Best Fruits For Budgiesn, budgies are omnivores. This means that they need a combination of protein, fats, and carbohydrates for good health. So, it’s important to ensure that you provide your budgie with a balanced diet. The best way to do this is to offer two fresh fruits and two fresh veggies every day. Fruits are delicious treats for your budgie and can provide him with beneficial nutrients he needs for a healthy life. The top 10 best fruits for budgies include:
What Fruits Can Budgies Eat?
Ever enjoyed a piece of fruit and wondered if your pet budgie can have a bite? If so, then this is the article for you. While it’s known that fruits are healthy, the challenge is that budgies will pretty much eat anything you give them, regardless of whether they’re good or not.
So, what fruits can budgies eat? Budgies can eat apples (avoid the seeds), kiwis, melon, grapes, oranges, mangoes, lemon, bananas, berries, apricot, and pears. Keep in mind that fruits should only be fed a few times a week, as too much of them can be harmful to your pet bird’s health.
To ensure your budgie is eating well, this article will go over the best types of fruit you can add to your bird’s diet, how you can encourage it to eat the fruit, how much you should feed, and other considerations you need to note.
Why feed fruits to your budgie?
If this is your first time taking care of a budgie, you might have heard that feeding them pellets is ideal. This is true, as pellets are usually specially formulated to fulfill the nutritional needs of pet birds.
That said, variety in a bird’s diet is always highly encouraged, and this is where fruits come into the picture. While they should only make up a small portion of your pet’s diet, fruits add so much flavor and taste into the mix while also bringing some welcome health benefits.
What Fruits Can Budgies Eat?
To help you mix the ideal diet, here’s a list of all the best-tasting and healthy fruits your budgie can eat.
Of course, it should go without saying that your budgie will enjoy apples. No matter the color and whether peeled or not, apples are a tasty and readily available treat with tons of vitamins that your budgie is sure to enjoy. Cut into small pieces to make it easier for your bird, and make sure to avoid apple pits and apple seeds as they are poisonous to birds.
Kiwis are another all-in-one fruit you can throw into the mix. This is because kiwis contain nutrients that can keep your bird’s plumage healthy and shiny while also being an excellent fiber source. Kiwis are also full of water, so they can help hydrate your pet during hotter days.
Whether it’s a melon, watermelon, rockmelon, or even a honeydew lemon, your budgie will surely enjoy this tasty treat. Like kiwi fruit, melons are also full of water, making for fantastic treats during hotter days. Just make sure to avoid overfeeding your bird, as too much can result in bird diarrhea.
Grapes are another excellent addition to your bird’s diet. The great thing about grapes is that these fruits are excellent sources of potassium, manganese, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Together, these nutrients work together to keep your bird’s vision sharp and immune system strong. Best of all, grapes can be served both peeled and fresh.
Of course, your budgie can enjoy oranges! Best served in slices, oranges can keep your bird’s vision sharp thanks to their high vitamin C content. That said, oranges should only be offered as an occasional treat, as these fruits are high in citric acid that can upset the stomach when fed too much.
The high fiber amount of mangoes make them an excellent addition to a bird’s diet. Furthermore, these fruits also help prevent diarrhea and constipation while adding a healthy dose of nutrients. Additionally, the skin is also full of antioxidants, and your budgie will surely enjoy it along with the flesh.
When sliced into small portions, lemons provide the same benefits as oranges and are just as tasty. You also don’t have to worry about seeds or peel as they are not toxic in any way. However, like oranges, they also have high citric acid content, so be sure to feed in moderation.
Bananas are also another common fruit that your budgie will enjoy. These fruits also don’t need preparation and are full of potassium which is beneficial to regulating fluid balance, nerve signals, and muscle contractions.
The good thing about berries is that your budgie can also appreciate any kind you enjoy. You can also offer them either sliced or whole, though be prepared for a bit of a mess as these are juicy fruits.
Because apricots are firm, they make for a very versatile treat that your budgie can enjoy. Just make sure you remove the seed, as this can be toxic for your pet. Other than that, cutting the flesh into smaller pieces should help your budgie.
Pears come in different varieties, although your budgie can enjoy all of them. The great thing about pearls is that they are incredibly high in antioxidants, which can help your bird fight off any diseases.
How to Feed Fruits to Your Budgie?
Because fruits are often colorful and tasty, you might find these types of food more accessible to feed to your budgie. Nevertheless, going the extra mile by cutting them up into small pieces and mixing them in a plate should help.
As an extra tip, pick a colorful plate to put the fruits on and use it every time, as your budgie will eventually associate it with treats and the like. If you have some time, putting fruit bits in a string and hanging it in the cage will also make your budgie think it’s playtime, which is especially helpful.
Of course, hand-feeding fruits to your budgie is always highly encouraged. You can even let your budgie watch you “eat” so that they’ll know it’s safe.
Finally, remember that fruits should only be fed a few times per week, as too much of these can harm your bird’s health.
What Fruits Should Your Budgie Avoid?
Unfortunately, not every fruit is safe for budgies and knowing which ones are important if you want to include fruits in their diet.
Fruits to avoid for your budgie include:
- Apple seeds
- Fruit pits
- Pear Pips
- Passion fruit
Other than this, make sure to do your prior research before feeding your budgie something new or foreign.
As a general rule, it’s best to stick to pellets, bird seeds, vegetables, and the fruits we listed above to ensure your budgie stays healthy and safe.
What can budgies eat?
Wild budgerigars are ground feeding seed and grass feeders. Grains and grasses provide the bulk of their intake in the wild. They move in flocks often thousands in number and fly enormous distances in their native Australia.
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Up until a few decades ago, it was customary to feed budgies mostly on seed mixes, Trill being the favourite with a cuttlefish bone clipped to the cage bars, maybe a spray of millet as a treat. And that was it.
These days pellets have become the choice of many vets and you will have to choose whether pellets or seeds or your own mix will form the major part of the diet.
Current feeding advice is that 40% of the diet should be fresh foods. Choosing the correct food needs plenty of research and advice from trusted sources.
What fruit can budgies eat?
Budgies can eat banana, strawberries, apples, grapes, oranges, peaches, blueberry, pear, raisins, mango, melon (all varieties), nectarines, cherries (ensure you’ve removed the stone) and kiwis. Tropical fruits are also a favourite.
What salad vegetables can budgies eat?
You may like to offer small portions of: Cucumber, lettuce, beetroot, tomato, rocket, celery and pepper.
What vegetables can budgies eat?
Budgies can eat: Green beans, carrot, peas in pods, cabbage, cauliflower, sweet corn and sweet potato – this should lightly cooked and your budgie would only want a teaspoon full.
There is controversy that onions, mushroom and garlic should be avoided. Some of us have used them successfully. Others do not. It is true that often a food stuff like parsley or fruit pips if taken in large amounts can cause harm but not in small amounts. Unless your fresh food is home grown or organic, it’s a useful precaution to wash well.
Food and drink budgie’s can’t have
You should avoid letting your budgie eat: Fried food, salt, crisps, bacon, coffee and caffeinated tea, although herbal teas are fine, biscuits, pastries, alcohol, cakes, chocolate, pizza, chips, bread, vanilla, peanut butter and cheese.
These foods aren’t that wonderful for humans either . But most parrots, like toddlers with junk food, adore these human foods. The solution is to try to have unsuitable food out of sight.
If she’s out of her cage, don’t beat yourself up if a tiny bit of cookie or a chip was stolen or offered. Our family meals improved a lot, once we had free ranging parrots around at meal times.
Pellets or seed mix
Pellet diets for captive birds originated in USA. Avian vets nowadays recommend pellets because a good pellet is considered to provide nutrients, minerals and vitamins that an amateur cannot match.
Seeds contain too much fat and lack other ingredients for health, so vets choose pellets. Several manufacturers produce pellets designed for budgerigars and other small birds.
The nugget shaped pellets are made from grains and vegetables and easily digestible. The formula is fortified with essential minerals and vitamins that will meet your budgie’s various needs better than an all seed diet.
A well-chosen pellet is a sensible choice for budgies, canaries, and finches. If you choose a pellet be sure it contains no artificial preservatives and buy in a small quantity.
A useful serving for a budgie would be one tablespoon a day, with the rest of the diet made up of fresh food. Usually around a thumbnail amount.
If your bird was not weaned onto pellets but onto a seed-based diet you can accustom her to the change by gradually substituting the food she’s currently eating with the food you want her to eat. It can be done with patience.
What seeds can budgies eat?
Most budgie owners buy a ready-made seed mix to feed their birds, which is fine as long as you are sure the seeds are fresh as they have a limited shelf life. Once past their sell by date the food has little nutritional value.
It’s easy to test if seeds are fresh. Soak some seeds overnight. Rinse and drain them and spread out on wet cotton wool or kitchen paper and keep them warm for 24 hours.
If less than 50% of the seeds start to sprout throw them away. At least 90% of good seeds will sprout.
Grass seeds for Budgies
Grass and grains are in the same category and make up 50% of your birds intake. They are the budgie’s staple food in the wild.
If you have a garden or access to open spaces here are some grasses that you can forage for free and feed the budgies.
Your budgie will pick out the seeds from the grass you give her.
- Annual meadow-grass (Poa annua)
- Meadow foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis)
- Orchard grass, aka cock’s-foot grass (Dactylis glomerata)
- Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne)
- Poverty brome, aka barren or sterile brome (Bromus sterilis)
- Rough bluegrass (Poa trivialis)
- Soft brome, or soft chess (Bromus hordeaceus)
- Velvet grass (Holcus lanatus)
- Timothy grass (Phleum pratense)
- Yorkshire Grass, aka Meadow soft grass, velvet grass or tufted grass (Holcus lanatus)
You can feed your budgie these grains: Amaranth, barley, buckwheat (whole), canary seed, oats, quinoa, rye, sweetcorn kernels and wheat.
Budgie herb seeds
Herb-derived seeds can form a quarter of a good seed mix. You can store herbs in sealed jars and give a varied selection of the following: Alfalfa, cabbage, chia, clover, dill, fennel, fenugreek, kale, mustard (yellow, red and black), radish, red clover, groundsel and coriander leaves.
Budgie seeds that are high in fat
Parrots love many seeds that are bad for them. The following seeds need to be used sparingly because of their high fat content: Sunflower, flax, hemp, millet, niger, pumpkin (soaked and allowed to germinate first), rapeseed and sesame.
Millet, hemp, niger and rape are actually grains but they’re included here due to their high fat content.
Budgies in particular – like Galahs or some Amazons – can become obese and this shortens their life spans.
Peas and beans are high protein foods. They can be detrimental if fed in too large amounts as they can be a trigger for hormonal behaviour. If you use one or two sprouted legumes in a homemade seed mix that should be fine.These are suitable for budgies but do not ever feed raw:
- Black-eyed peas
- Green peas
- Lentils (yellow, green, black NOT split)
- Mung beans
- Yellow peas
What is the best source of calcium for budgies?
Cuttlefish bones are the best source of calcium under normal circumstances. Parrots love to gnaw on the cuttlefish bone and it provides a great deal of enjoyment – far more than a couple of drops of calcium added to water or moist food.
If your birds are breeding you may need to use additional calcium in the form of supplements, although you always need to be careful not to over feed vitamins and minerals.
Budgies and drinking water
Many carers prefer bottled water. Also, the addition of a few drops of cider vinegar is a choice for many. The most important consideration is providing fresh water daily and more often in hot weather or aviary conditions.
Budgies – mealworms, chicken and egg
If you want to add an occasional treat some budgies adore dried or live mealworms. Although with a pelleted diet a budgie will be getting enough protein.
Also an occasional bite of hard-boiled eggs or a fragment of chicken or meat can be offered one or twice a week. Remember that small amounts should be given.
Your budgies’ diet
Your budgies’ diet is really important to their health and happiness – and they need plenty of exercise, too.
Follow our vets’ tips and give your birds a well-rounded diet.
Feeding your budgie
Here’s what our vets recommend for a balanced budgie diet:
- Good quality, pellet budgie food as their ‘base’ diet. We recommend pelleted foods specially designed for budgies because they contain the right nutrients in the right amounts. Pellets are better than seeds because your budgies can’t just pick their favourites. Follow the feeding guidelines on the back of the packet and make sure to give them fresh pellets every day.
- Fresh vegetables. You can give your budgies treats of fresh greens to boost their daily nutrition.
- Mineral supplements. Your budgies will benefit from a source of minerals such as mineral block designed for budgies or a cuttlefish bone.
- Water should be available at all times. You can buy a suitable water drinker from pet shops. Clean it every day to keep water fresh and safe to drink.
We now know that budgies do not usually need grit. This was historically recommended to help them grind their food but budgies can actually easily digest the ingredients in modern budgie pellets. Too much grit can cause more harm than good, so avoid it unless it’s been specifically recommended for your bird.
Introducing new foods to your budgies’ diet
Changing your budgies’ diet suddenly can give them an upset stomach and can make them quite poorly. It’s best to introduce new foods slowly over at least a week rather than giving them lots all at once.
If your budgie eats a seed diet and you’d like to change this to healthier pellets, you’ll need do so gradually. Budgies that are used to only seeds often don’t recognise other things as food and so you’ll need some patience!
It’s not a tricky change but does need to be done over a few weeks and if you’re not getting anywhere, ask your vet for advice.
- Before you decide to start the process of changing over your budgies’ diet, you’ll need to prepare them. Limit the food offered to your budgies to 1 tsp of seed. Only when they’ve completely emptied their portion should you top up their bowl with another 1tsp. Repeat each time they’ve completely finished each portion (don’t limit your budgie to 1tsp per day!). You can still offer small amounts of fruit and vegetables during this time if your budgies are used to having them.
- For the next week, offer your budgies a teaspoon of seeds for an hour in the morning and night but for the rest of the day, remove the seeds and use the same bowl to offer 1 tsp of pellets. If they eat the pellets, refill with another teaspoon of pellets. Once your budgies start to eat the pellets then you can reduce the amount of seed offered morning and night. Don’t take the seed away completely until you’re sure all of your budgies are eating the pellets and fresh food.
- If you’re struggling to get your budgies to eat the new pellets, you can try crumbling and mixing them in with your birds’ favourite vegetables (not with seeds), or use a tiny splash of fruit juice from their favourite fruit to slightly wet (not soak) the pellets. If your birds are very bonded to you, seeing you pretend to eat the food can encourage them to give it a try. Another tip is to sprinkle the pellets on a mirror, which can encourage your birds to eat to ‘show up’ their rival in the mirror!
Some budgies may take up to a month or two to swap over completely but most can be changed over much quicker than this. If you’re worried or would like more advice, speak to your vet who may have more tips and be able to tailor a conversion protocol to your budgies.
Budgie-friendly fruit and veg
Even though pellets provide everything your budgies need, it’s nice to have some variation and offering them fresh foods can help with this. Just remember to introduce them slowly if your budgies haven’t had them before.
Up to 10-15% of your budgies’ diet can be fruit and veg – this usually works out as one or two thumbnail-sized pieces per budgie per day. Focus more on vegetables which have lots of good nutritional value. Fruits are sweeter and more sugary but can be used as a treat. Out of the fruits, berries and wild fruits have the best nutritional value for birds compared to fruits grown for humans to eat (which are sweeter and more sugary).
Give them to your budgies in a separate bowl from their usual pellet food and clean the dishes daily so nasty bugs don’t build up. Make sure that food only stays with your birds for a few hours so they don’t lose their freshness – always remove any uneaten food by the end of the day. Once they’re used to eating fruit and veg, you can hide their favourite treats to encourage them to ‘forage’ for food to help reduce boredom, but remember to still replace them at the end of each day.
Try to use organic fruit and veg if possible and always wash them well, as it’s not good for budgies to come into contact with pesticides. Cooking removes important vitamins so only offer fresh, raw fruit and veg to your budgies.
Some fruit and veg that you can offer your feathered friends include:
- Berries e.g blackberry, blueberry, blackcurrant, strawberry, raspberry
- Sweet potato
- Leafy greens
- Salad cress
So that your budgies don’t have too much of one thing, just give a couple of small pieces of fruit and veg they like, a couple of times a week. This should help prevent them from getting bored and shouldn’t overload them, which could cause an upset tummy.
Stopping your budgie putting on too much weight
Just like any pet, budgies can easily put on weight if they don’t get the right diet and exercise. Pet obesity is a growing problem in the UK and causes all sorts of health problems.
You can keep your budgie at their ideal weight by:
- Choosing a good quality pellet food and following the feeding guidelines on the packet.
- Avoiding seed-based diets. Seeds are high in fat and aren’t a balanced diet.
- Keeping sugary or high-fat food like millet sprays and honey sticks as a very occasional treat.
- Giving your budgies an opportunity to spread their wings and fly in a secure environment – see our advice on the ideal home for budgies.
Budgie exercise: free flying
Help your budgies stay fit and healthy by giving them a spacious aviary that they can fly around in.
If your budgies are tame and used to humans, you can let them fly free from their aviary, in your home. This is great exercise for your birds. Make sure you only let them fly in a safe, secure room and that you supervise them at all times:
- Close all windows and doors.
- Turn off any fans, ceiling fans, extractor fans, and paper shredders.
- Keep other pets out of the room.
- Make sure that any venetian or vertical blinds are closed properly, so that budgies can’t become entangled.