Budgies, also known as parakeets, are a small breed of parrot that are native to Australia, and make great pets. They have a pleasant temperament and are a great addition to most households as companion animals. Like any other pet, budgies need proper nutrition to be as happy and healthy as possible, and to ensure they live to their full potential.
Here’s a guide on how to feed your budgie. This guide includes what you should and shouldn’t feed your budgie to ensure it is receiving the best possible care.
A budgie’s natural diet
In the wild, budgies eat seeds from various types of grass, as well as various berries, fruits, and other plant matter. A general rule when deciding on what to feed your budgie is to follow their natural diet as closely as possible. This is because budgies have adapted to eating these foods, so deviating from this diet could cause health problems. An imbalanced or unnatural diet could lead to vitamin deficiencies or obesity.
Natural budgie diets tend to change with the seasons and depend on what foods are available throughout the year. Budgies eat around 5 varieties of seeds as a staple, generally eating 2 types of seed at any given point in the year. They supplement this with fruits and berries to ensure they meet all their nutritional needs. Because of this, a pet budgie may develop a taste for certain kinds of seeds in store-bought seed mixes. It is important to pay attention to what seeds your budgie is avoiding and adjust their diet if necessary.
Budgie diets tend to be high in carbohydrates and fat due to seeds making up the majority of their diet. Because seeds lack protein and many essential vitamins and minerals, it is important to supplement your budgie’s diet with fruits and vegetables. Seed mixes are a great base for your budgie’s diet but shouldn’t be relied upon for their nutrition as it can lead to poor health and even a shorter lifespan.
Choosing the best diet for your budgie
The ideal diet should comprise of around 20-25% fresh fruits and vegetables, with the remaining 75-80% being seeds and/or pellet mixes. Vegetables such as corn, broccoli or carrots, fruits such as apples, pears, peaches and grapes, and seeds such as sunflower seeds, millet seeds and canary seeds are some examples of healthy foods for pet budgies. A diet such as the suggestion above will provide all the required vitamins, mineral and other nutrients your budgie needs to thrive. All vegetables, greens and fruits should be washed before feeding them to your budgie, and fresh water should be available to them at all times.
If you are confused about what seeds to feed your budgie, most commercial seed and pellet mixes are affordable and are an easy way to ensure you’re feeding your budgie correctly. If your budgie is picky with what seeds it eats, a seed mix combined with budgie pellets is a good staple diet. If ever in doubt, ask a veterinarian or bird specialist for advice.
What not to feed your budgie
There are some foods that aren’t suitable for budgies and should be avoided. While some of these simply offer no nutritional value, others are toxic and can kill your budgie.
Avocado, fruit seeds, chocolate, caffeine and alcohol should never be fed to budgies as they are extremely toxic to them. Budgies have not adapted to eating these foods, meaning their stomachs and other internal organs are unable to process them. Even small amounts of these foods will make your budgie extremely ill and you should avoid them at all costs.
Other foods you shouldn’t feed your budgie include pale vegetables with a high-water content, such as lettuce and celery. These foods offer very little nutritional value and can lead to weight loss and malnutrition if ingested instead of healthy fruits and vegetables.
Always trust the experts
As a general rule, you should never feed your budgie a new food if you aren’t sure it’s safe for them. If in doubt about a certain food, do not feed it to your budgie until you have consulted a veterinarian or bird specialist for advice. Diarrhea, discolored stools and appetite loss are signs your budgie may have eaten something it shouldn’t have, and you should immediately contact a veterinarian.