What Does a Parakeet Eat?

by Joe Gordon, Demand Media
    Parakeets enjoy a variety of healthy foods.

    Parakeets enjoy a variety of healthy foods.

    Parakeets, also called budgies, require a healthy diet to fuel them through their crazy, swinging day. Just like you, your busy budgie needs that old spice of life –variety. A varied, veterinarian-approved feeding regimen that includes the following foods will have your parakeet swinging in style.

    Birdseed

    Your bird should not live on seed alone, but it surely holds an important spot on his menu board. This daily diet staple should be a seed mix labeled for "parakeets," that contains mostly millet, canary seed and oat groats, and should be fortified with vitamins and minerals. Try to pass on seed mixes using artificial colors (natural colorants, such as beat juice are cool) and keep his seed stash fresh in a sealed container.

    Pellets

    Similar to a dog's or cat's kibble, pellets are a prepared mix of nutritious ingredients baked into handy parakeet-sized nuggets. These parakeet pellets are available in a wide range of shapes and colors, flavors and nutritional content. To be on the safe side, ask your veterinarian for recommendations, and try to avoid pellet feed that contain lots of preservatives and few nutritious ingredients. Most avian veterinarians agree that seed and pelleted mixes must be supplemented with fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts.

    Fruits and Vegetables

    Low in fats and loaded with vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables please your parakeet's palate while meeting his nutritional needs. Most budgies generally go for crispy vegetable items on the menu, like fresh leafy greens, carrot tops, lettuce and broccoli. Strawberries, grapes and apples normally top the list for these fine feathered friend's fresh fruit favorites (say that 3 times fast). Keep these fruits and vegetables fresh and toss any wilted leftovers; your bird won't get near them.

    Nuts

    Sometimes your bird buddy feels like a nut, so go ahead and treat him to a tasty desert mix of unsalted nuts. Almond, pecans, pistachios and walnuts are a few parakeet favorites that all are packed with assorted omega 3 acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and protein. Shell and chop them up to fit in his little beak, then stand back and watch him go to town. Warning: nuts are as loaded with fat as they are with nutrients, so unless you want a pudgy budgie, go easy on the portions.

    Resources

    About the Author

    Joe Gordon is a writer who divides his time between Tampa Bay, Florida and Western North Carolina. Gordon has been published in local and regional newspapers and magazines, including VisitFlorida.org, "Oceanfront Magazine," "Sarasota Herald Tribune," "The Bradenton Herald," "Sarasota Scene Magazine," " Biz 941 Magazine" and "U Manatee Magazine." He studied journalism at Ohio University.

    Photo Credits

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