Life with a budgie is joyful and entertaining. Little chatterboxes, these jewels of the bird world are as lively and playful as they are beautiful. Like all pets, they love homemade goodies. Show your budgie how much he means to you with these delectable treats featuring honey and nut butters.
Honey and Peanut Butter Pine Cones
Delight as your budgie tucks into these sweet and nutty treats. In a mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup of hulled sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup of chopped dates, 3 tablespoons of granola, 2 tablespoons of diced apple and 2 tablespoons of diced pear, stirring to incorporate all the ingredients. Add an equal measure of natural, unsalted crunchy peanut butter and organic liquid honey to bind all the ingredients together into a fairly dense mixture. Slather the peanut butter and honey mixture over a clean pine cone, working the mixture into every nook and cranny, then roll the cone in millet seeds. Hang the honey and peanut butter cone in your budgie's cage and watch him savor the sweet treat.
Peanut Butter and Mixed Fruit Balls
Festive peanut butter and mixed fruit balls lend a little merriment to your budgie's world for the holidays or any time of the year. To prepare these delicious and nutritious treats, combine 1/2 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats, 1 tablespoon of wheat germ, 1/4 cup of finely chopped raw almonds, 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup of raisins, 1/4 cup of chopped dried apricots, 1/4 cup of chopped dried figs and 1/4 cup of dried cranberries. Blend the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Fold in enough natural, unsalted peanut butter -- crunchy or smooth will work -- to hold the mixture together, then form balls by rolling small pieces of the mixture between your palms. Roll each peanut butter and mixed fruit ball in millet seeds to coat.
Sweet Potato and Sunflower Butter Balls
Good for people and their feathered friends, glorious sweet potatoes are one of nature's almost-perfect foods and the centerpiece of a simple homemade budgie treat. To prepare, bake one large sweet potato until fork-tender and let cool. Peel the potato, then mash the flesh in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of natural, unsalted sunflower butter and blend thoroughly. Fold in 1/2 cup of raisins, 1 mashed banana, 1/2 cup of diced apple, 1/2 cup of diced peach, 2 tablespoons of dessicated coconut and 1 cup of uncooked granola cereal. Add 2 tablespoons of organic liquid honey and blend to incorporate. Form the mixture into balls by rolling small pieces between your palms. Roll each sweet potato and sunflower butter ball in millet seeds to coat.
Ways to Serve Treats
Inquisitive little budgies are fascinated by new toys or perches introduced into their environment. Add a little interest to any nut butter or honey-based treat by varying how it is served. Spread the treat mixture over twigs collected from untreated apple or other fruit trees, and hang them horizontally like perches from a piece of twine or string attached to each end of the twig. To safely prepare the twigs for coating, boil them for 15 minutes and dry in a an oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. Another idea is to coat cuttlebones or wooden toys and swings with the treat mixture. Or, pique your budgie's curiosity by inserting small pieces of millet spray into honey- or nut-butter-based treat balls.
For clean, safe pine cones, collect them directly from untreated pine trees, then boil the number you need -- one per budgie or two, depending on the size of the pine cone -- for about 15 minutes to destroy and remove any bacteria, debris or insects that live inside them. Their petals will open like a flower's while they are wet, then tighten up again when they're dry. Dry the pine cone in an oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit until the petals close and the cones feel dry, about 30 minutes. Remove the pine cones from the oven, cool completely and tie a piece of string or twine around the topmost portion for hanging.
If the mixture is too wet or sticky, add more granola or uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats -- if it's too dry and crumbly, add more honey, peanut butter or sunflower butter to bind the mixture together.
Organically grown sweet potatoes and fruits have the best flavor, texture and sweetness. Select organic nut butters and honey when available.
Remove any uneaten treats from the cage after 8 hours -- and thoroughly clean any toys or perches that have been in contact with the treat mixture.
Divide the treats into daily or weekly portions and freeze them in zip-top plastic bags. Thaw thoroughly at room temperature before serving.
Based in Ontario, Susan Dorling has written professionally since 2000, with hundreds of articles published in a variety of popular online venues. Writing on a diverse range of topics, she reflects her passion for business, interior design, home decorating, style, fashion and pets.