Budgies are one of the most popular feathered creatures on our planet. Many of us were lucky in childhood to make friends with them. And someone transferred love to these creatures and into adulthood. Today we will try to understand how to ensure healthy development and how to feed the budgerigar at home.
How to feed a budgie? Remember, your pets in their natural environment eat about 40 different plant species. If you want them to remain healthy and happy at home, you must provide them with an equally wide selection of dishes.
The feeding of budgies should be based on a grain mixture consisting of 70% millet, 10% oats and 20% canary seeds. In addition, the composition of this product should include flaxseed, hemp and wheat seed. Pay attention to the fact that millet should also be different. Do not give nuts and seeds to birds of this species: they are too fat for parrots. It is also worthwhile to treat the daily rate of grain feed. For an adult parrot, 2 teaspoons of the mixture per day will suffice. Young growth needs a little more - up to 3 teaspoons. Try not to overfeed, this can lead to the development of various diseases. In addition, the diet of the budgerigar should also contain other types of food, which will be discussed later. The most important thing to learn here is that parrots should not be given food from the human diet (for example, bread and pasta), especially if it contains salt, pepper, sugar and other spices.
What should be a diet of birds
How to feed a budgie? It has already been said above: the diet of these birds must be varied. In addition to the main grain feed and water, they need greens, sprouted seeds, fruits, vegetables, protein supplements and vitamins. Next, we will take a closer look at each of these groups.
From the video “Feeding budgies” you will learn a lot of useful information.
Types of feed
In the wild, budgies feed on grass seeds of varying degrees of ripeness and shoots of young plants. In famine, they peck the bark and buds of trees, and during the period of hatching and feeding the chicks are not squeamish by small insects, as this is a source of protein and proteins.
Domestic parrots spend much less energy and strength, but their nutrition should still be full and balanced and include various types of feed. And before you feed your budgerigar, you need to figure out what it can and should be given.
The most common feed that people intuitively feed their winged pets. These include the following:
- grain (wheat, corn, millet),
- flour milling waste (bran),
- cereals (hercules, buckwheat, barley, rice),
- fruits (apples, pears),
- vegetables (cucumber, tomato, pumpkin, carrots, turnips, beets, cabbage),
- seeds (canary seed, sesame, flaxseed, sunflower),
- greens (salad, spinach, dandelion grass, woodlice),
- branches of trees and bushes (mountain ash, apple tree, cherry, currant),
- nuts (chestnuts, walnuts).
If the parrot will eat all this - wonderful. But in reality, most of the wavy are fussy and do not touch some types of plant foods. If a bird categorically refuses something useful and important in its diet, you can trick. Rub fruits and vegetables on a fine grater and mix with grain or add freshly squeezed juice to the drinker. Finely chop the nuts and also pour the grain mixture into your favorite parrot. But wheat and oats can be germinated by soaking them in water. The grass that will grow out of them, the wavy gladly peck. Or maybe they will like the wet spine.
Rice or buckwheat budgerigars are also reluctant to eat, because it is difficult for them to peck these grains: grains are hard and slippery. Therefore, you can sometimes feed your pets porridge cooked from these cereals in water without salt and sugar. Before serving, the porridge should cool, but it also does not need to be given from the refrigerator. It is optimal if the dish has a room temperature. Porridge is an excellent option for feeding a sick wavy who refuses to eat. In this case, the oatmeal must first be crushed, and then brewed with boiling water. Pour a viscous liquid into a syringe and give it to a parrot directly in its beak (without a needle).
Owners rarely give such food to their budgies and do it right. But during the period of molting and breeding, for example, birds need boiled chicken protein, which serves as a source of protein. It will be nice to feed the wavy skimmed cottage cheese or white bread soaked in low-fat milk. The main thing is not to forget in time to remove the half-eaten foods so that they do not have time to deteriorate. Otherwise, the pet will recover.
Budgerigar food containing all the essential nutrients and vitamins will be considered inferior if it contains no minerals:
The components are indicated in exactly this sequence, indicating the importance of those that are higher in the list. Calcium and phosphorus are the most important minerals. To increase their number in the diet of a budgerigar, you can simply buy a mineral stone, which is sold in any pet store. This is a small piece resembling chalk. It may contain crushed mollusk shells, river sand, birch charcoal, flour from plant seeds, and probiotic.
Thrifty owners prepare a mineral mixture for budgerigars at home. They take the eggshell of a raw egg, dry it and finely grind it (with a pestle in a mortar or in a coffee grinder). The resulting mixture is added to the grain feed or poured separately.
Top 5 best purchased feeds
In large pet stores there are a lot of different food for budgies. And many owners often buy the first available (usually the cheapest) packaging, not paying attention to the composition. As a result, the diet of the parrot is inferior (some vitamins or minerals are lacking), and the bird begins to hurt.
According to ornithologists and experienced budgerigar breeders, who keep their homes for more than the first generation of these charming birds, the following five brands are among the five best purchased feeds:
- Vitakraft menu vital (Germany). Not for sale everywhere, but can be ordered online. In addition to the rich grain composition, it includes eucalyptus leaves that increase the nutritional value of the feed. Average price: 200 rubles for 500 g.
- Rio (Russia). The most popular and affordable brand of food for budgies from the Russian manufacturer. The products meet all the requirements and have several rulers (for nutrition during molting, a mixture for germination, etc.). It costs about 120 rubles for 500 g.
- Prestige (Belgium). Scrupulous Belgians comply with all standards in the production of feed, make sure that foreign components and dust do not get into it. Not every pet store also has a Prestige. The cost is about 150 rubles for 500 g.
- Padovan Grandmix Cocorite (Italy). Food is considered so nutritious that it allows you to reduce the daily intake from 2 tbsp. up to 1.5. Double packaging is also noted (first in polyethylene, then in cardboard). Price: from 160 rubles for 500 g.
- Fiory (Italy). Another Italian food for budgies, which has additional components in the form of raisins and rare safflower seeds. Due to the very high quality, 400 gram packaging Fioty costs 160 rubles.
When buying any feed, you should pay attention to the expiration date. A budgie can be poisoned by expired grains. It is also recommended to choose grain mixtures packed in dense polyethylene, as the feed in cardboard boxes could become damp and dry. And this deprives the grain of beneficial properties.
Before fully feeding the budgerigar with new food, start introducing it gradually into the diet. If you notice changes in the well-being and activity of the bird (it became lethargic, it suddenly began to lose feathers, feces acquired an unnatural shade), it is better to refuse such a grain.
What absolutely can not be given
There are many things that can not be done by budgies, but the list below includes the most common foods that many owners feed their pets for some reason. It:
- a fish,
- Chocolate and other sweets
- salted products (including canned food),
- dill, parsley, onion, basil, sorrel,
- sweet cookies
- chips and crackers with additives.
Judging by reports from the forums, these products not only harmed the health of budgies, but also sometimes caused the death of the birds. Honey stick, which can be found in pet stores as a treat, is also harmful to budgies. Instead of honey, the manufacturer often uses sticky chemicals that wavy etch.
You can not overfeed budgies. On ordinary days, it is recommended to observe the daily rate of the purchased grain mixture (2 tablespoons per 1 bird), plus the addition of permitted vegetable feed, herbs and grass. The bird doesn’t eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, but wavy seeds can peck around the clock. This is not so much an act of satiety for them as a habit. Therefore, you should not indulge the vagaries of your pet and add the grain mixture to the trough above the norm, otherwise he will overeat and become ill.
Let's look at what parrots love to eat. Grain mixtures should be in the bird feeder around the clock. If your favorite parrot eats its norm in the morning, and then starves, then you need to give him food in small portions at different times.
It is worth paying special attention to the choice of mixture. The box or package must be sealed. This guarantees you the quality of the feed and its freshness. If possible, inspect the mixture and evaluate for foreign elements and impurities.
When choosing, it is better to give preference to imported grain mixtures, such as food for Budgerigars Padovan, Fiory, Prestige. Among domestic counterparts, one can single out only Rio food for budgies, characterized by high quality grains included in its composition. Pay attention to what cereals are contained in the product.
- Oat is a grain that contains a large amount of acid necessary for the health of a pet. In addition, it is very well absorbed by their body.
- Canary seed is close in nutritional value to oats, but contains slightly less fiber. It is rich in silicic acid, so necessary for the formation of feathers.
- Sesame is an inexhaustible source of proteins, vitamins and acids. Required by birds during molting. A few more brothers of this grain - nougat, flaxseed, rapeseed and safflower. But it is noticed that the high oil content in these crops can be dangerous for birds. Therefore, the total number of Pancake week grains in the diet should not exceed 5%. We will talk further about how to feed budgies in addition to feed.
Fruits and vegetables
What do budgerigars eat besides food? From an early age, waveworms need to be given various vegetables and fruits. Just note that all these products must be thoroughly washed and selected. Give the parrots only fresh vegetables and fruits. Among vegetables, it is worth giving preference to the following types:
- Carrots are the best source of carotene. It is fed in raw form separately or in a mixture with other components.
- Pumpkin or melon - rich in various trace elements and sugars. Is it possible to give not only pulp, but also seeds? Yes, they have a lot of useful substances.
- Patisson, zucchini - useful for fiber and sugar.
- Cucumber is a storehouse of vitamin E. You can give only "local" types of cucumbers, not imported, as they are used strictly fresh and may contain pesticides.
In addition, birds can get tomatoes, beets, some corn kernels, green peas and beans, cabbage, bell peppers and spinach for food.
What do fruit budgies love? What kind of fruit can I give? Here it is worth paying attention to such species as:
- apples are a source of iron and various minerals,
- pears - a large amount of fiber with low fat content,
- citrus fruits - a storehouse of vitamin C,
- plums are a source of potassium and phosphorus.
In addition, the diet can include such fruits: grapes, bananas, peaches, apricots, various berries (cherries, strawberries), pomegranate and pineapple.
Greens and sprouted food
Greens should be present in the diet constantly. Herbs should only be fresh and well washed. In addition, you can not give grass or leaves of plants growing on the side of the road, near the tracks: a large amount of chemicals accumulate in them. Among the green food stand out: salad, spinach, dandelion, clover, plantain, bird highlander, shepherd’s bag, nettle, foxtail, ryegrass, timothy. What can you feed other than greens?
Birds need to be given and germinated grain, which is one of the richest sources of vitamins. It is best to germinate crops such as oats, wheat, mung bean or lentils. Food can be given immediately after the appearance of white seedlings.
In addition, protein supplements (this can be an egg as a treat for budgies), water-based cereals and special mineral supplements should be present in the diet of parrots. Sometimes parrots can be pampered with special treats, for example, honey sticks.
What is forbidden to feed?
Now that we know what can be given to budgies, let's talk about forbidden food. Among vegetables forbidden food parrots are considered: radishes, celery, onions, eggplant and garlic. Some fruits are also prohibited foods: avocados, mangoes, persimmons. In addition, any spicy herbs (parsley, cilantro, dill) can ruin a bird's health.
Many people ask questions about what other food is not included in the list of allowed. Such products as fatal to the health of these birds can be: bread (made from salt, yeast or low grades of wheat), salt (this is poison for this type of bird), milk (parrots lack enzymes for its processing), chocolate.
Parrot feeding in the wild
Different breeds differ in both food preferences and the volume / composition of natural feed. Large and small parrots have incomparable energy consumption, dictating their ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
It is interesting! Large parrots focus on the fruits, inflorescences and seeds of fruit trees, without giving up flowers, nuts and berries. The menu is determined by the living conditions of the birds. So, macaw, living in the tropics of South and Central America, relies mainly on nuts with fruits and does not particularly favor grain.
Ash African handsome Jacquot, who lives in West Africa, loves flowers, nuts, as well as fruits, including papaya and palm trees. Medium-sized parrots eagerly eat fruit, seeds and suitable plants, often digging their roots, tubers or bulbs.
People who plowed vast territories of Australia under wheat fields changed the taste preferences of budgies: they had to switch to wheat grains (of any degree of maturity). In addition, the wavy eagerly eat grass seeds, fruits, buds, herbs, tender shoots and even small insects.
How to feed a parrot at home
Even unpretentious budgerigars in their home maintenance require a thoughtful approach to their diet, which must be not only diverse, but also harmless.
There is still no consensus on the optimal balance of grains and fruits in food for parrots. Some ornithologists believe that 60% should be allocated for fresh vegetables and fruits, others believe that 40%, and still others believe that at least 80%, leaving only 20% of the daily diet for grains.
The owner of an exotic bird should remember that the daily norm of the small species does not exceed 20 g of the grain mixture, the average - 30 g, and the large - 50 g. It should be noted that these are not final figures: the amount of food eaten correlates with the age, physiology, and psychological state of the bird , as well as with the comfort of the environment and other factors.
All bird feeds are usually divided into animal and vegetable. The first include eggs, kefir, cottage cheese, yogurt, insects with larvae. Along with vegetables and fruits, the plant group includes leafy greens, grains, nuts, branches, inflorescences, and seeds.
Granular Parrot Feed
Granule production involves cereals, vegetables, and minerals / vitamins. The central component of the feed is cornmeal, to which several other cereals and vegetables are added, flavored with amino acids and mineral additives. Granular food is good because it allows the parrot owner not to worry about adding additional vitamin-mineral complexes: the granules have all the vital elements.
Important! Parrots are not suitable for dry food, addressed to other domestic animals (fish, dogs and cats). Both vegetarian and protein (with animal proteins) industrial feeds are prohibited.
Как правило, производитель компонует корм и рассчитывает размер гранул, исходя из особенностей пернатых (для кормящих, больных) и их габаритов (для крупных, средних и маленьких). Впрочем, ваш попугай не станет читать указания на упаковках и сам со временем выберет, какие гранулы ему интереснее терзать – мелкие или те, что побольше.
The criterion for classifying a granular mixture in one of three categories is the production method:
- organic feed (grown without chemicals and pesticides),
- cheap (low quality).
Regardless of the class of food, your pet can respond to some of its components: in this case, you can not do without a veterinarian.
Food developers are convinced that their product should occupy at least 80% of the diet, and leave only 1/5 of the daily norm for nuts, grains, vegetables and fruits. Introducing the granular mixture into the daily nutrition of the bird, add granules to the usual grain mixture, gradually increasing their number.
There are many proven foreign products that have proven themselves well as food for parrots: in addition to grain, they usually have nuts, dried fruits and mineral supplements. Feel free to experiment by mixing food intended for different types: this makes it more complete and useful.
Important! You have to forget about the slogan “choose domestic”: the lion's share of Russian mixtures is dangerous for your birds.
Add to the grain mix and inedible natural ingredients, such as wood shavings, pieces of pine cones, pieces of unpainted cardboard: they will make the pet's beak and its brain convolutions work.
In addition to grain, seedlings should appear in the feeder of large parrots, but their volume must be controlled, since sprouted grains can trigger sexual instinct. And if you are not going to mate your parrots, do not feed them with seedlings.
In good imported mixtures, there is usually such a concentration of nuts / seeds that they have to be removed from the feed so that the parrot does not plant the liver (very vulnerable for all birds).
Do not feed the parrot unpeeled peanuts: there are a lot of them in factory mixes, and the peanuts bought on the market can be hit by mold. The fungus provokes intoxication and chronic mycoses, which are difficult to get rid of.
Important! Do not believe the fables that pumpkin seeds have a striking anthelmintic effect. They can dilute the menu, but only as a product, and not an anthelmintic.
Assorted nuts can consist of pistachios, pecans, sweet almonds and macadamia. The latter (certainly in the shell), as well as palm nuts, are introduced into the menu of green-winged and hyacinth macaws: these large birds need high-calorie dry fruits.
The following seeds and nuts are toxic:
- apple seeds
- almonds (bitter),
- kernels of plum, cherry, cherry and apricot fruits,
- fruits of bird cherry.
In these and other stone fruits, there are cyanides in the form of amygdalin: it gives hydrocyanic acid upon splitting, which causes poisoning. The longer the seeds / fruits are stored, the stronger the intoxication.
If you nevertheless spoil the parrot with such bones, do not forget about prevention by adding sorbents to the feed:
- lactofiltrum or polyphepan,
- white / blue pharmacy clay,
- fresh branches with a lot of lignin (natural fibers).
Due to excessive fat, parrots are not recommended coconut, Brazil nut and cashew. For small parrots, sunflower seeds and nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.) are given 1-2 times a month in minimal doses. The nuts offered to the parrots do not roast, salt or sweeten.
Fruits and greens in the diet of parrots
In industrial mixtures, there are very few phytonutrients and antioxidants, which is why a parrot cannot be deprived of leafy greens, vegetables and fruits. Purchased agricultural products must be washed (preferably with baking soda) to rid the surface of wax.
Important! When feeding a pet, do not peel Russian citrus fruits (tangerines, lemons, oranges, grapefruits, lime), but remove it from overseas fruits. Pamper the bird with bananas and pineapples, pulp / seeds of watermelon and melon.
Of the berries recommended:
- wild strawberries (garden and forest),
- raspberries, gooseberries and currants,
- blueberries, lingonberries and cranberries,
- blackberry and blueberry
- chokeberry and red mountain ash,
- dogrose and edible honeysuckle,
- pitted cherries
- Irga and viburnum.
The latter is contraindicated in parrots with weak buds, but it is also given to healthy individuals in small portions and only in thawed form. The remaining berries are served fresh or thawed.
With care, the bird is treated with store dried fruits, thoroughly washing and soaking them. It can be apple slices, raisins, figs, dried apricots, dates and prunes. Fresh fruits can participate in the feast: apples and pears (seedless), kiwi and figs, apricot, peach and plum (seedless), quince (seedless) and pomegranate (seedless), grapes (3-4 berries per day) .
The vegetable kingdom in the diet of parrots is represented by such gifts:
- carrots (possible with tops),
- pepper with seeds (sweet / hot),
- cucumbers and tomatoes
- turnip, swede and turnip (blanched),
- squash, zucchini, zucchini and pumpkin (with seeds),
- stewed beets and its tops,
- blanched kohlrabi and brussels sprouts,
- celery, green beans and green peas (after blanching),
- broccoli and cauliflower, 3-5 minutes soaked in boiling water.
A corncob (especially unpeeled one) will become not only food, but also entertainment: a parrot relies on about a quarter of an ears per day.
Important! Periodically place leafy greens in the feeder, including lettuce, young nettles, chickpeas, spinach and plantain.
The list of fermented milk products suitable for parrots (no fatter than 3.0%) is as follows:
- kefir, yogurt, fermented baked milk (twice a week),
- yogurt (no additives),
- fruit and cheese puree,
- cottage cheese (1 r per week). Allowed to add a drop of honey.
Twice a week you can offer honey (for large and medium-sized birds - half a teaspoon, small - at its tip).
Sour milk is taught to eat from a spoon or mixed with grain. Avoid lactose products, as well as sour cream, cream and milk. A mixed dish of shredded carrots and eggs is useful for growing birds of small and medium breeds. Young parrots need 1-2 r per week of protein and yolk (chicken and quail).
Adult loners do not need eggs, so as not to stimulate the sexual reflex (you can give a bite every 2 weeks). Grasshoppers, beetles and larvae diversify food, but can infect the bird with parasites. Therefore, live food is better to take in the store.
Vitamins and Minerals
They are especially in demand in winter and during molting. The course consists of a 14-day admission with a break of 2 months. Sepia (shellfish of sea cuttlefish) acts as a natural mineral top dressing. He is in the cage until the bird gouges it completely.
If there is sepia, calcium preparations are not needed, but in order for it to be absorbed by the body, vitamin D (produced under the sun or under the rays of a UV lamp) and amino acids are required. The source of the latter are cereals (buckwheat, wheat, wild rice, oats) and legumes. There is a lot of natural calcium in spinach and beet tops, but both plants contain oxalic acid, which inhibits its absorption.
Important! Do not stuff your pet with fish oil: it is oversaturated with vitamins A, D and E. Such a loading dose is not required for your home recluse and will only harm him.
Parrots do without tours (pebbles grinding the contents of the bird’s stomach). The parrot’s digestion process starts already in the goiter, since even the smallest breeds (thanks to the specific structure of the beak) crush solid food unlike other birds that swallow it whole.
Water in the drinker is changed at least 1 r per day. It is better to abandon the liquid from the tap in favor of children's bottled water, where occasionally lemon juice (teaspoon per glass) or a little honey is added. Use filtered or pasteurized honey at home: raw can be infected with bacteria.
The list of drinks useful for a parrot:
- mineral water without gas (type "Narzan"),
- freshly squeezed and baby juices (fruit and vegetable). They can be mixed with water,
- decoctions of chamomile and dog rose,
- tea (as a tonic) occasionally.
Calcium gluconate, like vitamin supplements, is not mixed with juices to avoid the instant oxidation of both.
Parrots are inclined to change their gastronomic tastes from season to season, demanding frosty mulled wine of citrus fruits in frosts, ripe berries in summer and autumn, and branches with ripened buds in spring. Gnawing branches, the bird not only receives fiber and microelements, but also grinds off (as it should be nature) its beak.
In the register of useful trees and shrubs are listed:
- apple tree, mountain ash and cherry,
- raspberries and currants
- birch, willow and linden,
- hawthorn and elm,
- maple, alder and ash.
Branches are cut away from plants and highways, if necessary, stored in a freezer. All shoots must be washed with a brush with soap, rinsed and poured with boiling water. In winter, branches can be placed in water to please the pet with swollen kidneys.
Important! Another persistent misconception concerns tansy: supposedly the plant is fighting bird worms. In this way, you will not get rid of helminthiasis, but you will certainly poison your parrot.
From the diet exclude:
- oak, bird cherry and pear (due to tannin components),
- conifers (due to resin), but you can give needles, separated from the branches,
- poplar, whose wood and bark is more active than other trees, absorb atmospheric toxins,
- lilac and acacia, where there is syringin, which gives hydrocyanic acid during decomposition.
Thin branches are cut into small fragments or put in whole, medium - give the bird in the paw or fix on the twine right in the cage.
What can not feed a parrot
Under the ban - all dishes (and their ingredients) from your table. Even boiled vegetables from the soup contain salt and fat that are not allowed in the bird diet.
The list of prohibited products also includes:
- papaya and mango, except dried,
- avocado (due to poisonous persin),
- rhubarb and sorrel (due to oxalic acid, which acts badly on the kidneys, causing diarrhea and internal bleeding),
- potatoes containing starches that are difficult to digest
- mushrooms and eggplant, in which there is solanine, which provokes gastric disorders,
- herbs of spicy herbs such as cilantro, dill, parsley and others,
- raw legumes (soy, red and lima beans),
- onion and garlic.
Important! You cannot feed a parrot with white bread dipped in milk. The bird does not know how to digest milk, and fresh bread crumb, in addition to yeast, also contains a lot of salt.
Even more dangerous is bread made from rye flour: swollen, it causes stomach cramps and indigestion, and thanks to a special glycoside it inhibits beneficial microorganisms. If you want to pamper the bird, give it a try white cracker.
And the last: don't feed the parrot from your mouth. With this method of feeding, you will give him fungi that live in the microflora of your oral cavity, safe for you, but dangerous for the bird.