Proper nutrition for budgies is vital for their health. There are many brands and formulas of bird food available today. I recommend using premium brands that have used extensive research to develop a mix specifically for budgies. The food should also be fresh and not be expired. I am saddened when I see people buy a 50-pound bag of inferior bargain brand food that the bird will not finish for years. That food would have no practical nutritional value and I feel very badly for the pet bird. Even leaving a bag of food in a hot car will change the nutritional value of the food and lose most of its vitamins as well.
Also, whenever you introduce a new diet to your pet, you want to do it gradually. I would purchase a small bag of budgie pellets and mix it in with the food you have now. You want to introduce the new food extremely gradually so that your bird does not suffer an upset stomach that can lead to gastric & digestive problems. Do not wait until all your present food is gone before introducing the new high quality food.
You can tell the sex of mature parakeets by the color of their cere (which is where the nostrils are). Although they can vary (as in pied budgies) the female can have a whitish to tan or brownish color while the male will have a blue purple color.
Please visit your local quality pet store and discuss the differences in the brands of bird foods available. They can help you choose the appropriate one for your budgie and guide you about nutritional treats that you can offer your pet.
i have done the folowing before, my budgies cere has different coloring in it, kind of like if you would mix a male ans female, most people say its because there young, but i can tell by there personaltys whos the male
iv ealready had them eating a pallet diet and they liked it but i ran out ans still had the old seed diet and that would be why there eating it now, the probablom is my family wont buy more pallets.
ive also talked to pet stores and my dad says he wont believe them since there trying to sell us stuff, but i dont trust them somewhat since there birds are helthy
I think Dr. Kuwahara gave you some excellent advice and it should be something you can show your father to "prove" that pelleted diets are better for the budgies than all seed diets. Another option is to view this article at veterinarypartners.com:
Although the article is not written by a veterinarian, it would not be on that site unless it was approved by veterinarians.
As far as the pet store goes, I understand the reasoning your dad has, but the pet store could also make money simply by selling you an all seed diet, so I don't think its a valid concern. You will find that most people who are involved with pets on any level (veterinarians, pet store employees, shelter workers, etc) have the pet's best interest at heart and money is often a secondary, but necessary, part of their business.
As soon as you can, it would be best to go to a pelleted diet. They may appear healthy now, but the wrong type of nutrition can have detrimental effects in the long term. Since budgies can live 15-20 years, you definitely want to help them reach that life span. Good luck to you!
thank you so much, i do apriciate Dr. Kuwahara advice and yourse, im gratefulll you gave me a site and i have someone to back me up, i did believe that the store owners new what they were doing it was just hard to explain to my dad, but thank, oops when i said i dont trust them i ment i do trust them it was a typo thanks anyways have a great weak.
please forgive me for my typo, i guess i was trying to say i see my dads point, but i do believe the store owners know what there saying, thank you once again, and sorry once again for the typo, i didnt mean for it to come out afencing to the owners, it really was a typo.
Psittacine birds (parrots and their relatives) are widely known to be seedeaters. Unfortunately this has led to the belief that this is all they need. In the wild parrots eat a wide variety of other foods to balance out the deficiencies of seeds. When well meaning pet owners or breeders feed only seeds, the health of the bird will suffer.
Grain products are the main source of carbohydrates for seed eating birds. They are a good source of calories, B vitamins, and fatty acids. They have some protein, but the quality of this protein is poor. Grains are generally low in vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, certain amino acids, and many trace minerals. Also, many of the B vitamins are lost when the bird discards the shell. This group of foods should only make up 50% of the total diet! This includes all seeds, cereals, breads, pastas, and baked goods that the bird eats.
Many of the deficiencies of grains can be balanced out by vegetables. Dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, mustard greens, dandelions, and Brussels sprouts, are good sources of vitamin A, B vitamins, calcium, and trace minerals. Legumes, such as beans, peas, lentils, alfalfa sprouts, and cloverleaf, are excellent sources of protein. In addition, legume proteins improve the quality of grain proteins by providing the missing amino acids. Vegetables with yellow or orange color, such as carrots, sweet potato, corn, or squash, are excellent sources of vitamin A. All of these are good sources of fiber. Vegetables should make up about 40% of the diet. Emphasis should be put on the type of vegetables listed above.
The dairy group can provide both high quality protein and calcium for pet birds. Many parrots love cheese and it is good for them if fed in acceptable amounts. Lean meats also are excellent protein sources, which many parrots seem to like. Meat and dairy products should make up about 5% of the parrot’s diet.
In the past several years pelleted parrot foods have become available. These products combine all of the necessary nutrients in a dry pellet. Although research available in avian nutrition is not complete, many of the commercial pelleted foods are very high quality foods that provide all the known nutrients for psittacine birds. Since they are complete diets, pellets may be added to any or all of the above categories. We suggest that pellets supply at least half the grain and seed category.
If you are not feeding a pelleted diet, then to ensure that all 13 essential vitamins are provided, a vitamin supplement should be added to the diet. Powdered vitamins retain their potency longer, are less expensive, and are easier to use. Supplements are best added to moist foods so they do not filter, uneaten, to the bottom of the food dish. We do not recommend that you add vitamins to your bird’s water supply. If vitamins must be added to the water, it should be changed at least twice daily to prevent bacterial contamination. Cuttlebones, mineral blocks, or mineral powders should be used to provide calcium and trace minerals. Birds that are eating pellets as large portion of their diet should not be given supplements since overdosing may occur with some vitamins and minerals.
Reserve the last 5% of the diet for dessert. Fruits, nuts, juice, yogurt, or whatever the bird likes! Using treats is an excellent way to improve the bond between owner and bird.
One very useful recipe for a balanced diet in pet birds follows:
Mix 1 part cooked rice (preferably brown rice), 1 part beans of several types (cooking dried beans is the most economical), and 1 part thawed frozen vegetables (carrots, broccoli, corn, spinach, cauliflower, etc.), chopped to an appropriate size for the bird. This mixture is pressed into ice cube trays and frozen. Each day the appropriate number of “bird cubes” are thawed and mixed with pellets to make up a complete diet.
While most avian veterinarians believe that grit is not necessary, and may cause problems if consumed in large quantities, it will do no harm to feed a small amount. About a pinch or so monthly will be enough to keep the gizzard full and may assist in grinding food. Do not feed unlimited grit.
We also recommend the basic rule of never feeding your bird alcohol, caffeinated products, chocolate, and avocado. All of these can be toxic to your bird in miniscule quantities.
Please check out the below websit on how to convert your bird to a healthier diet: