What Do I Feed My Budgie?
A good mixture of canary grass seed, white millet, yellow millet, oats and groats and red millet, niger seed and linseed are ready made seeds you can find at your local pet store. The higher quality seeds come with a mixture of thistle, anise, sesame and safflower seed. Your budgie will de-husk their seeds and swallow the kernels whole. There may be a vitamin pellet included with iodine, which prevent thyroid problems. Vitamin B is good. Best place to store your seeds is in a dark, but airy place. Make sure you budgies food is in a tightly seal compartment. Usually they are sold in bags with zip locks. You want the feed to be as fresh as possible, and also you do not want any little critters getting inside. Some people store unused seed in their refrigerators until ready to use. Greens should be fed to your budgie once a day, but should not be left in the cage for more than an hour or so. Budgies in the wild feed on grass seeds, eucalypt leaves, buds and bark and other greens. Budgies are vegetarian and SHOULD NOT EAT MEAT OR MILK. You should also offer your budgie fresh foods like green peas, cucumber, beet greens, carrots, unsprayed lettuce to name a few. Fruits that are good for your budgie are apples, apricots, bananas and most other fruits. Do not feed your budgie anything that is in the cabbage family, raw and green potatoes, green beans, grapefruit, rhubarb, plums, lemons, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine and avocado.
The budgies digestive system is designed to supply it with enough energy to fly. That is why budgies need a constant supply of nourishment. Budgies take in their food rapidly; their digestive tract is short and food passes through it in a few hours. If you heard the saying, "Birds Never Stop Eating" that is true. Budgies will starve to death if not given food for 48 hours. Budgies shell the seeds when they eat. Therefore what may look like a container with food might be a container full of shells (husk). Do not be fooled and let your budgie starve. This is a common feeding mistake That is why it is so important to feed your budgie daily. Budgies are also hookbills and crack open their seed to eat, so they do NOT need grit as many people believe they do.
You will also need a mineral block and a cuttlebone, which hangs in your budgies cage. These provide minerals and trace elements that your budgie needs, and the cuttlebone also trims your budgies beak. A cement perch also helps in trimming of the toenails. You can offer millet ever so often as a treat. Naturally supply fresh water daily
General Nutritional Requirements
A good quality seed mix with various fruit, vegetables and pellets
All birds need to drink water, and maintaining its quality is just as important as providing it. Be aware that many birds will throw various food items into their water bowls, and some birds may defecate into their water if it is situated low down. This can lead to health problems if ingested, so any water that has been soiled must be changed immediately.
Birds on a good diet should receive an adequate, balanced amount of protein, amino acids, fats & essential fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins & minerals. The vitamins & minerals are especially important for maintaining good health in the long term. A lack of certain vitamins & minerals can lead to deficiencies.
Vitamin A is very important. It is required for growth, for normal function of secretary glands and normal reproductive function. Birds that lack vitamin A often appear dull colored, sometimes with flaky beaks, cere & feet. Sometimes the cere appears thickened from excess keratin (hyperkeratosis). Eyes can also be affected, showing swellings and conjunctivitis. Vitamin A is very important for managing fungal respiratory diseases such as aspergillosis, and a lack of it can cause and fungal spores to spread. Vitamin A deficiency is the most common deficiency seen in parrots.
Vitamin D3 is important for maintaining calcium metabolism. Birds need an adequate supply of vitamin D3 in order to absorb any calcium. Calcium deficiency is very common in captive birds. One reason for this is that birds need to absorb ultraviolet light to manufacture it in their skin, and most captive birds do not get much exposure to sunlight or any form of ultraviolet light. Another cause is that a diet that is high in oil-bearing foods like sunflower seeds and peanuts lack calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D3. Calcium and phosphorus imbalance can also lead to problems with producing eggs, causing soft shelled eggs or egg binding.
Vitamin K deficiency is not very common, however it is worth mentioning because it can cause anemia and blood clotting problems.
Iodine is an important mineral. A lack of iodine in the diet can affect the thyroid, causing a decreased production of thyroid stimulation hormones. This can affect the thyroid gland and cause dysplasia of the gland. Pressure from the thyroid on the esophagus can prevent food passing into the stomach, causing a dilated crop that cannot empty properly, leading to weight loss.
Last edited by avril; 04-23-2006 at 10:55 PM.