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Parrot Nutrition, Diet and Feeding Discuss parrot nutrition, diets, foods and feeding.

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Suggestions For Budgie Diet?

I have two budgies, Elsa and Gilbert. Elsa is 1 year old, and Gilbert will be 6 months on February 26. I'd like to eventually get them on a mostly natural diet. I haven't really settled on a seed mix yet, though right now they're on All Living Things Parakeet Daily Diet. I'm trying to switch them over to Roudybush pellets. They love millet, and Im trying to get them to try greens. They've picked at celery leaves this afternoon, but I don't think they actually ate any. I may be adopting a pair of cockatiels or a green cheeked conure in 2016, and he/she will be on as natural a diet as possible, most likely with pellets as well. Any suggestions on how to broaden my little flock's horizons?



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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 04:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Griff View Post
I have two budgies, Elsa and Gilbert. Elsa is 1 year old, and Gilbert will be 6 months on February 26. I'd like to eventually get them on a mostly natural diet. I haven't really settled on a seed mix yet, though right now they're on All Living Things Parakeet Daily Diet. I'm trying to switch them over to Roudybush pellets. They love millet, and Im trying to get them to try greens. They've picked at celery leaves this afternoon, but I don't think they actually ate any. I may be adopting a pair of cockatiels or a green cheeked conure in 2016, and he/she will be on as natural a diet as possible, most likely with pellets as well. Any suggestions on how to broaden my little flock's horizons?
Hello, Kassy.

I have six budgies (no other birds for the moment, but we will see) and I feed them mostly sprouts (they are way more nutritious than dry seeds, and also contain way less fat than dry seeds) and veggies and a bit of apple from time to time. I also give them a hard-boiled egg once or twice a week (mashed in with the sprouts). They absolutely love it.

I get a budgie seed mix which does not contain any pellets or dried fruits (just seeds) and sprout a day or two days' worth of it. In the morning I give my budgies sprouted seeds with grated carrots on top. I also give them 1, 2 or 3 (usually 2) of the following veggies - broccoli (my birds love it attached to the bars of the cage, not cut to pieces and mixed with the sprouts - they literally attack it on sight), carrot tops, endive, parsley, basil (they're crazy about it), salad leaves, spinach and celery sticks. In the evening when I get home, I empty and wash their feeding bowls and give them either a new serving of sprouts or dry seeds, together with a veggie other than the ones I gave them in the morning.

I do not feed dry seeds every day. When I do, it is just for their evening meal.

My birds like their veggies attached to the bars of the cage. They first eat and then proceed to destroy (shred and throw everywhere) the remaining part of the veggies. It is messier this way, but I know they eat their veggies, and this is what matters to me most. I am not certain they would eat them cut to pieces in a bowl, so I don't offer them this way. I have tried, but I do not think they eat them.

The key is to keep offering. Do not get discouraged if they do not show interest or just play with the veggies. One day, sooner or later, they will have a nibble and chances are, will like them. Also, if one of your budgies starts eating, the rest of the flock will follow.

Another good tip to get them interested, is to offer the veggies wet (with lots of drops on them). Budgies love rubbing themselves against the wet leaves and taking a shower this way.

I am a huge supporter of (for both humans and pets) feeding natural foods. Pellets are processed stuff. The stomachs of animals are not designed to process processed foods. Even if the animals do not die on the spot or get sick, in the long run, problems may arise. I would not be surprised at all if the tumours that appear at some point in many pets are caused by feeding artificial food as sooner or later the body reacts to being given "food" which it was never designed to consume, so I do risk my pets' health this way.

Here's my post on sprouting (how I do it) on the Talk Budgies Forum:

"I always make one or two days' worth of sprouts, no more. This way I do not have to refrigerate them. I always make sure the sprouts I feed are fresh. My sprouting process takes about 36 hours, but I have read that the sprouting process (the changes that occur in seeds that make them less fat-containing and more nutritious than dry seeds) starts with the soaking process. In other words, soaking should be enough, even if you don't normally see, immediately after soaking, the seeds showing little tails beginning to emerge.

Steps:

1. I soak my seed mix (no pellets or dried fruits in it!) for 10-12 hours (overnight). I add a little bleach to the water (at the start of soaking). I use pure bleach, not some form of house-cleaning product that contains other stuff besides bleach. Bleach prevents mould from forming. A little goes a long way (just a small splash). Some people use organic apple-cider vinegar or grapefruit seed extract (GSE) instead of bleach. Those have the same purpose.
2. On the next morning, rinse very well, soak in clean warm water (to remove any bleach left) for a few minutes (10-15 min. is what I do) and drain. Leave until evening.
3. On the evening, rinse again and drain. Leave until morning.
4. Sprouts should be ready. Rinse very well and serve.

So you have night, day, night, and the sprouts are ready (36 hours). I rinse morning and evening (two-to-three generous rinses in one go). If I have some sprouts left, I leave them in my sprouting box, and they continue to grow. I just continue with the rinsing morning and evening (and always drain well).

By using bleach during soaking, my sprouts never form fungi. I have had that problem before even though I made sure I rinsed regularly. With bleach it won't happen (even though you only put it in the soaking water).

The simplified description is: soak overnight/rinse and drain (morning)/rinse and drain (evening)/rinse, drain (morning) and serve

I add grated carrots on top of the sprouts when I serve. Sometimes a bit of egg, but not more than twice a week. Green veggies (broccoli, parsley, basil etc.) I put between the bars of the cage. My birds love them like that. Generally, I do not like to mix veggies with my sprouts (my feeding bowls are tiny). I do not know if that keeps the sprouts fresh longer (they last throughout the day), but I think that makes sense as I do not add more juicy things to the mixture."

Last edited by svetlak; 02-12-2015 at 04:05 AM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! I'm just trying out pellets for now. The main reason is they usually only touch dry seeds and the occasional honey-and-seed treat. Pellets are mainly to broaden their horizons and not live entirely on dry seeds..



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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 01:00 PM



 
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As I have so many budgies in an aviary, I use hanging feeders full of locally sourced seeds at all times so they can never run out of food. As I have so many, these usually need to be re-filled every 2 days and that's 2 feeders! Budgies are natural grass seed eaters, in fact, seeds make up 70% of their natural diet. Like Svetla, I wouldn't even bother using pellets at all as you can give them a well balanced diet without

I am new to sprouting and sadly haven't tried it yet, even though it is what is best for the birds. I'm going to try and do it a natural way over the next few months as the weather gets warmer and just throw a seed mix into a planter and see what happens. I've managed to grow maize and rape in the garden by accidentally dropping seed before!

Budgies are big on your leafy greens and will probably dismiss most fruits. I have had some success with strawberries and apples but not much else. They like hung up broccoli as well as curly kale, baby spinach, carrot tops and herbs. Oh, they also like a tray of watercress on the floor to tear up. I too use the method of wetting my leafy greens, especially the kale and spinach. The birds will bathe frantically on them and have a nibble while they're having a good time. It's great to watch

You can use millet spray as a treat as well as home made treats that won't have all of the rubbish other foods tend to have in them. There is a particular recipe in our cookbook section written by Casey that I have used a lot of times and budgies (as well as other birds) will go absolutely nuts for it! Here's a link to it https://www.talkparrots.com/showthread.php?t=4408

Although my birds are outdoors and get plenty of sunlight, I like to supplement them with a calcium and vitamin D3 mix perhaps once a week. I will mix it in with some scrambled eggs for them

Speaking of eggs, feed sparingly. As you don't have breeding birds, they won't need as much protein in their diets so you could prevent weight and health issues by feeding it about once every couple of weeks. If they enjoy herbs, cook it with them mixed in! Mine are particularly partial to some crushed chillies in theirs!

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 12:35 AM


 
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I only have one Budgie in the mixed flock.
I back up what Svetia has said.
Pellets are man made dried foods and birds do not eat much in the way of dried foods in the wild.
I like to mix things up and all so think about seasonal foods. Variety is the spice of life.
I never use pellets. And agree that long term use may lead to poor health. Short term use may seem to help.
Budgies are seed eaters and they are not so prone to Vit A deficiency as other birds are.
I would say that seeds if fresh are not dried foods. Old stale ones maybe, but who would feed these! Untreated seed mix maybe hard to find in the states. And there are a large number of seeds and grains can be added to the basic mix.
Sprouts I cannot say enough about just how good they are for our birds and us. Pure freshness and unadulterated goodness.
It maybe hard to get them to try fruits. Apple maybe excepted.
But there are loads of veges that are good and they may except. Presentation is often the key on getting them to try new foods and keep up the persistence.
Just today I see Budgie Blue come to a fresh bunch of grass in seed that I cut for them. It is Paspalum this time, but I do feed other grass. last week it was Papyrus.
I love to find fresh natural things for them all. This can be trees and shrubs in flower or seed.
If you have been feeding pellets you can help cleanse their liver and kidney with Chilli peppers. Other good veg are Silver Beet (Chard) Flax Kale Sweet Potato uncooked Carrots (but you need to cook to release Beta Carotene in them.


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Last edited by clawnz; 02-22-2015 at 12:44 AM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2015, 10:46 AM
 
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Budgies can't use their feet to hold food like Linnnies and other parrots can, so every morning and every evening I clip Romaine lettuce, broccoli, kale, sugar snap peas, sweet peppers, an apple slice, etc. to their perch so they can easily eat it. I also put some into their cup to pick at so they get fresh food every day.

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