Your pet’s health is at the top of every animal lover’s priority list. When it comes to parakeets, having a healthy balance of foods they love and need to survive is imperative. It not only physically satisfies them but also does so nutritionally.
In the wild, parakeets do not live on seeds alone. They pull from a wide array of food sources to accumulate all the vitamins and minerals they need to develop and thrive.
Replicating your pet’s natural diet is essential to maintaining a healthy influx of these nutrients.
While most bird feed products do a fantastic job of adding all the necessary ingredients to your pet’s diet, there are times where supplements may also be critical to fulfilling any deficiencies.
So what is ok for parakeets to eat, and what should you avoid when putting together their next meal?
With so many different options at your disposal, choosing the best sources of protein and vitamins can get a little overwhelming. We’ve made the selection process even easier with these helpful tips.
Do parakeets eat bugs?
Yes. Budgies eat a diet that consists of both plants and insects, making them omnivores in their natural environment. When in captivity, the bird’s diet often involves a blend of seeds and a variety of different fruits and veggies. This consistent cache of seeds provides the bird with plenty of protein they might otherwise supplement with insects in the wild.
The only difference is that the seeds are also high in fats that often promote a sedentary lifestyle in pets.
Insects contain more concentrated forms of protein and provide the type of energy-boosting fats birds need.
These nutritional benefits contribute to the bird’s overall development and are typically why mama birds give their babies bugs when they’re still growing.
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What kind of insects do parakeets eat?
Budgies eat a wide variety of bugs, including flying insects, ants, and worms. They even eat common garden pests like greenflies, which are a type of aphid.
The question of which creepy crawly do feed your parakeet is not as difficult as to where to find them.
The availability of certain insects over another is often what attracts pet parents to one species over another.
Mealworms are the most common since they are available at most garden or pet stores. Ant pupae also line the shelves in most supply stores, typically in the form of a deep-frozen meal.
If you garden, collecting stray pests provides your budgie with a healthy dose of protein while simultaneously ridding your yard of problems.
Eating these kinds of bugs is what makes most birds such a beneficial addition to gardens in the first place.
Do parakeets eat worms?
Yes! In particular, parakeets eat mealworms, though it sometimes comes down to their personal preference. Some budgie owners swear by these tasty little treats for their birds, where others note the animal has no interest in eating them at all.
The good news is that mealworms offer a healthy portion of insect protein without the guilt of giving them something that might upset their tummies.
There’s no guesswork about whether this protein supplement is healthy for your pet or contains potentially toxic ingredients.
Rather than trying to up their protein count from other food sources, mealworms are perfectly safe for budgies to consume.
Do parakeets get bugs?
Your parakeet may also take matters into their own beaks by catching insects from within their home. Whether indoors or kept in an outdoor aviary, it isn’t unusual for budgies to catch flying insects or spiders as they cross their path.
This sight may be a little unnerving for pet owners at first, especially if the last thing you were expecting was to see your bird chowing down on a long-legged insect that you did not give them.
However, it is completely natural for them to catch their own insects and involves an instinct parakeets share with their wild counterparts.
You may find this helpful: How to Kill Mites on a Parakeet?
What do parakeets like to eat the most?
What your parakeet deems his favorite dish ultimately falls to personal preference. Just like humans, every bird has its own unique personality that determines whether it will enjoy one food over another.
Fruits tend to be a fan favorite among the bird community in general, however. And luckily, there is quite a variety to choose from when it comes to the options you offer your budgie.
Parakeets, in general, tend to lean toward the melons as their favorite fruits. These include honeydew, watermelon, and cantaloupe.
Your bird may also enjoy other species, such as mango, pomegranate, bananas, apples, and more.
Foods like mangos and apricots are also high in vitamins parakeets require nutritionally, such as beta carotene. Avoid any fruit pits or apple seeds as these often contain toxic substances.
What can parakeets not eat?
As with any animal, there is a long list of foods that parakeets should never consume. Fruits and veggies should make up a considerable portion of their diet, but which fruits and veggies are ok to eat and which ones are potentially toxic?
Avocado and onions are big no-no’s when it comes to giving them to parakeets.
Certain plants that produce the very same vegetables your pet may safely eat also contain toxins within the leaves your birds should not consume.
Foods like potatoes and peppers are a part of the nightshade family, all of which contain different levels of poison called solanine.
While the fruits and vegetables contain this in small enough amounts to safely consume after ripening, the leaves and other parts of the plant produce a much higher concentration.
These amounts are not safe for consumption, so stick to the harvested foods rather than the leaves.
Other types of food to avoid includes chocolate or candy of any kind. Anything high in sugar causes significant health problems.
Even sugar-free candy contains toxins your bird should never eat. Avoid foods that are high in fat and sodium as well.
These unhealthy treats cause imbalances in the bird’s fluid intake and may lead to complications like dehydration or kidney failure.
What can we feed parakeets?
Bugs are not necessary if there is a balance of nutrients already in the food intake. Your budgie’s diet should comprise of 20% vegetables and approximately 5% fruits.
Adding in about 10% of seeds to their diet also delivers a filling amount of protein. Offer foods like insects and treats a little more sparingly, though it is perfectly appropriate to feed them these once a day.
Below is a list of all the foods available for a well-balanced budgie diet:
Most pet owners provide supplements through food pellets, which provide a welcome balance of nutrients the bird needs without all the exhaustion of hunting down the ingredients that make up their healthy diet.
These pellets generally account for 75% of their food source, along with seeds.
Creating a natural diet is always preferable, and most parakeet owners use a mixture of foods that include pellets, seeds, as well as fruits and vegetables.
When it comes to veggies, parakeets love leafy greens.
They love basically anything green, except for avocados, which should never be given to parakeets.
Vegetables like peas, celery, asparagus, and cucumber are all safe to feed your pet. And what’s more, they love them! They also love other yummy foods like carrots, corn, and beets.
Nuts and Seeds
In addition to fruits and vegetables, there are other healthy snacks on which birds love to munch.
Types of nuts you might also include in your bird’s daily nutrition are pistachios, peanuts, almonds, and pecans.
Millet seeds are the most common variety found in a bird’s food supply, with safflower seeds and canary seeds joining the ranks behind them.
Sunflower seeds make excellent foods for parakeets as well, though their high-fat content relegates them to use much less frequently and in smaller quantities.
For treats, honey sticks and millet bars make the ideal choice. Some find the honey sticks too rich in sugars, so these should be used sparingly.
Though, any fruit or food may qualify as a reward if your budgie loves it enough. If you’re training your budgie on a regular basis, say to speak or follow commands, try something a little lower in caloric value.
Since you’ll repeatedly be feeding them during training reps, you definitely want to choose an item that does not load them up on sugars and fats each bite they take.
Your pets deserve all the love and care that you would give yourself. As with humans, they require a myriad of dietary needs to function on the top of their game.
Always double check before feeding them any food items you aren’t sure is safe, and maintain healthy portions for each set of foods.
Another way to ensure your parakeet remains happy and healthy is by ensuring it gets plenty of sleep throughout the evening.
Having a set schedule for them to rest up after a busy day of playtime and singing is right up there with healthy eating habits and proper nutrition.
For more information about the best ways to help your parakeets fall fast asleep, try these articles for improving sleep habits and how to help them stay asleep.