Parakeets are small, social, and lovely birds, popular among bird lovers. If treated with diligent care, they can even live up to 20 years and, in some cases, more than 30 years. Though smaller birds, the nutritional requirements of parakeets are similar to large birds. To help them thrive and live longer, they must be given the best parakeet food available in the market.
Starter food for parakeets includes seed-based food, which is the best food substitute for the short term, but not a good choice for long time use. Feeding on a seed-based diet can cause serious health issues and lead to obesity in parakeets.
Obesity is associated with a lack of exercise and boredom. Wild birds get a lot of room to fly, but pet birds do not have the necessary space and freedom like wild ones. Secondly, when a bird is bored in a cage, it ends up eating more food. Lastly, wild seeds are nutritionally balanced than domestic seeds, which are notoriously high in carbohydrates and fats. These all are the leading causes of obesity in parakeets.
To give the parakeet the most nutritionally balanced diet, use high-quality pelleted diets in conjunction with fresh vegetables and fruits. Seeds can be given to parakeets as supplemental or treat food, but they should be only 15-20% of the parakeet food. Their food chart should be like this:
Wild parakeets feed on various seeds as they are readily available in the forest and woodlands in different seasons. Commercial seeds for parakeets are available in a mixture of 2 to 8 different kinds of seeds. Since most of them are low on proteins and minerals but have high carbohydrates and fats, they are not recommended as a long term diet for the parakeets.
The seed-based diet of parakeets is a blend of different seeds. Each seed can be purchased separately or in the form of a mixture. Below is a breakdown of different kinds of seeds for parakeets, based on their age and size.
|White Sunflower||Medium Parakeets|
|Striped Sunflower||Small-Medium Parakeets|
|Millet spray||For all Parakeets|
|Canary seed||Medium Parakeets|
They are designed as a replacement for seeds but with essential nutrients that seeds alone do not provide. Pellets contain added supplements that a parakeet requires for growing properly and healthily.
When a parakeet owner pets them, they are already accustomed to seed-based food. Even the pet stores provide them seeds as their primary food. However, once a parakeet gets used to the food, it will be difficult to change its diet plan. Especially, mature parakeets show resistance to transitioning from seeds to pellets. According to VCA Hospital, initially, parakeets do not even consider pellets as their food source.
Start adding pellets mixed with seeds in a proportion recommended in the chart below. If a parakeet still shows resistance, wean the bird off the seeds for 1-2 weeks. When it gets hungry, it will readily settle for eating pellets. It may take 1-2 months for a parakeet to fully accept pellets as food. The weekly chart to change the diet of a parakeet is given below.
|1st Week||3 part seed, 1 part pellet|
|2nd Week||21/2 part seed, 11/2 part pellet|
|3rd Week||2 part seed, 2 part pellet|
|4th Week||1 part seed, 3 part pellet|
|5th Week||Only pellet|
During this transition phase, ensure that the parakeet eats the pellet and accustom to that diet with fruits and vegetables. Because some parakeets are extremely stubborn and they starve themselves instead of eating unusual food.
Most people neglect their pets, and to avoid all efforts, they keep on using a seed-based diet. Which then causes serious health-related issues and can affect the life expectancy ratio of the bird. As VCA Hospital states, “poor nutrition is a common reason for many health problems in birds.”
According to them, parakeets are vulnerable to iodine deficiencies, obesity, and other nutrition-related problems. Many high-quality food mixtures are available full of nutrients and minerals. The following is a list of the five best parakeet foods your parakeet can chew on.
- Dr. Harvey’s Our Best Parakeet Food
- Higgins Vita Seed
- Lafeber’s Nutri Berries
- Volkman Avian Super parakeet Seed
- Zupreem FruitBlend
1. Dr Harvey’s-Our Best Parakeet Food
Considered a solo food supplement, Dr. Harvey’s is an all-natural parakeet food without chemicals, synthetic ingredients, and dyes and is enriched with vitamins and minerals to keep parakeets healthy. It is a mixture of fruits, herbs, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
It contains some of the ingredients that are not usually found in other parakeet’s foods, such as pecans, pistachios, walnuts, zucchini, and bell peppers. It is an excellent choice, but it is more expensive than other parakeet foods.
2. Higgins Vita Seed
Higgins Vita Seed is a vitamin-rich food with low-fat seeds. It is the best choice for small birds as this seed-based food contains all the nutrients small birds need. Higgins Vita Seeds do not have any artificial flavors or preservatives. This seed-based food contains Omega-3 (fatty acid), which helps parakeets in building the immune system. It contains mixtures of seeds and dried fruits.
It cannot be given as the primary food as it does not provide all the nutrients necessary for the bird to stay healthy and fit.
3. Lafeber’s Nutri Berries
Lafeber’s Nutri Berries is considered a premium daily food for parakeets. It contains whole eggs, soybean meal, corns, and other healthy ingredients that fulfill the nutritional requirements of parakeets. Like Dr. Harvey’s, it is also expensive than other parakeet foods.
4. Volkman Avian Super Parakeet Seed
Like Higgins Vita Seed, it is also seed-based food. But it also provides organic seeds along with synthetic seed. This seed-based food contains vitamin C enriched seeds, which enhance their metabolism. Compared to other parakeet foods, Volkman Avian is a little inexpensive, providing high-quality nutrients at a low price.
5. Zupreem FruitBlend
It is a pellet-based food enriched with minerals and supplemental vitamins that are essential for parakeets’ growth. It contains sugar and color to attract the birds and make the transition from seeds to pellets easy.
It is made up of soybean, wheat, corn, and fruits such as bananas, grapes, apples, and oranges. Like Volkman Avian, this fruit blend is also comparatively inexpensive than other pellet foods.
Which is the best parakeet food? It could be any of the above or any other food having the necessary nutrients. But it also depends upon her size, age, and engagement in physical activities.