A lot has been discussed on what to feed your pet dog or cat and the pet parents know every single detail about it by heart. What is good and what is bad for the most common four-legged pets are on the tips of every pet lover. But what about the most famous bird pet who is, coincidentally, also the third-in-line.
Can a budgie be fed a diet of just any other pet? Or all that he needs is some grains or seeds, just like we do with the birds coming daily to our backyards? Many people have the misconception that birds do not need anything special to eat and can be fed about almost anything for survival. But it is baseless as an improper and unbalanced diet can lead to serious health issues in them. So, before adopting this little budgie, knowing his dietary needs is the best way to keep him healthy for long.
Best Foods for Budgies
No single food is perfect for budgies as they can’t have every kind of vitamins, minerals, proteins, or essential fats. Hence, a little of everything is the best way to go.
Seeds are a must for budgies and should constitute about a sixth portion of his daily feed. But feeding him only seeds thinking it to have all the essential nutrients is the biggest mistake most of the budgie parents commit. Feeding seeds in excess shortens the lifespan of the bird along with causing him various diseases during lifetimes like obesity, cancer, or fatty liver disease.
Pellets are budgies’ staple. Consisting of a balanced nutritional profile, they are a must for the little bird. Choose a pellet mix from a high-quality brand from your local store or online. But do not forget to steer clear of the brands having preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, or sugars on their ingredient list.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are the perfect sources of all vitamins and minerals and budgies need them too in their diet albeit raw and fresh. Everything that is yellow and dark green serves the best nutrients to the bird. Pumpkin, broccoli, spinach, squash, sweet potato, mango, apple, grapes, etc., are all great options. Try serving them diced, chopped, sliced, pureed, shredded, or whole and stick to the way your bird ultimately prefers.
To keep your budgie’s feed healthy by offering him a variety, you can offer him soaked grains. Also known as ‘soft food’ among budgie parents, these can be any grains like quinoa, barley, cracked wheat or brown rice et al. Just soak it in the bird’s dish and serve it when the grains have puffed up. Add varied fruits and vegetables each time to keep him wanting more.
What not to feed your budgie?
Budgies in the wild feed mainly on fruits, vegetables, and seeds they find near the ground. They hardly eat what they aren’t supposed to. But while in captivity, we as parents, in an innocent attempt to pamper our little birdie feed him something which might be dangerous for him. Hence, it is imperative to know what budgies shouldn’t eat.
All the pitted fruits like avocado, apricot; or seeds of the fruits like apples, pear pips, etc., are toxic to the bird. Hence, remove the seeds of such fruits and avoid serving pitted fruits like dates at all.
Bird Acidic foods
Budgies’ digestive system is not strong enough to take the acidic foods lightly. Hence, it is better to avoid all the foods that are acidic like, lime, lemon, garlic, onion, alcohol, mushrooms and such fungi, etc.
Forget about this little digestive system, caffeine makes a normal human high in an instant. Hence, it is better to keep caffeinated foods away from the budgie. Coffee or chocolate shouldn’t be added in his treats in any way.
Dairy products are sometimes hard to digest for small digestive systems like that of budgies and hence, more often than not, they find it difficult to adjust it in big quantities. Avoid feeding them milk or milk products like cheese. Though using them as a topping on a treat in very small quantities is acceptable.
Any kind of meat like poultry isn’t taken well by the bird’s digestive system. But if you feel like serving him boiled eggs like many other budgie parents, check by serving small-sized treats to see if the bird takes it well. Also, keep the servings limited as excess meat can make the little bird obese.
Seafood must be totally off your budgie’s food list. Seafood like prawns or certain kinds of fish might be toxic for the bird. Also, budgies’ bodies don’t respond well to raw fish intake.
Budgies food must be naturally flavored and no salt or other spices be sprinkled on it in an attempt to make it fun. Salt is toxic for the bird.
Serving sugary treats to the bird will add tons of refined sweetness to the bird’s system. The sudden sugar rush could even be fatal for the little digestive system. So, it is better to keep all the sweets off from his diet chart.
Like other pets, birds shouldn’t be fed any man-made snacks like crackers, biscuits or cookies. And this holds for our little budgie too.
Avoid any foods that can be toxic for the bird-like green tomatoes (red tomatoes can be served though); peanuts (they fear the chance of growing a deadly fungus); honey; rhubarb; nutmeg; raw potatoes; grapefruit; beans; green parts of aubergine, etc.
While adopting budgie, we make an unsaid promise to the bird and to us to take care of him the best we can. And the very first step in that direction is serving him the healthiest food plate. So, always be careful what you put in your bird’s plate. Avoid anything you are unsure about. And to be sure on a particular food, never shy away to ask an expert avian vet.
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