Parakeets are tropical birds. Like all other animals, they also require a diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.
Budgies are vulnerable to obesity, iodine deficiency, and other nutrition-related problems. Therefore it is necessary to maintain a well-balanced and nutritious diet to ensure a healthy life for the birds.
Fruits that Parakeets Can Eat
There are a variety of fruits that parakeets can eat, but you have to make sure that they are completely safe. This means you must avoid food high in sugar content or containing pesticides.
A few examples of the fruits parakeets can have are:
You may offer cherries and apricots to your budgies—make sure you remove the seeds beforehand to steer clear of any choking hazards. Fruits have enormous health benefits for your bird as they contain an ample amount of vitamins and minerals. Avoid dried fruits from stores as it has a lot of fructose which will cause your bird to gain unhealthy weight.
What Do Parakeets Eat In the Wild?
Wild parakeets are omnivores. Their diet varies—depending on which type of seeds, fruits, and nuts are in season. Budgies are also nomadic—migrating for food from place to place. Parakeets eat seeds from grasses, trees, and plants, freshly ripe fruits, grass, and vegetation that are easily digestible to them.
Rice, corn, and bamboo grasses are some of the many types of grasses that parakeets consume. They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and wild chia seeds are some of the many seeds that parakeets enjoy in the wild. The seeds are high in fat and protein—helping them deal with what the climate throws at them.
Nuts like acorns, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and pecans are high in calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Additionally, these provide a source of Omega-71 fatty acids. Parakeets eat these from the ground or may pluck them off from trees.
Budgies relish the sweet flavor, and this is why they devour wild fruits like figs along with their leaves, plums, bananas, apples, peaches, and melons.
Vegetables are a good source of fiber and vitamins for birds. Parakeets in the wild ingest broccoli which is rich in vitamin A, B, C, and calcium. Spinach and alfalfa sprouts are rich in vitamins A, E, and K.
Parakeets also consume flower petals and nectar. Some of their favorites are African violet, aster, lilac, honeysuckle, sunflower, roses, and magnolias.
It’s no surprise that budgies also rely on bugs, like flying insects, ants, moths, caterpillars, waxworms, crickets, and garden pests like greenflies. Insects contain proteins and provide the type of energy-boosting fats that birds need.
What Do Baby Parakeets Eat?
Baby parakeets are delicate creatures and mostly depend on their parents for food intake. These hatchlings cannot see and have limited movement—unable to signal their mother when hungry. However, they can cheep—the voice that the mother responds to. Their mother feeds them with a mixture of seeds and her saliva, in the first few weeks when they are born.
At about four weeks, the weaning process starts. Papa parakeet takes over at this time and teaches his offspring what kind of foods it’s supposed to eat. In captivity, the male parakeet will assume this role with the food you provide. This can include some greens like kale, spinach, carrot tops, and small amounts of fruit.
If you’ve got your hands on an abandoned baby parakeet or if its parents are not properly feeding it, it might get necessary for you to intervene. For that, you must know some basics about hand-rearing baby budgies.
Several bird-formula feeds are available at pets stores, but you must consult an expert before choosing one on your own. Follow the instructions on the packet and use boiled water to prepare the feed. You can use a syringe to feed the baby parakeet. The consistency of the formula should be like soft pudding—neither too thick nor too thin. Its temperature should be normal enough to avoid crop burns and sour crops. Keep the young chick warm at all times while feeding it—you can use a soft towel or any similar soft object.
At five weeks, you can start putting small amounts of food on the ground or a bowl, letting the budgie indulge in its instinct to forage. Weaning food includes bits of bread, greens, crushed and grated boiled egg, seeds, and a small number of fruits.
Treats for Parakeets
Like our other pets, parakeets love getting occasional treats from their owners. This can help during bonding and while training.
- Peanut butter—this is a rich source of protein for your feathery friend.
- Pasta—whether raw or cooked, budgies love pasta. You can serve it with some of your budgie’s favorite veggies.
- Eggs—grated, boiled eggs without seasoning in small quantities are also a good source of fats and proteins for our feathery fellows.
- Honey—which also includes honey bird tree sticks as a popular treat.
- Spray millet—it’s a budgie ultimate pleasure food. You can hang it in your bird’s cage or place it on the cage floor to allow your bird to handle it.
- Bread—whole grain bread is better to avoid giving your bird processed sugar.
- Vegetables—they’re not only healthy for you, so don’t shy away from offering raw vegetables to your budgie and let them enjoy the crunch.
- Nuts—like almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts are a special treat, helping them exercise their beaks and jaw muscles.
- Grain and Seeds—sunflower seeds and oats groans. These are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and also allow parakeets to play around with—enabling their natural behavior of foraging.
- Beans—this will keep your budgie’s digestive system healthy as they’re an outstanding source of fiber.
- Cuttlebone—not only is used by parakeets to grind their beaks against but, is also an important source of calcium for them.
- Snacks—other treats include a variety of fruit treats and sweet sticks that are readily available commercially.