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Budgie Diet Questions and Concerns

Talk about bird illnesses and other bird health related issues. Seeds, pellets, fruits, vegetables and more. Discuss what to feed your birds and in what quantity. Share your recipe ideas.

Budgie Diet Questions and Concerns

Postby Georginia » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:39 pm

I'm currently trying to get my birds to eat fruit and veggies. And I just have some questions concerning their diet. I know so far they need the following in their diet:

Pellets
Veggies
Fruits
And other stuff like rice, etc.

Here are my questions:

1. Should a tiny bit of seed also be included in their diet daily, or should it even be given at all (and if so, how often)?
2. Is the food like rice and other stuff NEEDED in their diet? Of course, I'll try to deliver this food to them if I can whenever I can, but I don't want to constantly have to give it to them unless I have to. If it is needed, how often should I give it to them and how much?
3. I'm thinking of serving a nice, fresh bowl of fruit and veggies salad each day. How much of this should they get DAILY and what should be included in the salad?
4. How much pellets should be given daily?
5. What is the best time to serve each food item? For example, fruits and veggies at lunchtime and pellets in the evening, etc.
6. Any other tips or info you have concerning their diet?

My main concerns are the types of food, the amount needed daily of each food item, and the best time to serve each food. Any other information you have on a bird's diet would be greatly appreciated!
I currently have two male Budgies, whom I love very much! I hope to soon expand my bird family and adopt more loving feathered friends into my home!
Georginia
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 40
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Budgies/Parakeets
Flight: Yes

Re: Budgie Diet Questions and Concerns

Postby Trick or 'Tiel » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:39 pm

Hello! Glad to help! For the answer to your question about seed, you can definitely give them a small amount of seed everyday as treats. I like to train my birds, so I ask them to do tricks such as recall, wave, fetch, etc for them to earn their seeds. To get your birds to eat veggies, try eating the veggies in front of them. Birds are very social creatures and like to copy their human flock. Act real excited about the veggies like "Mmmmmm, yummy yummy!" while eating them to get them more interested. They don't need to eat rice, but it's good for them to eat some sort of grains. Try a cooked grain diet for birds, they will love that. My cockatiel gets his beak all messy from eating the cooked grains. For your question about what veggies to feed, try spinach, chard, kale, romaine lettuce, and arugula for dark leafy greens (they need these daily), and broccoli, carrots, peppers, corn, and peas for other veggies. Budgies don't really need fruit as it is high in sugar (and they don't like them very much anyway), but apples, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and oranges will do well for occasional treats. Try to include at least one dark leafy green, a green vegetable like broccoli, and a colorful vegetable like carrots every day. For pellets, good pellet brands include Harrison's, Roudybush, and Zupreem Natural. Try to avoid pellets with dyes in them. You can leave the pellets in the cage all day. There is no "best time" to feed birds but probably give them veggies in the morning because they're most hungry after sleeping, leave the pellets in the cage for the day, and give them seeds as treats for training. I also noticed that you picked "No" for flight. Do you clip your birds? If so, please allow your birds to be flighted. Birds need flight for exercise, and clipped birds are more at risk for being overweight. Plus, birds are so much happier being allowed to fly. Just ask any person who owns flighted birds, and they will say that their birds' personalities blossomed after their wings grew in. Hope I helped!
Ducky- Lutino Cockatiel :pied:
Bluebell- Blue Budgie :bluebudgie:
Kermit- Yellow Sided GCC :gcc:
Trick or 'Tiel
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 124
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel, Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Budgie Diet Questions and Concerns

Postby Georginia » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:16 pm

Trick or 'Tiel wrote:Hello! Glad to help! For the answer to your question about seed, you can definitely give them a small amount of seed everyday as treats. I like to train my birds, so I ask them to do tricks such as recall, wave, fetch, etc for them to earn their seeds. To get your birds to eat veggies, try eating the veggies in front of them. Birds are very social creatures and like to copy their human flock. Act real excited about the veggies like "Mmmmmm, yummy yummy!" while eating them to get them more interested. They don't need to eat rice, but it's good for them to eat some sort of grains. Try a cooked grain diet for birds, they will love that. My cockatiel gets his beak all messy from eating the cooked grains. For your question about what veggies to feed, try spinach, chard, kale, romaine lettuce, and arugula for dark leafy greens (they need these daily), and broccoli, carrots, peppers, corn, and peas for other veggies. Budgies don't really need fruit as it is high in sugar (and they don't like them very much anyway), but apples, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and oranges will do well for occasional treats. Try to include at least one dark leafy green, a green vegetable like broccoli, and a colorful vegetable like carrots every day. For pellets, good pellet brands include Harrison's, Roudybush, and Zupreem Natural. Try to avoid pellets with dyes in them. You can leave the pellets in the cage all day. There is no "best time" to feed birds but probably give them veggies in the morning because they're most hungry after sleeping, leave the pellets in the cage for the day, and give them seeds as treats for training. I also noticed that you picked "No" for flight. Do you clip your birds? If so, please allow your birds to be flighted. Birds need flight for exercise, and clipped birds are more at risk for being overweight. Plus, birds are so much happier being allowed to fly. Just ask any person who owns flighted birds, and they will say that their birds' personalities blossomed after their wings grew in. Hope I helped!



Okay, thank you so much, Trick or 'Tiel! Should the grain food be given daily? I can give it to them daily if needed. Also, how much grain (if it needs to be given daily) and veggies should be given daily? I don't want to overfeed my birds. Also, yes, they have been clipped their whole life. However, after someone told me about the problems of it (as you did) a week or two ago, I am waiting for their wings to grow back to allow them flight, so I will have to edit that part on my small profile thing. The reason I always had them clipped was because they've gotten stuck behind small spaces before and I've always been scared that will happen again if they fly behind something, but now I realize they are happier flighted. Thank you though for your concerns! And thanks for the help! :)
I currently have two male Budgies, whom I love very much! I hope to soon expand my bird family and adopt more loving feathered friends into my home!
Georginia
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 40
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Budgies/Parakeets
Flight: Yes

Re: Budgie Diet Questions and Concerns

Postby Trick or 'Tiel » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:12 pm

That's WONDERFUL! Your birds will thank you for it. The grains don't have to be given daily, and they don't even need them at all, but the grains are really good for them and it's always good for birds to be given a variety of different things. Yes, you should give veggies daily, and I would let them eat as many veggies as they want, as long as they still eat their pellets. But usually, birds will prefer their pellets and seeds over veggies.
Ducky- Lutino Cockatiel :pied:
Bluebell- Blue Budgie :bluebudgie:
Kermit- Yellow Sided GCC :gcc:
Trick or 'Tiel
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 124
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel, Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Budgie Diet Questions and Concerns

Postby Pajarita » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:11 am

I don't feed pellets, I feed seeds and, for the budgies, I use ABBA 1600 alone during the cold weather months but I add quinoa and hemp seed to it during the warm weather months (I also add sprouts and insect protein to their gloop during breeding season). I only give them their seed mix at night and a measured amount at that (for two budgies, I would use a heaping tablespoon and an extra little sprinkle). For breakfast, they get gloop (a dish made out of cooked whole grains, pulses and finely chopped veggies), one leafy green, one veggie and one fruit (a different one every day of the week). They hardly ever eat fruit (budgies are not fruit eaters, they come from arid places where there isn't that much fruit so they are not really part of their natural diet) but some of them can learn to like a few of them (I have one that likes to have a bite or two of apple and pear -nothing else in terms of fruit except pomegranate seeds). But they all LOVE their leafy greens (mine eat all lettuces except for iceberg -not because it's bad for them but because it's low in nutrition; broccoli, Swiss Chard -both green and red; rapini; chicory; escarole; celery; all the cabbages; nappa; bok choy; dandelion greens, carrot greens, etc -all of them except spinach, collard greens, parsley and beet greens). And they love some raw veggies, too (carrots, for example, are a great favorite of them as it's corn on the cob barely steamed).

The 'eating in front of them' works for larger species but I've never seen it work for budgies (too flighty!) but, in any case, they are natural good eaters and, as long as you keep the protein food to a max of 12%, not free-feed it and give them greens and a good quality vitamin/mineral supplement (twice a week during the cold weather months and three times a week during the warm), they do VERY well. The dosage for the supplement should be a daily one even though you are not giving it to them every day but this is only if they are eating their gloop and greens regularly (gloop having a variety of veggies in it that they eat like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, peas, carrots, corn, hominy and chopped broccoli).

Gloop has rice but not white rice, I use red and/or black rice.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11633
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Budgie Diet Questions and Concerns

Postby Trick or 'Tiel » Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:06 pm

The eating in front of them doesn't work for untame birds, that's true. But for tame budgies that are bonded to you, it works every time. One time, I was chewing gum and my tiel was trying to get it from my mouth! (Of course I didn't let him, human saliva is bad for birds) When you say that budgies are "natural good eaters" that's not true for every bird. My budgie is very stubborn with veggies and only really eats carrots, broccoli, and chard. And if the birds are eating a proper pelleted diet, they DO NOT need extra vitamin supplements. The drops that you put in their water are the worst. The only supplements they need besides pellets, seeds, grains, and veggies are cuttlebones and/or mineral blocks. These give them calcium, as well as keep their beaks at a healthy length. Why don't you feed pellets? Is it because your bird's don't like them? Seeds are fatty and shouldn't be given as the base of the diet, only small amounts as treats. Don't think so? Just ask my vet, who told me that my bird was overweight because we were feeding her too many seeds, especially millet sprays. That was before we converted her to pellets, which are so much healthier. It took a long time to get her used to veggies because she didn't know what they were. Birds should get get pellets as the main diet, along with veggies/greens, cooked whole grains, and a small amount of seeds.
Ducky- Lutino Cockatiel :pied:
Bluebell- Blue Budgie :bluebudgie:
Kermit- Yellow Sided GCC :gcc:
Trick or 'Tiel
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 124
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel, Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Budgie Diet Questions and Concerns

Postby Pajarita » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:42 pm

Actually, their learning what to eat from watching others works for all parrots because they are all born altricial and need to learn what to eat and what not to eat from their parents. Budgies also learn that way but they are flighty and, because they don't really imprint to humans as deeply as larger species (they know they are budgies while the larger ones tend to have an 'identity' problem and, sometimes, do not recognize themselves as birds), they usually don't learn from us.

I don't know about your budgie but all the budgies I've had have been good eaters. The three I have now have been with me for just a few weeks and I know for a fact that two of them did not get any fresh food whatsoever but so far they've eaten corn, peas, carrots, broccoli, hominy, blue kale, artichoke hearts, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cucumbers, red leaf and romaine lettuce, nappa, bok choy, chicory, escarole, dandelion greens, rapini and carrot greens.

I don't feed pellets because I've been doing research on parrots natural diets for over 20 years and long ago I reached the conclusion that pellets are not and never will be the best dietary option for them. I don't use liquid vitamin/mineral supplements in their water, I use a powder one that is sprinkled on their gloop, very sparingly and only for the vitamin D3 because I prefer they get their nutritional needs from fresh food and not lab made (that's what pellets have). But, even if pellets were good food for parrots, I still would not use them for a species like budgies or cockatiels because they are granivores (why feed fake food when you can feed them the same food that nature evolved them to eat?). Not all seeds are fatty or high in protein. Budgies natural diet is based on grass seeds and they only have 12% protein and less than 4% fat (all pellets have more than that) and that is what they get in my house. All my birds get cuttlebone but just for calcium (the hens also get calciboost when they lay) but not to keep their beak trimmed because only birds with fatty liver disease will get an overgrown beak, healthy birds on a good diet don't.

Millet is extremely fattening and has very little nutrition so it should only be used for fattening birds that, for one reason or another, have lost a lot of weight. I don't have a single overweight bird.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11633
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Budgie Diet Questions and Concerns

Postby Trick or 'Tiel » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:58 pm

What is your secret to getting budgies to eat more fresh foods? I know many people complain about their parrots being picky eaters.
Ducky- Lutino Cockatiel :pied:
Bluebell- Blue Budgie :bluebudgie:
Kermit- Yellow Sided GCC :gcc:
Trick or 'Tiel
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 124
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel, Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Budgie Diet Questions and Concerns

Postby Pajarita » Mon May 01, 2017 10:06 am

There are no secrets but there are a couple of tricks that nature taught us about timing and presentation:

1) Birds are hungriest early in the morning. Budgies (and, actually, most parrots with the exception of macaws which are late risers in the am) are what is called 'crepuscular' feeders. This means that they eat their main meals during twilight (dawn and dusk). This is because they are prey animals and it's safest for them to feed during this time of the day because vision is reduced by, at least, 10% with this light and this makes it harder for the predator to see them from a distance. So we use that to give them the food that is healthiest at these times - namely, raw produce. This time of the year, I give them their fruit, leafy green and veggie at 6:30 - 6:45 (this is done without turning on the indoor lights so they are exposed to the light of dawn). Then I turn on the overhead light at around 7:15 am and give them their gloop (see below for more info on this). I turn off their light when the sun is halfway down to the horizon (about 5 pm this time of the year) and, one hour or so after that I feed them their dinner which is their high protein food and needs to be measured so they fill up their crop and have a little bit leftover but not much so they will be good and hungry the follow morning.

2) Budgies are partial ground foragers. This means that they go to ground to eat -they are granivores and grass seed eaters and they find them on the ground and not on a tree so they feel very comfortable eating food from the 'ground'. So I use this and feed them their gloop (see below for more info on this) on a white paper plate at the bottom of the cage but I put the fruit and veggie (this depends on what it is because, if I am giving them corn on the cob -which they ADORE!, I put it also on the bottom of the cage) stuck between the bars (I observe them and use the perch they use the most but not the roosting perch). I put two leaves of whatever green I am using that day (I give them a different kind every day but I can do that because I have so many birds that I use an entire bunch of anything on a single day), one I put at the bottom of the cage and the other I stick between the bars high up on the cage - both leaves need to be dripping water (they love to take 'baths' on them -they rub their bodies on the leaves - they come from arid places so the 'bathing' on leaves is something that comes naturally to them).

3) Things need to be very small in size and mixed up with something they like very much so as to tempt them into trying them and, once they do, they like them and continue eating them. This is where the gloop comes! I use chopped broccoli, peas, diced carrots, corn, diced butternut squash, small pieces of baked or boiled sweet potatoes, white hominy (the grains are actually quite large but they like them), chopped curly blue kale (not too much of this) and chopped artichoke hearts (I add these because they are so very good for the liver and I have birds with liver damage). Because all these things are mixed with cooked grains and seeds (I add a bit of flax and sesame seed to the grains) which they immediately recognize as food, they start by just eating the grains but, in a few days, they start eating the corn and keep on adding until they eat the whole thing.

Last night, when I went to give mine their dinner, I saw that they had been munching on the slice of orange they got yesterday as their fruit BUT it's actually very unusual for budgies (and tiels) to eat fruits so I would not expect all budgies to do that.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11633
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes


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