Imagine eating the same food every.single.day: breakfast, lunch, and supper – as well as all the same snacks in between. I’d die of boredom!
The same goes for your feathered friends.
Pet birds should not only live solely on a seed diet. Wild budgies forage for their food and feast on delicious veggies, and gorgeous fruits.
Green dandelion leaves, spinach, kale, and even little grubs at times.
Out in nature, they rarely feed on seed alone, so if the wild birds aren’t doing it, neither should your pet birds.
In fact, if you provide your budgie with only shop bought seed, there is a high risk that your bird will become iodine deficient which will lead to many more problems.
Between 20% – 25% of your budgie’s diet should be fresh fruit and veggies, given to them daily. Incorporating fresh food for birds is excellent for not only their health but also for their enjoyment and mental stimulation.
The act of foraging in their cages will keep them active, act as a boredom buster, and they will have a lot of fun doing it.
Some budgies are fussy eaters and hesitant of trying new foods.
Offer a variety of fresh fruits in small amounts, and your birds will become adventurous and try them.
In fact, they are most likely to find a favorite. Keep offering a variety so your pet budgie can taste test for himself.
Some fruits can be given more often than others, and some should be given as an occasional treat.
But don’t worry, we’ll go through it all now – it’s easier than you think!
10 Tips To Tempt Your Fussy Budgie To Try New Fruit
Some birds are curious by nature and will try anything. Yet, others are not so brave.
Getting your budgie to eat a variety of foods will keep him busy, and will keep him quiet for a short while, especially if he is a very talkative bird.
To avoid fussiness, it is best to start a young budgie on different types of fruit so that they grow up with this mixed taste for everything yummy!
However, if your budgie companion is older and you’ve had him for a few years, he might be a bit more set in his ways and more difficult to tempt.
If you do have a headstrong budgie on your hands, the general guidelines below can help crack your bird’s stubbornness:
Cut up a new fruit and dip it into birdseed. Your budgie will start to eat the seeds and munch his way through to the sweet, tasty fruit hidden underneath.
It is easier if you have a few birds in your flock. You can compare your budgies to children in kindergarten. What one does, another one copies, and so on. Budgies are the same. They learn from one another.
When cutting new fruit, try cutting paper-thin slices, or even spiral slices for color and interest.
If your budgies are tame, handfeed them the fruit. Simply hold it in your hand, and offer it to them.
Attach the fruit food everywhere – sides of the cage, perches, toys. Make it exciting for your birds! At the end of the day, remove any uneaten fruit as it will start to brown and may smell and attract fruit flies.
Chop up some fruit and mix it with veggies and seeds, like a homemade salad for your birds. Try offering different types of foods in a variety of ways: mashed, grated, steamed, or even freeze fruits in summer for a cool treat.
Try having your budgie sit on your hand as you eat a piece of fruit. Hold the fruit in the same hand that your budgie is perched on and he will move with your hand, back and forth around your mouth as you eat. 9 out of 10 times, he will start to nibble too. Just like children 🙂
Try offering new foods in the morning when your birds wake up and are more hungry.
Dip fruit in peanut butter and let them enjoy this snack. Peanut butter is high in fat and calories so feed this as a special treat.
Remove the pips, but leave the skins on the fruit. It’ll give their curious little brains something to investigate, nibble on, and tear at.
Safe Fruits to Offer Your Budgies
Any food item that you are going to feed your bird should be ripe, washed, and free from pesticides.
Steer away from fruits with too much sugar as this may lead to long-term health problems. Rather, keep those options for special occasions or rare treats.
In addition to seeds, vegetables, and leafy greens, here is a list of safe fruits that you can include in your bird’s diet:
This is not only a super food for humans, but also the birds! These antioxidant-rich little blue balls of juiciness, help your bird’s cardiovascular and digestive systems stay in peak condition.
The potassium in bananas helps speed up your budgie’s metabolism, reduces blood pressure, and helps prevent strokes.
Leave the peel with your bird, not to eat, but to play with it. From being picked at, shredded, and played with, your birdie will have a blast!
Apples help maintain great beaks and bones, they help keep the immune system in tip-top shape, and the vitamin C in the apples help with their mental health, and their immune system, and helps to create antibodies.
Don’t give them too much as the sweetness can upset their little tummies, and remember to remove the pips before giving them to your budgie, as they are toxic.
Mix this one up! Watermelons, honey melons, cantaloupes – you name it, you can feed it to your bird! And small frozen melon pieces can make for a deliciously cool treat in the summer.
Guavas are a great fruit for fighting respiratory infections among birds. They aid digestion, and are a natural immune booster
Pear flesh is loaded with vitamins C and K and is good for helping your bird maintain optimum health. The pear skins contain dietary fiber which helps your bird’s digestive system (no seeds).
Figs are another good source of dietary fiber. Budgies can safely eat the flesh, skin as well as seeds.
These tropical fruits can contain up to 23mg of calcium per fruit. Kiwi is excellent for the growth and maintenance of your bird’s bones, and it is a natural immune booster and can help maintain good eyesight.
Peaches work well as an immunity booster and can make for a wonderful snack for your budgie.
Have you got a cranky bird on your hands? Give your birdie some pineapple. Pineapple is believed to regulate blood sugar levels (which means stable moods and energy), and also increases your budgie’s metabolic rate.
Strawberries help with your bird’s regulatory system.
Raspberries support healthy skin and feathers, and plays a role in maintaining the strength of bones and beaks.
Oranges are high in sugar, so only give your budgie a maximum of one segment a week as a treat. But it’s juicy and full of vitamin C, and they love it!
Remove the pits and feed the birds! These fruits are a great all-rounder. They act as an immunity booster, they’re good for the health of feathers, beak, and bone maintenance, and they protect against heart disease.
Cranberries act as natural immune boosters for your feathered friends.
Mango pieces are good for building their immune system and is believed to fight off cancer. Mangoes are high in sugar so feed them in moderation.
They contain fructose for a good energy boost, but avoid giving them too often.
Fruits You Should Never Feed Your Budgies
Some foods contain high amounts of sugar which can lead to weight gain and further health issues down the road. Other fruits are lethal to your birds.
Do not feed your budgies peach seeds, cherry, apricot, pear, or apple seeds. The seeds from these fruits contain amygdalin which becomes cyanide when crushed by their beaks, and this is toxic to them.
Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and grapefruit. They are not poisonous but they do contain citric acid can cause stomach upsets, and that in itself can lead to dehydration and be lethal. Budgies won’t know when to stop and by the time you notice any effects, it could be too late. Rather avoid these fruits.
Avocados contain percin which is a toxin lethal to birds. It will cause the walls of their hearts to collapse and cause fluid to develop in their lungs. Rather use avos for your guacamole, and keep them far away from your birds.
Avoid any foods made from animal-based milk ie. cows’ milk and goats’ milk. Budgies are lactose-intolerant and dairy products should be avoided.
What Fruits to Feed Breeding Budgie Females
Keep feeding your brooding female a variety of seeds combined with her favorite fruit, vegetables, and other healthy treats.
Include fresh cherries, raspberries, and kiwi which will provide your birds with some of the calcium they need to replace the calcium they lose when they produce their eggs.
Additionally, keep your eggshells from your morning breakfast. Rinse them well, remove the membrane and then finely crush them with a Mortar and Pestle, or grind them in a coffee grinder, and sprinkle this over their food for a good injection of calcium!
In addition, always have clean water available for her to drink and bathe in.
Other Foods You Can Feed Your Budgie
Always check when giving your pet budgies new foods.
Your choices should always be nutritious food with your budgie’s health at the forefront of everything.
The easiest is to cut the fruit into small pieces if you don’t have much time to prep, and always make sure they have access to fresh water.
Here are some other foods that budgie owners give their birds as part of an interesting varied diet:
- Most budgies love millet spray that you can get from your local pet store
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Cuttlefish bone
- Honey sticks
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Cooked, brown rice
- Dried fruits, without added sugar. Or dehydrate your own.
As you can see, there are a lot of options.
Do your research before feeding your bird anything new, and watch him for any reaction.
If you do notice your bird develops an upset stomach, stop feeding that particular food. If you are unsure, or your budgie seems to be in distress, get in touch with your local avian vet for more detailed information.
Make mealtime an exciting time and your birds will thank you!