List 13 of Foods Parakeets Can Eat (And What They Shouldn’t)
People all over the world keep parakeets, which are also called budgies, as pets. Even though they are small and sensitive to some things, especially certain foods, they are pretty easy to take care of.
If you’re thinking about getting a pet bird, you’ve probably asked yourself one of the following questions:
What food do parakeets eat? What should I give my parakeet to eat? If so, you’ve come to the right place, because this post has answers to these and many other questions.
What do parakeets eat?
There are a few things that a parakeet should never eat, but we’ll talk about those later in this essay. As a general rule, you shouldn’t give your pet birds food made for people, even if they like to nibble on it.
Also, when it comes to the best diet for parakeets, a little bit of everything goes a long way. Because of this, a small amount of everything makes for a healthy and varied list of foods for parakeets.
How many seeds do parakeets eat every day? Rarely will a budgie eat more than 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of seeds at a time.
Seeds don’t have all the nutrients that your birds need, so they can’t replace the vitamins, minerals, and protein that they get from foods like vegetables and legumes.
Here are some seeds that parakeets can eat (keeping in mind that an all-seed diet is a no-go).
- Millet seeds
- Sunflower seeds (should be fed rarely as they’re rich in fat)
- Safflower seeds
- Canary seeds
Any kind of parakeet shouldn’t just eat seeds. They can run out of vitamins and minerals and have health problems like dermatitis and problems with their bones.
If you’re away from home and don’t know what to feed your parakeets, pellets can be a great way to get out of a jam. You can put pellets in the parakeet feeder so your birds won’t go hungry while you’re at work.
Since most pellets are made of grains, you should know that they don’t replace the other foods you have to give your parakeets. Even if it’s just a little bit, they need fresh fruit, seeds, nuts, and vegetables every day.
So, pellets are a good option when you’re not at home, but they aren’t very nutritious, so you shouldn’t rely on them too much.
What should I feed my parakeet if I’m out of pellets and seeds? You can give them nuts to eat. Nuts have antioxidants and omega-3 essential fatty acids, but they also have some bad things about them, just like other food groups.
Here is a list of nuts that your parakeets can eat:
The mould is most likely to grow on peanuts. If the mould didn’t make poison, it wouldn’t be as dangerous.
Moldy peanuts don’t make us sick because our bodies are big enough to handle the toxin and get rid of it without it making us sick or even killing us.
The body of a parakeet is nothing like that of a person. They are much smaller and more fragile, so even mildly dangerous things can kill them. Nuts are good for your parakeet to eat, but you should never give it peanuts.
Also, learn how to tell if nuts have mildew so you can only feed the safest nuts to your parakeets.
You could also give them a mix of nuts that has already been put together as a reward.
What kinds of fruits can budgies eat? There are a lot of them, but just like with vegetables, you have to make sure they are safe.
If you can, buy organic fruit at a grocery store or farmer’s market. Don’t give parakeets too many fruits; they should only eat 5–10% of their daily food as fruits.
Here are some fruits that your birds can eat without getting sick.
You can also give your parakeets cherries, apricots, and other fruits with pits or seeds, but you need to take them out first. They can cause choking, so you should stay away from them at all costs.
Dried fruits for parakeets are an option if you need a quick answer or just don’t want to chop the fruits.
When it comes to what to feed a budgie, vegetables are one of the safest choices. They aren’t as sweet as fruits, but you still need to be careful.
Even though parakeets should eat leafy greens, some of them may contain a lot of pesticides (such as spinach, for example).
Before giving your birds a new type of vegetable, you should always do some research. You can talk to other people who have parakeets in online communities or talk to your vet if you’re worried.
Here are some safe vegetables to feed your budgies.
- Small amounts of cabbage
All of these vegetables are tasty, but you should only eat them in small amounts. Due to their high water content, some vegetables might make your stomach hurt if you eat a lot of them.
When it comes to giving parakeets grains, there are many different opinions. Grains don’t have as many vitamins and minerals as some of the other foods you can feed your budgies, and they don’t have as much protein as legumes.
But if you notice that your pet birds like grains, you can give them grains as rewards. Some people give their budgerigars bread because it seems to be something they enjoy. But not all kinds of bread are good for parakeets.
If you want to feed your parakeets grains, cooked oats might be a better and healthier choice.
Here is a list of the grains that parakeets can eat:
Because parakeets are curious birds that like to poke their beaks and tongues into new things, it’s fun to give them new things to nibble on now and then.
You can use a store-bought treat or millet spray, or you can add small amounts of cooked wholemeal pasta or cooked brown rice (with no salt added to the cooking water), nuts (almond, Brazil, cashew, filbert, macadamia, pecan, pistachio, and walnut), a little dried fruit (see the note about dried fruit for parakeets above), and even some dried mealworms, the kind you feed to garden birds that eat
Small pieces of cooked meat or fish are also fine, as are diced hard-boiled eggs. Serve none of them raw, and throw away any food that has been sitting out for a few hours.
Parakeets don’t eat bugs when they are out in the wild. Aviary birds may start to like them, which isn’t a problem unless you think they’re eating too much of this high-protein, unusual food. If you keep your birds inside, you don’t need to give them any of this food from outside.
Vitamins and minerals
When talking about what parakeets should eat, vitamins and minerals are very important. They can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables, which is why pellets and seeds are not enough to feed your budgies.
If parakeets don’t get enough vitamins and minerals, they can have a number of health problems. Most of the time, they lose their colour and become less active.
Some parakeets may show signs of neurosis if they don’t get enough vitamins and minerals. Most of the time, this can be fixed by taking a vitamin B complex.
If you don’t get enough vitamin A, you might have trouble seeing. Talk to your vet about what vitamins you should give your pair of parakeets.
What do parakeets drink?
Not only should you think about what your parakeets eat, but you should also think about what they drink. You should only give parakeets water. You shouldn’t give them soda, beer, or any other alcoholic drink. All of these can put them in danger.
Make sure the waterer works so that your parakeets have enough clean water to drink all day. If you want to change things up, you could try a tea made just for parrots.
If you think your tap water has a lot of chlorine in it or doesn’t come from a safe source, you should give your parakeets bottled water instead. Use soap and water to clean the waterer every day or every other day.
A well-balanced diet for a parakeet
Balanced parakeet diet
Even though budgies are pretty open to trying new foods, they can’t eat too much of one thing and not enough of another.
That means you shouldn’t only give your budgies seeds or pellets. Since parakeets eat everything from insects to grass seeds in the wild, it is important for them to have a varied diet.
What else can birds eat besides bird seed? Here’s a daily example of the “best food for parakeets.”
- Vegetables – 20% of the diet
- Fruits – 5% of the diet
- Pellets or a mix of pellets and seeds – up to 75% of the diet
- Treats – millet spray or honey sticks once a month
- Water – changed every day
- Legumes – up to 10% of the diet
Legume can be added as cooked lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans, or split peas, all of which are high in protein. Birds can also get important fatty acids from nuts.
Other Foods Appropriate for Pet Parakeets
Parakeets can eat a wide range of human foods, some of which you might not have thought of:
Pellets: Pellets are another important part of a parakeet’s diet. Buy a good bird pellet from a pet store or your vet. The ones at the grocery store have artificial colours, tastes, and preservatives that are bad for a bird.
Protein: A parakeet can get protein from the seeds it eats, but it can also get protein from hard-boiled eggs, tuna packed in water, and other cooked meats like chicken. Just make sure the meat is cooked all the way through before giving it to your feathered friend.
Corn is another high-protein food that can be eaten raw or cooked. If you want to give your bird extra protein in these ways, keep in mind that parakeets should only get about a fingertip’s worth of fresh protein every two weeks.
Don’t forget that if your parakeet lived in the wild, it would eat things like bugs and worms that are high in protein.
Adding a small amount of protein to its seed diet will make up for it.
Putting food in a baby’s mouth Can you give a baby animal food? Some parakeet owners might choose to feed their birds baby food (as long as it is made from all natural ingredients and contains vegetables). If you don’t have any fresh vegetables on hand, this can help.
Bread: Small pieces of whole-grain bread can be given to your bird. Sweet bread might have things in it that are bad for parakeets, so stick to whole-grain bread instead. Dried buns or rusks can be added to bread to make it more interesting (twice-baked bread).
It keeps your bird’s beak and claws in good shape and gives them calcium and other nutrients that are hard for them to get in other ways. Just hang it in their cage and let them chew on it.
What do parakeets eat in the wild?
When they are in the wild, what do budgies eat? Budgies in the wild are omnivores, so they will eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
If given the chance, they will also eat seeds and bugs. They have to make do with what they can find in their natural habitat (Australia).
What do wild parakeets eat when there is nothing else to eat? Even in this situation, they come up with new ideas. Most parakeets migrate, which means they move around to find food.
If that is not possible, they will eat anything, from grass seeds thrown on lawns to whatever fruit or vegetable is in season.
What do young parakeets eat when they are out in the wild? You’d have to give your parakeet’s parents soft foods like cooked rice or boiled lentils at home so they can feed their young. In the wild, their parents will mostly feed them fruit, but they will also give them bugs.
How often do parakeets eat?
Since you now know what parakeets should eat, you can feed your budgies the right things. Whether it’s seeds or fresh fruit and vegetables, everything should be the right size for your bird. Parakeets are small, so cutting things up into small pieces will make it easier for them to eat.
If you want to feed your parakeets something new, you should first do research to make sure it is safe. If you can’t find the information you need online, talk to your vet. Pellets should be the main thing your pet birds eat, but you can give them seeds sometimes and in small amounts.
How can I get my parrot to eat vegetables and fruits? They are very important because they have a lot of vitamins and minerals, but it will be hard to get your parakeets to try them. Try as many safe fruits and vegetables as you can, and learn not to say no.
The feeder and waterer for your budgies should be as clean as possible, so take a few minutes every day to sterilize them. Put a cuttlebone or a mineral block in the cage so that your birds can peck at them to get the minerals they need.
Does my bird need gravel or grit?
Pigeons and doves need grit or gravel to help them digest their food. But this is just because they eat seeds without taking the hull off first.
People used to think that adding gravel or grit to a parakeet’s food would help it digest.
This is a complete myth, and if you’ve had parakeets for a while, you’ve probably noticed that they make a bit of a mess when they eat because they take the shell off the seeds before swallowing the kernel.
If you feed your pet bird grit or gravel, it could cause kidney problems, problems with the nervous system, and diarrhea in your parakeet.
When budgies eat too much grit, they can get blockages in their stomachs. This is dangerous and could kill your budgies, so don’t give them grit.
Snacks and Treats for Parakeets
Like people and other animals, parakeets like getting gifts now and then. You can help your parakeet get better in many ways, such as:
Peanut butter is a great way to get nutrients, and parakeets love to snack on it. Spread some on a piece of celery and give it to your bird friend.
Pasta: Birds love both raw and cooked pasta! They have carbs, which give a bird more energy. Mix spaghetti with the vegetables your parakeet likes.
For birds that like to crunch, you can give them raw macaroni noodles with nut butter on top. Make sure any cooked pasta fed to the animal is cool.
Honey: Honey is preferred by parakeets because it is sweet.Honey has a lot of calories, so you should only use it on rare occasions.
Millet is a type of grass with very small seeds. Animals and birds have always liked them. Spray millet, which looks like corn on the cob or a stick covered in fake strawberries, and white proso millet are also popular with birds.
Spray millet can make a mess if it is attached to the inside of the cage. One way to keep it from making a mess is to hang it from the roof of the cage.
It’s important to make sure your parakeet eats regularly. They might want to trade seeds for treats, but that’s not healthy.
If a child eats too many sweets, they may get hyper or have stomach problems, and the extra calories may cause them to gain weight.
Some of these treats, like honey and millet, are just sugar and calories and don’t have any nutritional value. If you eat too many of them, you could gain weight and have other health problems.
Most Toxic Foods for Parakeets
Chocolate: You’ve probably heard that chocolate is bad for dogs, and you’ve probably also heard that it’s bad for parakeets.
Onion and garlic: Both onions and garlic have thiosulfate, which is harmful to animals. If a pet eats these foods, it can get hemolytic anemia, which causes red blood cells to break, and gastroenteritis, which is inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Comfrey is a plant that has small, bell-shaped blooms that are purple or magenta in color. Studies on people have shown that this herb can hurt the liver.
Avocados have a toxin called persin, which kills fungi and is very dangerous to birds, especially smaller ones. Persin can hurt the heart, make it hard to breathe, make you feel weak, or even kill you.
Apple Pits and Seeds: Apple fruit is good for pet birds, but apple seeds are poisonous, so they should never be given to a bird. Cherry pits, plum pits, apricot pits, and peach pits all have cyanide in them, so don’t give them to your bird to chew on.
Meals High in Fat, Sodium, and Sugar: These high amounts of table foods are not poisonous, but they can cause serious health problems in birds. When a bird eats too much salt, it can throw off the balance of its electrolytes and fluids.
This can lead to excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney failure, and death. For example, if you are roasting carrots or potatoes in the oven, don’t add any seasoning to them.
Sugar-free candy has xylitol in it, which has been linked to serious low blood sugar and liver damage.
Certain plants: Birds can eat potatoes, peppers, and eggplants, but the plants themselves can be dangerous. The oxalate crystals in the leaves of the rhubarb plant can cause problems with the kidneys.
Non-Toxic, but Not Recommended, Foods Parakeets Should Avoid
Even though the law doesn’t say that the following things are poisonous to birds, you should avoid them or only give them very small amounts:
Don’t eat mouldy peanuts or peanut products because they might contain a fungus that is poisonous.
Dairy: Birds don’t have an enzyme that helps break down lactose. Even though dairy is not dangerous in and of itself, birds can get diarrhea if they eat a lot of it. Some cheeses and yogurts, like lean curd cheese, don’t have much or any lactose, but you should still eat them in moderation.
Mushrooms: Pets can eat mushrooms that are healthy for people. But don’t give false morels (or Gyromitra) mushrooms to your bird, and don’t eat them yourself either. Cooking these mushrooms can make them less dangerous, but it won’t make them safe to eat.
Grit: When parakeets don’t feel well, they may eat too much grit, which can cause their intestines to get blocked.
Crackers: Some crackers have grain, which is 90% of a parakeet’s diet, but neither people nor birds can get any nutrition from them. There are a lot of different things you could feed your bird that would be better.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are not good for your parakeet because they have a lot of acid in them. There are some exceptions, like dried tomatoes and spaghetti sauce, where the acid is taken out of the food while it is being made.
What human food can parakeets eat?
What should I feed my parakeet if I run out of bird food? Be careful about giving your pet bird people food, like chips or pretzels, because they can be high in salt and pose a serious health risk to your parakeet.
Lastly, just because your parakeet pair is interested in what you eat every day does not mean that your meal is a healthy option for pet birds. Getting a combination of seeds and pellets in bulk can help you avoid this problem in the future.
If you aren’t sure what to feed your parakeet, you should always talk to your vet first.
Tips for Feeding Your Pet Parakeet
Try giving your parakeet a variety of foods to find out what they like, what they don’t like, and what their favourite foods are.
Don’t forget to feed your bird in small amounts. Parakeets are small, feathered birds that usually weigh between 25 and 35 grams (0.8 and 1 ounce).
If you give them a whole head of broccoli or even a slice of apple, it will be hard for them to break it up and eat it.
Cut up their food so they can eat it easily and save them the trouble.
One way to find out what your bird likes to eat is to give it a bowl full of different fruits.
At the end of the day, take out any fruit that hasn’t been eaten so it doesn’t go bad. Give them what they want if they only want to eat some of the food.
If your parakeet eats the same thing every day, it might get bored. To keep things interesting, give it a fruit kabob or hang some fruit inside its cage.
Parakeets also like warm fruit, so warm up their food before giving it to them.
If you give your bird cooked food, let it cool down first. Human food is served hot, and while we can handle a certain amount of heat, parakeets can get badly burned.
Keep your bird away from your food so it doesn’t eat something it shouldn’t.
If you want to eat with your bird, teach it to eat from its own small plate so it doesn’t eat from yours.
Are there any foods that are normally healthy that become do-not-feed for birds in certain conditions?
Birds with avian gastric yeast may or may not be able to eat fruit, depending on how they are treated. Consult your veterinarian about the best bird food to avoid accidentally feeding them the wrong thing.
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