not meant to eat too many fatty foods. It’s not good for your rabbit’s health, and it’s not good for their liver. 

 A couple of mealworms won’t hurt or affect you’re rabbit but they should never be fed intentionally and especially on a consistent basis. 

Do Rabbits Like Eating Mealworms? 

Many rabbits surprisingly enjoy and seem to like eating mealworms. This is mainly due to their plant-based diet and they enjoy eating something that’s not vegetarian every now and then.

The Risks of Feeding Mealworms to Rabbits 

Like we said above, mealworms are very high in fat and protein toxins. These toxins are produced when you eat too much of a particular food, and they can wreak havoc on your own body. Rabbits are herbivores and are not meant to eat too many fatty and meaty foods. Too much fat and meat can cause health issues for a rabbit.

This Can Include:

  • Fatty liver disease
  • Gastrointestinal Stasis
  • Soft uneaten cecotropes

Your rabbit may also accidentally eat mealworm excrement. If you feed them directly (which you should not) on the mealworm eggs and larvae, it’s not possible for them to digest the hard shell of the insect.

The same goes for accidental ingestion of mealworm feces. Even if your rabbit doesn’t accidentally eat the insect, the excrement is still harmful to them. It’s loaded with bacteria and parasites that can cause infections and liver damage. 

Are There Any Real Benefits to Feeding Mealworms to Rabbits? 

There are no real benefits to feeding mealworms to your rabbit. They are high in fat and protein toxins, and they are not healthy food for your rabbit. The meat can cause issues, especially since you’re rabbit isn’t used to it.

Alternatives to Mealworms for Rabbits 

There are many alternatives to mealworms for feeding your rabbit. You can feed them:

  • Dandelion – Dandelions are a great alternative to mealworms. They are very nutritious greens, and they are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
  • Other greens – Other greens like kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are very nutrient-divided. They are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Make sure they are not too sour, as they can be too tart for some rabbits.
  • Apple – Apples are great for rabbits. They are low in fat, high in vitamins, and loaded with fiber. – Legumes
  • Legumes – are a great alternative to mealworms. They are high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. They include black beans, pinto beans, and soybeans. – Straw – Straw is a great alternative to mealworm feed. It is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

Should I Panic if My rabbit Ate a bit of Mealworm? 

If your rabbit consumes a small amount of mealworms, you don’t need to start panicking. They are a very high-fat/high-toxin diet, so they’re not even getting close to getting all the nutrients they need from them.

You can feed your rabbit an amount of greens or fresh vegetables until the mealworm incident passes. If your rabbit is symptomatic (vomiting or diarrhea), you will need to visit the vet. Rabbits are very sensitive to toxins. If they consume a large amount of mealworms, they can experience vomiting, diarrhea and liver damage. 

What To Do If My Rabbit Ate a Mealworm? 

If your rabbit accidentally ate a small amount of mealworm, you don’t need to panic. Some rare cases include.

  • Your rabbit has consumed a large number of mealworms, it will not be able to digest these hard-shelled insects.
  • If your rabbit is not eating, you will need to force-feed them. Place them in a small plastic container, and give them a small amount of feed with a syringe every day. Mealworms can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting.

If your rabbit is experiencing any of these two scenarios call your vet immediately. 

You can also give them some fresh greens, carrots, apples, and other vegetables. This will help break down the mealworms. 


Mealworms are a high-fat, high-toxin food for your rabbit. It is not a healthy food for your rabbit, and it can cause severe health issues if your rabbit consumes too much.

There are many alternatives to mealworms for feeding your rabbit. They can be fed greens, other vegetables, fresh fruits, and legumes like black beans, pinto beans, and soybeans.

However, If your rabbit accidentally consumes a small number of mealworms, you don’t need to start panicking. 

DrWorm - Vermicomposting enthusiast and avid worm researcher for the last 25 years. Interested in what earthworms eat and how to farm and breed them. His garden wouldn't be the same without the help of mother nature's finest fertilizers!