Parakeets are among the most exciting parrot species that you can keep as pets. Further, their popularity and affordability make them the most kept pet birds by far. If you have budgies, no doubt you find them friendly. But, there’s something that troubles many who love budgie-keeping; what foods should they eat? It can be challenging to understand what they can eat and which foodstuff is safe for them. Do you face such tricky scenarios? Don’t worry anymore; there are several experts ready to help you, and happily, this blog will discuss what to feed budgies. In particular, can Parakeets budgie eat grapes? Read on to find out more.
Parakeets and Grapes Eating
Let’s begin by budgies and grapes. In the wild, your feathered friends undoubtedly search for and feed on several fruits. Some people have had concerns about the safety of grapes. First, remember that tamed Parakeets are no different from those undomesticated. This means that if they consume fruits, including grapes in the wild, they can when domesticated.
Next, knowing why they should eat grapes or not can help in answering our context question. Why would you want to give them grapes? These fruits contain minerals like Manganese, Copper, and Potassium that are essential for every organism, including all birds. Further, they’re a rich source of Vitamins A, C, and K which promote proper health.
Why wouldn’t some bird-keepers want to give their budgies grapes? While they are beneficial, grapes contain high fruit-sugar levels called fructose that could cause obesity and other problems. This makes them very sweet and lovable to the pets, but as we’ll discuss below, sugar is one of the elements to avoid in your friends’ diet.
Can They Eat Grapes?
So, with two opposing facts mentioned above, can you feed Parakeets grapes? Yes, you can, and it’s very safe to do so. These fun fruits aren’t toxic in any way, and most budgie owners find their feathered friends liking them much more than others. Even so, give them in moderation as excessive consumption can be risky. Try providing them from time to time, not regularly. Some experts recommend giving grapes once weekly as a healthy delicacy and restricting the number to one or two small grapes.
What else should Budgies Eat?
Apart from grapes, what else can constitute the Parakeets diet? Since they are varied wild foragers, variety is vital to a healthy diet. Like other birds, a standard diet of seed can do, but there’s no limit to that. Seeds are nourishing, but should only comprise a portion of the diet as they’re high in fat. We, humans, need a balanced diet with various nutritious foods to keep us healthy and provide essential vitamins, so do Parakeets. Here’s a list of what you should provide for them:
These should form a small portion of their diet as they’re rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants favorable for the skin. There are several fruits that Parakeets can be given without safety worries. These may include; – oranges, apples, bananas, mango, melons, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, blackberries, and apricots. Each of these should be given only raw and fresh. It’s advisable to feed these sparingly to your budgie. Take care not to let uneaten fruits stay in the cage for long as they can attract flies and make your buddies sick. Remove them within two hours of feeding time.
Dehydrated fruits like dried grapes, mango, or raisins can also be fed to the pets. They tend to enjoy dried fruits more because of the smooth texture easier to eat and increased sweetness. This fruit version is also a perfect option if you can’t acquire fresh ones regularly. Even so, the use of preservatives in dried fruits might be bad for the budgies. Ensure you give them only little amounts to prevent health issues.
Leafy vegetables are known to contain lots of vitamins, and that’s why they should be in your friend’s diet. Vitamins like A, B, C, E, and K are all found in different vegetables. Salad vegetables like lettuce, beetroot, and cucumber are among the best you can offer. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spring greens, cabbage, peas, and green beans are also perfect. Ensure that beans are cooked to prevent toxicity. Give a mixture of only fresh vegetables, and they shouldn’t be more than 20% of the diet or 3/4 cup each day.
Pellets or Seed Mix
Pellets are very appropriate and should form a constant daily foodstuff for budgies. They should constitute approximately 70% of the diet. Though new to most budgies, they are nutritious and will help these dear ones keep healthy.
When introducing pellets, be patient, and do it slowly as budgies can have problems adapting to unknown feeding. With time, try and increase the number you give them while minimizing other foodstuffs. Most pellets are fortified with necessary vitamins and minerals making them better than all other food options. Choosing an appropriate one for budgies is crucial; avoid pellets with artificial preservatives. Give them out in small quantity, preferably a tablespoon per day can suffice.
Seeds are also a significant addition to Parakeets meals. They should not be given only in little amounts as they have high energy content. The fat and carbohydrates levels are elevated, which might cause weight gain. Sprinkle a bit of them on the daily pellets to boost the nutritional value and prevent overfeeding. Be cautious when selecting a seed mix to ascertain the energy content in the mixture and the freshness. Seeds like flax, sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, and rapeseed should be used scarcely or avoided for their high-fat content.
Nuts and Legumes
Parakeets are nut-lovers and providing that in their diet is a great treat. Nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, and pistachios are an excellent supplement to the pellets. Brazilian nut shouldn’t be provided, not even in tiny amounts. Before giving out these foods, ensure you remove the shells and cut them in pieces to ease swallowing.
Legumes are high in proteins and are also suitable for budgies. Like others, do not feed them huge amounts to avoid health issues that may arise. Most preferred ones are; – peas (green, yellow, or black-eyed), lentils, and beans. Please, do not give these while raw as that can be toxic to your buddies. Other appropriate sources of proteins could be mealworms, hard-boiled eggs, or meat like a chicken. Thoroughly cook them before serving the birds.
This is the best source of calcium for pets. Besides the broccoli or calcium treated food, cuttlefish bone is an excellent option. For healthy bones, get your budgie this meal. Not only are they useful in bone formation, but also keeping beaks and claws neatly trimmed. Budgies also enjoy gnawing on them.
What Foods Should You Avoid?
It might appear as if Parakeets can feed on everything. That’s not true; there are numerous things you shouldn’t give them. If your friends are feeding on them, don’t hesitate to act. Even among the above acceptable foods, there are those considered toxic and must be avoided. Some of these are:
Avocado. This is a no-go zone for whatever circumstance you might face. It contains a harmful fungicidal toxin called persin, which is dangerous for birds. It can lead to a heart defect, tiredness, weakness, and breathing difficulty.
Sugar and salt
Anything containing high sodium or sugar content is disastrous. That’s why even when roasting carrots or boiling beans, we don’t season with salt. Sugar can cause obesity, while salt can bring about fluid or electrolyte imbalance, resulting in constant dehydration and kidney.
Excess chocolate, even in humans, is harmful. Birds get affected even with little amounts, thus should not be included in their diet. Caffeine is known to be a toxic element in this product and can cause elevated heartbeats, hyperactivity, seizures, and death.
Though you can give small amounts, avoiding it is the best alternative. The fruit/vegetable contains a toxin called tomatine that can lead to severe health problems. Why do humans eat tomato if it’s harmful? The answer is simple; we’re humans and budgies are birds. The tomatine concentration doesn’t affect us as compared to budgies.
Onion and garlic
The thiosulphate in these bulb plants is dangerous to all animals. Slight ingestion can result in gastroenteritis, stomach and intestine inflammations, and hemolytic anemia. All these conditions can lead to death in pets.
Fruit pits and apple seeds
Some fruits like cherries, plums, peaches, and apricots contain fruit pits that should be removed before feeding your Parakeets. These parts include a poisonous substance called cyanide that can be debilitating. The same is valid for apple seeds. Even wild Parakeets do not consume these fruit components.
Can be offered to budgies but there are claims to avoid them. Some species should not be fed to budgies at all. Even cooking cannot help reduce the danger.
Limes and lemons contain citric acid that is unsuitable for budgies. The acid can cause stomach upsets. Prevention they say is better than a cure.
Helpful Suggestions for Feeding Budgies
Undoubtedly, you may have begun to see the trickiness of keeping these birds as pets. If you’re new into bird-keeping, don’t give up. The only major challenge you might have is feeding budgies; the other things will be smooth. Take care of their stomach, and they do so to your social and fun life. Try these feeding tips for your budgies:
- Cultivate patience. Just like you require tolerance when giving a child food, do so for these budgies. Especially when introducing a new food, be patient. They can be picky and show disinterest requiring that you do it slowly and persistently. Don’t force them to eat, instead leave the new meal in the cage so they can taste it by themselves.
- Every food should be offered in bite-size. Giving an entire carrot or mango, for instance, will not suit the bird’s small throat and size. Spare them the hustle of breaking it down by chopping up the food into small pieces for easy eating.
- Feed them with variety. Look for various fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts that are recommended and give them in turn from time to time. Each budgie has preferences, find out which are their favorite and which ones aren’t. Remember to get them used to eat a variety, even if they have a pleasant meal.
- Give raw, fresh fruits and vegetables, mostly if applicable. Dried or cooked ones can also be provided, especially for those fruits with harmful components. If cooked, allow cooling before serving them.
- Fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed before serving them to budgies. This assists in removing any chemicals that they might contain.
- Remove any uneaten food from the cage. Most meals served while fresh tend to spoil quickly if not properly stored. When this happens, bacteria can find a breeding spot and endanger your little friend.
- All meals should be given in small proportions with pellets forming the most significant percentage of whatever is provided to the budgies. You should majorly give fruits and vegetables as treats.
- Be observant as to your pets’ health. If you realize that some foods affect them, eliminate them from the diet. Parakeets have a sensitive digestive tract and any unfavorable ingestion can be lethal. Check with your veterinarian if you notice strange signs that weren’t there before feeding them a particular foodstuff.
The Bottom Line
Nothing worries a pet lover as what his/her favorite friend will eat. Some of these animals and budgies are too delicate and requires proper know how to care for. If you have budgies, the above discussion was meant for you. You can easily feed them by applying the tips listed in this blog. The secret is to consistently and regularly provide a variety of foodstuff throughout the week. Doing so will keep them healthy and ensure that they eat a balanced diet. It’s significant also to know that budgies can eat grapes, contrary to some opinions against that!