Feeding your Budgies

Exhibition Budgies soft food
Soft food time for the Budgies

Budgies cannot survive on seed alone.

What you feed your budgies will have everything to do with their health and fertility. Budgies require a higher protein than your smaller “parakeet”. ¬†We keep our budgies on about 16 % protein on a feed either premium parakeet or 42% parakeet, which means 42% canary grass seed. Some people custom mix their feed with other seeds but this has worked very well for us. Always make sure your seed is clean, not moldy or dusty and free of bugs. Birdseed can be “buggy”.

The birds are free fed the seed in the flight aviaries from feeders on the ground. The feeders are kept full, making sure that there is actually seed and not all hulls in there.

As I said, your birds cannot survive on seed alone. Here is the feeding program that I have worked out, and the birds do well.

First of all, the birds get fresh organic vegetables, not frozen, not canned, not regular veggies. With the use of pesticides and herbicides so high, I don’t want to take any unnecessary chances with the birds. It’s tough enough to keep them healthy without adding poison to their diet. So fresh organic veggies it is.

During the summer, I cut them up and feed once a day, however, I cut them into big chunks and let them work at eating them. During breeding season I use a food processor and chop it up pretty small, makes it easier for the parents to feed the babies.

Also, during breeding season organic chick starter or organic game bird starter is added to the soft food as well as oat groats that have been soaked overnight in water and rinsed thoroughly.

About a 50-50 mixture and then it is fed in a separate shallow pan on the bottom of the breeding cage, I find less waste than if it is fed in a deep dish attached to the wall.

Vegetables I use are fresh and organic:

The veggie/ oat groat mixture fed daily
The veggie/ oat groat mixture fed daily

Kale, Carrots, (carrots are heated up for about 20 seconds in the microwave to help with digestion), broccoli, cauliflower, radishes and the greens (very good for them), beets(both golden and red), parsley, collard greens, mustard greens,sweet potatoes, yam or squash, fresh coconut if available, also they do like anise, or fennel when you can find it fresh, zucchini, and romaine lettuce.

It depends on what is fresh and in season, I find that if I vary it a little they eat better than if they get the same thing every week. The cocks will wait by the door of the breeding cages for me to put the veggies in, pacing back and forth till I get to them.

They also get Organic Apple Cider Vinegar in their water once a week or so. Probiotics that can be mixed into the soft food, vitamins, and I do mix liquid or powdered calcium into the soft-food as well. I put liquid calcium in their water once or twice a week. Free choice cuttlebone and mineral blocks are offered in the flights as well as breeding cages. I also feed a loose mineral in little feeders to all of them.

I have a small area outside of the bird room ( advantage of Arizona long growing season) that has organic soil in it. When I clean the flights I take all the leftover seed from the floor, throw it out there and water it. When the sprouts get to the right height I pull them and give them back to the birds. They love them, it saves otherwise wasted seed and provides them with fresh high protein. I do that year round here.

Oat groats ready to be mixed in
Oat groats ready to be mixed in

The birds also get fresh hand clipped grass several times a week when the grass is growing, there is an area where I let it get long and then clip it and spread it on the floor of the flights. The birds clean that up very quickly, especially when it is just topping out with seeds.

You have to find what works for your birds and settle on it, feed on a schedule and stick to it.

Soft food with Game Bird chow ready to mix in
Soft food with Game Bird chow ready to mix in
Little plastic dishes for the breeding cages purchased at the dollar store
Little plastic dishes for the breeding cages purchased at the dollar store