Parakeets are one of the most popular pets to keep right now, but with a vast amount of species to choose from how do you know what to feed them? And, do all parakeets east the same food. The types of seeds and parakeet foods available on the market can be confusing. We take a look at the varieties of foods that you should feed to your parakeets and try to find a balanced diet they will all be able to eat.
Parakeets were first brought to Europe in 1838 from their native of Central Australia. Ever since they have made into the homes and hearts of millions of people worldwide.
But do you know there are over 120 species and sub-species of parakeets? They’re all equally stunning and lovable but somewhat distinct in their appearance, built, and traits.
Yes, all parakeets will eat the same type of foods and seeds. Like most parrots, parakeets are mainly granivores, which means that they eat seeds and grass in their wild state. That account for many of them being ground feeders. The only part to consider is the size of the parakeet and size of the seeds supplied. Some smaller parakeets will struggle with larger seeds like sunflower seeds.
But do they all eat the same food or should you plan a separate diet for each species?
And that brings us to our main question
Do all parakeets eat the same food?
Yes, all parakeets eat the same food.
Whether it’s Budgerigars, Regents, Quakers, or any other kind of parakeet, the one thing that’s common between these birds is that they have the same type of eating preferences and appetite.
Like most parrots, parakeets are mainly granivores, which means that they eat seeds and grass in their wild state. That account for many of them being ground feeders.
Most parakeet species are experts at foraging on the forest floor or savannah and digging up several food items. Thus, they feed on seeding grasses far often than large parrot species.
How Much Seeds Do Parakeets Eat?
On average, parakeets a little less than a pound of birdseed every month.
Most guidelines state that they should be given only 1.5-2 tablespoons of seed every day.
However, it can differ based on your parakeet’s age, size and overall health status.
Although parakeets are granivores, feeding them only seeds is boring and unhealthy.
If there is more than one parakeet in a cage, make sure that you offer seed in a separate dish for each bird. That way, birds at the bottom of the pecking order will have an equal chance to eat as well.
Parakeets, despite the type, have an appetite for different kinds of food. Thus, you can play up with their diet every once in a while. Also, seeds should only form a small part of a balanced diet.
A Well-Balanced Parakeet’s Diet
According to Petco, to ensure a well-balanced and fortified diet, specialized pellets should make up at least 60-70% of the day’s intake, with the addition of vegetables, fruits, and little quantities of fortified seeds.
So, now let’s move on to the details of what’s good for your parakeets, what’s not, and what you should definitely avoid.
Pellets, hand-feeding mashes, and crumbles have been formulated to meet most of your parakeet’s dietary requirements.
Moreover, many different formulations are available for different life stages and prevention/tackling of certain health conditions. Pellets are hands down the most nutritious diet for parakeets. So, if you have a seed-eating bird, you should slowly try to encourage him to eat pellets.
When choosing pellets, stay away from generic brands available at groceries. They may often contain artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Safe Fruits and Vegetables for Parakeets
When it comes to fresh produce, more or less, all parakeets eat the same food.
There is a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that you can feed your parakeet. And luckily, he’ll love to nibble on them.
Some of these fruits are:
|Melon||Organic Grapes||Mango ( Remove pit)|
|Berries||Apples ( Remove seeds )||Peach ( Remove skin, pit )|
|Dragon Fruit||Pears ( Remove Seeds )||Banana ( Peel first )|
|Dates||Apricot ( Remove pit )||Kiwi ( Remove peel )|
|Pomegranate ( Remove Rind )||Passion fruit ( Remove rind )||Lychee( Remove rind )|
And some of these vegetables are:
|Carrots||Cauliflower leaves and stalks||Celery|
The aforementioned list is not comprehensive. It’s just representative of the different fruits and vegetables you can give your parakeet.
Since fruits are high in vitamins and minerals, they’ll be highly beneficial to your parakeet’s health as long as given in moderation. However, don’t go overboard.
It’s generally recommended that a parakeet has ½ to ¾ cup of fresh fruit and veggies every day. Avoid feeding canned produce as they are high in additives that will harm your bird’s health.
Note: Never ever give avocados to your parakeets!
Avocados are high in persin, a chemical that’s straight-up lethal and toxic to birds.
Otherwise, you can add a tablespoon of fresh fruit juice to a pint of water to change the taste so he may drink it.
A tip: If you notice your parakeet isn’t drinking water or is dehydrated, you can increase the amount of fresh fruits and veggies in his diet as an alternative hydration source.
Safe Seed for Parakeets
Despite being granivores, seeds should only form a small part of a parakeet’s diet
That’s because seeds are often low on specific kinds of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, which is what parakeets need. A purely seed-based diet will not deliver the nutrients required to a parakeet and will contribute towards ill health.
Different kind of seeds safe for parakeets are:
· Millet spray
· Canary seed
· Striped sunflower
· White sunflower
Safe Nuts for Parakeets
Nuts make wonderful treats for these little birds. However, you should be careful about the quantity you give due to the high-fat content. Also, the size of the nut for the size of the bird should be considered.
Word of caution: All new foods should be tested in small portions to see the reaction from your bird. Only after a few hours will you tell if your parakeet is okay to eat that food. Then once you’re assured it’s safe should you increase the portion size.
Different kind of nuts safe for parakeets are:
· Almond (not the roasted variety)
· Peanuts (shells removed)
· Pistachios (shells removed)
Foods Poisonous for Parakeets
Just like avocados, some foods pose high risks to your parakeet’s life and should be avoided at all costs. Some of them are:
· Tomato leaves
· Dried Beans
Recommended Parakeet Food
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can Parakeets eat seeds and pellets made for other birds?
A. Most kinds of seeds and pellets made for small to medium birds are suitable for all sorts of parakeets, except lorikeet and lories mixes.
Your parakeet can safely have cockatiel mix like Kaytee Fiesta Mix, as well as budgie, finch, and canary mixes.
Whenever purchasing pellets and seeds, make sure that they are labeled ‘for parakeets’ or ‘small/medium birds.’
Parakeets can’t handle pellets and seeds formulated for bigger parrot species like macaws.
They will have trouble fitting them in mouth and claws and chewing because of the bigger size.
Likewise, the seeds meant for bigger birds or wild birds will have a higher concentration of fat as they need much more energy to fly around. So, make sure that you avoid these kinds of seeds too.
Q. How Do I Convert My Seed Eating Bird to a Pelleted Diet?
A. Getting your seed-eating bird to transfer to a formulated or diverse diet is no easy task.
Especially, mature budgies are quite stubborn in this matter.
When you introduce pellets for the first time, it won’t be immediately identified as food.
You have to slowly wean the bird off seeds over a few weeks while making pellets constantly available in the cage in a separate dish.
Some owners prefer to mix pellets with an increasingly reduced amount of seeds, which can be a viable option.
Note: Don’t withdraw the seeds entirely without being confident that your parakeet has started eating pellets.
So, do all parakeets eat the same food? Yes, all 120 species and subspecies of parakeets have the same kind of dietary requirements and eat the same food types.
Parakeets are granivores, but grains should never form the major part of their diet.
When it comes to pet birds, nutrition is an overlooked factor. You may think that your bird is eating well and meets the dietary requirements, that’s not the case most of the time.
Like all creatures, parakeets require a balanced diet that’s fortified with vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, carbs, and water. With the help of the curated list above and info on do’s and don’ts of feeding a parakeet, formulate a diet that will result in a happy, healthy, and long-living bird.